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the birth of Iliana


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A St. Rose San Martin Hospital Birth

This birth of Iliana is a beautiful birth story from St. Rose San Martin Hospital here in Las Vegas.

This family has trusted me in one form or another with bringing each of their four children into this world.

It all began when Courtney inquired about maternity and newborn sessions for their oldest daughter. She has always valued images and their importance in preserving memories. With their first baby, I was able to document both their maternity and newborn sessions. Being a little uncomfortable in her post-pregnancy skin after their first, she was very hesitant about being in their newborn images. It took a little nudging on my part and she was so glad later that SHE was in them too!

By the time their third baby was on the way, she had come to see, hold, and cherish all these memories even the ones where she might not have been comfortable. I was so excited when she reached out to have me document their third birth. There is nothing more vulnerable than those moments surrounding the birth of your baby, and I loved that she was willing to embrace it all!

By the time they found out their fourth and last baby was on the way, she knew she wanted it all; maternity, birth, fresh 48, and newborn. There is something so special about those last babies. Of course, all babies are special but I remember with my last just wanting it all to move slower, to enjoy even the smallest of moments, and just wishing I could bottle it all up.

This was their second birth I documented for them at St. Rose San Martin, and the staff is always a pleasure.

nurse starting an IV on labor and delivery

being admitted into labor and delivery in active labor.

Courtney had gone super fast with her last delivery, and so we anticipated the same with this one. In fact, with baby number three we were in the hospital for less than an hour, and anesthesia didn’t even make it in time for her to get an epidural. Because I live a good distance away from St. Rose San Martin, I was on hyper-alert and just two days before she delivered we had a little false alarm. It is not uncommon at all, even with previous deliveries! I always tell my clients that I would rather have 10 false alarms than an “oh no! come now”! When it was finally time and they said they were on their way to the hospital, I booked it as quickly as I could to get there. As I was pulling into the parking lot, her husband updated me that she was 7 cms and moving fast. I had to get past the COVID protocols up front and rush up to the unit. When I arrived they were quickly admitting her and her doctor was notified. It was pretty intense at this point.

keep calm and labor on socksmother uncomfortable during transition phase of labor.Courtney was working so hard with her contractions and staying so calm in the midst of the chaos going on around her. There was COVID testing to be done, IVs to start, labs to draw, and the room to set up. Aaron stayed right by her side fanning her and maintaining a sense of calm with his reassuring words.

mother grasping side rail while in laborhusband fanning his wife while she is in labor in hospitalhusband kissing his wife before she delivers their babyWithin 20 minutes of my arrival, it was already time! I think we were all sweating at this point just so happy to have everyone made it, including her doctor. She brought their sweet girl into this world so quickly and so powerfully!

newborn making eye contact with mothermother making eye contact with her baby after delivery at San Martin hospitalmother taking in all her babys details after birthnew baby after delivery at San Martinmother bonding with new baby after a hospital deliveryproud parents with their new baby in the hospitalIliana’s birth happened so quickly it took a bit of time to take it all in! I love these sweet and tender moments in the hour or two following birth. It is so surreal to process that this tiny human that you carried for so many months is now in your arms. Aaron is such a great dad and so hands-on with his children, it is beautiful to witness.

dad holding his new daughter after deliveryhusband texting family after the birth of their babyBecause COVID hospital restrictions were still in place siblings were unable to come to meet their new baby sister for their fresh 48 session. Instead, we decided I would capture them meeting her for the first time at home. It was the sweetest. All three of Iliana’s siblings were completely enamored with her.

In-Home Fresh 48 Session

toddler excited to hold and meet her baby sister.mother introducing big sister to her new baby sister.sister taking in all her new baby sister's details.big brother holding his new baby sister together with their dad.newborn yawn while being held in her mother's arms.sister meeting her new baby sister for the first time.It is always a little bittersweet to come to newborn sessions with these families that book ‘The Whole Story’ with me. By this point, I have become so invested, and have communicated often with them.

