This is certainly a different type of post for me today. More of a story if you will. I’ve made it one of my business goals this year to share more with all of you ten readers. Not necessarily more blog posts or more social media, but more of ME. More real things. I’ll be honest, I’ve been reluctant to share much with the world. What if I say something that offends one of my clients? What if people don’t think I’m funny? Oh and I always have to make sure to incorporate the right SEO keywords. So because of this, a lot of my posts are planned out, scheduled, edited ten different times and written to entice you to like me. And I’m kinda over that yall. So this year, I’m just going to talk out loud and be myself and hope that you’ll still want to hire me :)
So back to today’s post….A birth story….my FIRST birth story….A little background history may help explain why these images and this family are so special to me.
My friend, Amanda, and I have been friends for the last 8 years or so. We met working at Texas A&M University reviewing freshman applications (yes, people actually read those essays!) and we instantly hit it off and found ourselves giggling during breaks and hanging out after work. We remained friends long after that job having many nights of grilled cheese and tomato soup dinners, movie dates where we get yelled at for talking to loudly and creating many traditions like our annual ride around of judging Christmas house lights while drinking Starbucks in the back seat of her car while her husband drives us around anywhere we want to go (did I mention how awesome her husband is?). I even traveled continents to visit her in Switzerland while they lived oversees for a year. That was definitely one of the most memorable trips of my life (no thanks to her meticulous planning) and I got to see and visit more of the country in one week than any normal person would do in three weeks. A funny fact we always laugh about is that she’s always helped me when I’ve moved (6 times in the last 8 years!). I would be so disorganized and ADD about unpacking that she would literally be right behind me re-arranging the furniture and kitchen cabinets in a way that actually made sense. I’ve never been good at that kind of stuff. She has a total knack for interior design and I think it’s absolutely crazy she doesn’t do it for a living (yet, anyway!).
So all those years of being friends, there had never really been much talk of having a baby. It just never came up so I assumed neither of them really wanted to have one, some people are like that, which is cool, whatever, doesn’t bother me. And then….BAM. I found out in the early summer that they were pregnant! Holy smokes, this was really exciting!! I was so caught off guard that I started tearing up! It was also kind of crazy because I had just found out a few months before, that they were planning on moving to Chatanooga due to a job relocation. After about 90 seconds of freaking out with joy, I started freaking out for a different reason…wait, I’m not going to watch this baby grow up?! You’re not going to have the baby here?! (Here was actually College Station by the way. I believe it was move number 4 which brought me to Houston.) So there she found herself in the summer, 5 months pregnant and having to relocate her entire life to a new, and surely lonely, place. I’m sure that’s not exactly how she envisioned her first, and likely only, pregnancy. But sometimes life happens and we just have to make the best of our situations. And that’s exactly what she did.
She actually came to Houston two months before her due date and lived with me until she had the baby. That’s when her doctor’s appointments would be more frequent and she had already established a relationship with a wonderful doctor in College Station and didn’t want to have to start the whole process all over, when she’s already having to start everything else in her life over. Kind of like when you find the perfect hair stylist and you get attached and you find yourself driving an hour across town to continue to go to them. It’s kind of like that, but WAY more serious! So just a few short months ago, I had an 8 month pregnant woman living with me! Some may think that’s crazy, but I was happy to do it. One of my best friends had just moved away and now I get to see her for two months? Yeah I’ll take that. It was such a blessing to get that time with her, not only because she’s a crazy clean freak so the dishes and laundry were always done, but also because I got to witness a few months of her pregnancy and watch her grow, as a future mother and literally in size! I also was able to convince her to take one or two maternity pictures. (Really, there’s only like two) but I’m excited to share them with you! They’re simple and classic, which is SO her.
So while she was staying with me during those last few months, I was also about to move (yes…again, what can I say? I’m a nomad!). So she spent a lot of her (very pregnant) time cleaning up my apartment, organizing things and making me throw things away because I won’t do it willingly. Even 39 weeks pregnant she still found a way to help through my moving process! (Also, now that I’m writing this a while after the delivery, they came back to Texas to visit for Christmas and when they stayed a few nights with me, she helped me get settled into my new apartment and made it feel home-y again AKA re-arranging all my furniture! Without her, I would have literally never unpacked certain boxes!) So when you think about, she really did more for me that I did for her.