In-Home Newborn Session

It is fun to see how everyone has settled and how much newborns have changed in those short days and weeks. There has been some rest and routines are starting to develop, but life still has that slower pace which is so nice.

newborn swaddled in yellow wrap on ivory fur.mother holding her newborn on her shoulder while swaddled.black and white image of two sisters during in home session.This sweet little one is already so loved and I don’t think between mom, dad, and her three siblings, she is loved on and held often.

proud parents with their new daughter during newborn session.dad holding his newborn nose to nose.newborn girl in pink swaddle and cream fur.mom, dad, and newborn during in-home newborn session.Their birth story wouldn’t be complete without their beautiful film. There is something special about seeing all these tender moments on film, even more so than a still image can capture.

The Birth of Iliana

Friday, February 3rd, 2023

mother and father emotional after birth at Southern Hills Hospital


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2022 has been a wonderful year for me personally and as a business! After two years of the pandemic, my heart and soul needed it. For me, 2021 was just about as disappointing and confusing as 2020.

After deciding to rebrand and specialize in births in 2018, I had just gotten my groove going and hit my happy place before the pandemic hit. I was blessed to have plenty of work throughout the pandemic, but I often took on more than I should have and ended 2021 completely exhausted.

After being unable to attend so many births for two years, I had come to question my future path. The frustration of not being allowed into hospital birth spaces and the often unwelcoming atmosphere when I was added stress for myself and my clients.

I’m still not back to the number of births I was booking pre-pandemic, but I have hope. Believing wholeheartedly in this work and its importance for families has kept me focused. Birth is the most life-changing moment we experience. Whether it is a joyous birth (which I hope and wish for all families) or a traumatic one documenting your birth is important. Documenting your birth can be incredibly healing for past and current traumas. In fact, studies show that families who document their births report better birth experiences.

Showing you how beautiful and strong you are, and how many beautiful layers there are to your birth story is what drives me. Many clients have shared how their images and films have helped them through postpartum depression and anxiety. They’ve shared how valuable their images and film footage are to them in being able to look back on those powerful moments.

I believe I have been called to birth work and have immensely enjoyed this new phase of that work; the role of documenting birth stories for families. I’ve been in it for 22 years (19 as a L&D nurse, and 5 of my 11 years in business as a birth photographer), and can’t imagine ever growing weary of it!

Being allowed into these sacred spaces and being trusted in them means so much to me. It is a responsibility I don’t take lightly!

Session Favorites

Without further ado, on to my favorites!

I pick a session favorite from each session I document each year. It is fun to look back on the year by picking an image from each session that has inspired or impacted me. My favorites even change throughout the year, and often choose one that reminds me of how that session and time felt. (Clients who have requested their images remain private are not included in this post).

In 2022 I was able to document 12 birth stories.

5 hospital births, 6 home births, and 1 birth center birth.

I donated two birth stories for families experiencing a loss.

mother and father emotional after birth at Southern Hills Hospital
A water birth at Serenity Birth Center in Las Vegas
dad holding new son after home birth in Las Vegas
mother holding her son after water birth with placenta in picture.
support of doula and midwife during a home birth in Las Vegas
husband supporting his wife during contractions at Nellis Air Force Base.
home birth in Las Vegas
birth at Centennial Hospital in Las Vegas
cesarean section image at Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas.
home birth in Henderson, NV.

I documented 12 maternity sessions.

This special time in the lives of my clients is one of my favorites. It is such a special phase of life, and the anticipation always feels palpable to me. I love showing mamas how beautiful they are carrying their babies. They will have these images to share with their children as they grow. I’ve also added to my client closet for maternity sessions.

maternity session in the Las Vegas desert.
maternity session at the Valley of Fire
maternity session in black flowy dress
documenting pregnancy when their is a loss
Las Vegas maternity photographer
in-home maternity session in Las Vegas
sunset maternity session Las Vegas
Little Loo Photography maternity session
Little Loo Photography
maternity session with husband and toddler
studio maternity session Las Vegas
Las Vegas maternity photography

5 Fresh 48 sessions.

Fresh 48 sessions were often the next best option for clients who could not have me attend their hospital births. I love these early days of the newborn period and all the special little details it holds. It is such a fleeting stage of life, and for that reason, I believe it is so important!

fresh 48 session Las Vegas in home
in-home Fresh 48 session in Las Vegas
dad holding daughter during in-home fresh 48 session.
documenting the first days of the newborn period
hospital fresh 48 after a cesarean
baby stretching during fresh 48 session
mother with baby daughter in home fresh 48

17 newborn sessions.

documentary newborn session las vegas
Las Vegas in-home newborn photographer
newborn smiles during a newborn session
sisters together during newborn session in Las Vegas
newborn session including dog in Las Vegas
brother involved in a newborn session at home.
Danika holding her daughter during newborn session
newborn boy with a lot of hair newborn session Las Vegas
newborn details during photo session
in-home newborn session with peach wrap
Las Vegas newborn photographer
sweet newborn yawn during session
newborn session with blue swaddle

I photographed 9 families.

This number of family clients worked well this year. It is much less than I normally take on, but one of the areas of my business I’ve had to restrict because of the call time for birth clients. Thank you so much to all the families that have continued to trust me with their families and this time in your lives. I am so grateful to you!

For 2023, I have again limited the number of family sessions in my schedule.

I have transitioned into more lifestyle-type work when photographing families over the years. My goal is always to capture how this time in your life feels. I want to capture those silly little laughs and personalities and your loving on each other! My clients showed up this year ready to play and be fully present in their sessions and images; it was so wonderful! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

dad and daughter during family session in Las Vegas
Las Vegas family photography
dad playing with son during family session in Las Vegas
sweet image of girl smelling flower
mother kissing her mom during a family session in Las Vegas
family photographer Las Vegas
mom and her two children family photographer
Dad holding daughter during family session
mother and daughter moment Las Vegas family session.

1 couples session.

Yes, that’s my beautiful daughter and her sweet and handsome boyfriend. I don’t photograph couples anymore, but it’s a special occasion when she asks!

couples mountain session in Colorado

I told one story as part of my annual ‘The Story’ giveaway.

For the last four years, I have done a giveaway telling the story of one individual, organization, or cause. I have loved offering this and have been able to tell the most amazing stories! This is an area I also had to pull in 2023 to allow the space to manage my schedule best for myself and my clients. Amazing stories seem to find me, so I will continue to tell them on a case-by-case basis. So, if you feel inspired to tell yours, please reach out! If my schedule allows, I would love to share it.

Ashley is an amazing and beautiful human being. I have known her for many years as we worked together in labor and delivery. Her transformation story is inspiring on so many levels, and she inspires me daily. Ashely’s story is important, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Ashley's Story Las Vegas

1 headshot session.

This is another type of session I’ve pulled from my offerings. This beautiful client is my sister, so special circumstances as well!

Angela Atherley-Hernandez

1 milestone session.

I adore this type of session but have had to pull from my offerings. With such limited time and space between births, I have felt referring them out has been best for both myself and my clients. I mean, look at this guy. He was a 2020 birth I could not attend because of hospital restrictions.

in-home one year milestone session

I’ve also created a year-in-review birth film reel, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Thank you so much for trusting me with life’s most important moments and your most valuable and important people-your families! I am grateful for every one of you, and so grateful for this life and career. Thank you for believing in me and supporting my small business; there aren’t enough words!

2022 A Year in Review and Session Favorites

Sunday, January 1st, 2023

daughter hugging her mother as she labors


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A Family Centered Birth Story

I am so excited to finally share the birth of Javier Cesar, a beautiful family-centered birth story.

I have been anxiously awaiting a break in work to catch up on my blog. Unfortunately, I am months and months behind; this birth took place last April (2021)!

I love blogging these stories because seeing them as a whole shows how much storytelling there is in birth. The beautiful story that is birth begins months before you even meet. It starts in the planning, dreaming, hoping, praying, and in all the anticipation before your baby’s arrival even begins. Birth is the beautiful climax of your baby’s story. I believe there is no more life-altering and life-changing moment in our lives. So to witness it and capture it for families is such a blessing, and a responsibility I don’t take lightly!

Michelle found me in her second trimester as she searched for a birth photographer in her area. She reached out, and we talked about her hopes and wishes in documenting her birth. She and her family lived in St. George, UT, a town located an hour and a half north of me. Their birth would be the furthest I had ever traveled for a birth story. As we talked through her plans and wishes, we immediately connected and decided to move forward with lots of communication to make sure I had as much window as possible to make the drive and arrive in time. This was also their fourth baby, which added another layer of worry as she had gone pretty quickly with her last delivery.

Michelle is a truly special woman! I immediately admired her passion and drive, and her beautiful heart. She is also a talented birth photographer located in North Port, FL, an Ayurveda herbal specialist, military veteran, has even become a doula since her last birth!