So now on to the actual delivery….the best part! So the whole time she was pregnant, they didn’t know what the sex of the baby was. Crazy right?! Like who does that anymore? Well they do. Because they’re old school, or rather traditional. Plus it didn’t really matter at the time because they didn’t really have a nursery to decorate (the whole moving halfway through the pregnancy thing). But the whole time she kept referring to her baby as a “he”. Like “he just kicked me” or “he kept me up all night” or “he is making me feel like crap”. Notice a theme here during the last two months? Haha. And even though I know she tried to stay gender neutral with all the baby products, they still appeared a bit more boyish to me, but I never said anything. Either way, we were going to find out soon enough!
Because she had traveled from so far to have her baby in a place she felt like was home, they had scheduled to induce her delivery a few days before Thanksgiving. They checked in Sunday night and broke her water the following morning. I made my way to the hospital that morning and I thought surely I was going to spend the whole day in the waiting room. Maybe read a book, do some blogging and perhaps beat my grandma a few times on Words With Friends. I got there around 9:30 AM or so and was just so excited that they let me in the room with them! I soon realized after an hour or so of catching up and chatting that this baby was going to come fast. She was dilating very quickly. Before I knew it, it was around noon and the nurse came in and started to prep her for delivery. Oh man, this is happening now? This feels weird. Are you sure she’s having it like now? Ok, yep, here we go! We’re having a baby everyone!
I had never witnessed a delivery before. I’ve only ever visited friends in the hospital after they’ve had the baby, so this was all new to me, but also very exciting! The nurse asked her to hold breath and do sort of a crunch and count to ten. I didn’t realize that at the time, but she was pushing the baby out. I guess I didn’t dawn on me what was going on because it’s nothing like the movies. She wasn’t really in a lot of pain (at least it didn’t seem that way) and she wasn’t sweating profusely or squeezing the life out of my hand. I know everyone’s experience is different, but man, hers seemed pretty awesome! She pushed about 4-6 times I would say, then the head doctor came in and she pushed one or two more times and BAM, I saw that baby slide out of her like a backyard summer slip-n-slide. I was under direct orders not too look down there, but I couldn’t help it! A baby was about to fall on the floor! Haha. It’s the miracle of life, right? Holy smokes! A baby a baby! Wait a second…. the gender….something’s missing….OH MY GOSH….a baby GIRL!! I wasn’t sure if I should have at the time, but I just shouted out “It’s a girl! It’s a girl! You had a girl!”. First everyone was in disbelief and then we instantly all broke out in tears in smiles. Nobody thought it was going to be a girl! Except me, of course :)
Claire Annelise was born at 12:34 PM on November 21, 2016 weighing in at 7 lbs, 12 oz, 20.5 in. long. And let me tell you guys…she was BEAUTIFUL. I’m sure everyone says that but man…for a newborn, she was so pretty. She was pink right away, made the cutest faces, and only had a slight cone head, which totally freaked me out at first because I didn’t know that it’s perfectly normal for newborns to have that. I was so relieved when the nurse told me it was normal because I was already trying to think of gentle ways to tell my friend that her first born baby had a weird shaped head. Phew! Dodged a bullet there.
It was such a magical moment that I’ll never forget. And I can’t thank my friend enough for letting me a part of such an amazing experience. Of course I took my camera out and snapped some photos. I don’t think she was too thrilled about it at first, but she has since told me over and over again how much she now treasures these photos.
After the delivery and once I left the hospital, I felt so happy. Happy about a new baby being brought into this world, happy that I was able to be a part of it and happy for my friends and the new journey their life is going to take. I also got a little sad, because that meant that they would be leaving to go back to Tennessee soon. But before they left, I of course took some newborn photos which I will share next week! I can’t share EVERYTHING in one post you know…
Now I don’t know if I’m going to start offering birth photography services, this was my first time you know, but I just wanted to share this with you because I do think it’s a great idea to have some photos taken either during or right after the delivery.
And I hope to be sharing more stories with you in the future :)