This was their first homebirth and first son, so it of course was going to be a little bit extra special. I love that Michelle researched and educated herself, building her dream birth team.

Be sure to follow through to the end to see their beautiful birth story film, oh, and grab a box of tissues!

daughter hugging her mother as she labors

Michelle called me in the early morning hours on April 27th, letting me know her contractions were becoming regular and she believed it was time. I quickly packed up my car and got on the road. It was a beautiful rainy morning which made the drive through our desert so gorgeous. I arrived at their home just as the sun was rising. Everyone was up and Michelle had her close friend and neighbor as well as her doula, Trish Baird there.

having your children present as you labor at home
friend massaging head during contraction
quiet moments of rest during early labor
kneeling during contractions at home
midwife checking blood pressure at home

Soon her midwife, Janae Sherman arrived with the rest of her birth team. Michelle had created a beautiful space and atmosphere to labor in and was held and supported by her family and birth team.

back massage during labor
support team of doula and midwife

By midday, her contractions were becoming more intense and Michelle began to pull inwards and focus through each wave. At this point, she decided she was ready to get in the water.

laboring in the water at home
using water for relief in labor
support while laboring in the tub at home
beautiful home birth in St. George Utah
water effleurage in tube
doula interacting with children during a home birth

One of my favorite parts of witnessing home births is the family-centered care that comes so naturally in homes while allowing the space to move freely, not only for mama but also for children and support persons. It takes so much fear out of laboring. Their oldest daughter stuck by her mama’s side throughout the whole day, diligently timing each contraction, it was the sweetest.

daughter timing contractions for her mother
contractions intensify while laboring in bed
husband encouraging wife during contractions at home

This labor was longer than her last and caused Michelle to have some doubts about her ability. This is so common, especially in the transition phase of labor. She has done some incredibly hardcore things in her life from being a Marine, running the Grand Canyon rim to rim, and competing in body-building competitions, she has definitely done some hard things. She leaned into her team and into her strength and although this period was intense, it quickly got her to the pushing phase of labor. She planned on delivering in her tub but settled on her most comfortable spot along the tub. I love that she didn’t force it and trusted her body and position.

leaning on tub for support during pushing in labor
intense contractions before delivery at home
home delivery on bathroom floor
emotions immediately following delivery
doula lifting baby up to mother's arms after delivery
seeing baby for the first time face to face
the beautiful emotions of delivery
mother can't believe she just delivered her baby
little loo photography
daughter staying afar after delivery of her brother
beautiful home birth in St George
father cutting the cord after home birth
mother hydrating after home birth
mother holding her baby after delivery at home
sister interacting with her new baby after delivery at home
mother breastfeeding for the first time after homebirth

As Michelle got cleaned up and led to the bedroom, dad held his sweet new son and sisters gathered around. This is definitely one of my favorite births for so many reasons, one of them being the intense way this family loves each other.

father holding son for the first time
baby feet in father's arms for size
proud father holding his son
father holding his son at home
father and his children all together after home birth
big sister holding her new baby brother after delivery
family centered birth at home
mother holding baby and placenta
best birth photographer las vegas

This was their biggest baby which explained his slower descent, at 8 lbs 7 ounces.

newborn exam by Janae Sherman
home birth as a family experience
newborn swaddle after newborn exam
sweet mother baby moment at home
home birth st george

This family booked me for ‘The Whole Story’, my birth package that includes maternity, birth, Fresh, and newborn sessions. I love being able to come back in the weeks after and document their continued story. It is such a beautiful way to complete their birth story, and always a little bittersweet.

newborn session at home after birth
family together on bed during in home newborn session
beautiful in-home newborn session
newborn details during session in home
father with his children in home newborn
lifestyle in home newborn
siblings together during in home newborn
sweet sister new baby brother moment
sisters together with baby brother
husband and wife together in-home newborn
beautiful black and white image lifestyle newborn
newborn in father's arms
father newborn poses
newborn details lifestyle newborn
newborn details in home newborn
sweet newborn las vegas in home newborn
sweet newborn details

The Birth of Javier Cesar

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

powerful birth photography image by Little Loo Photography


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My Annual Session Favorites

I can’t believe we are finally here, at the end of 2020. This has most definitely, for sure, absolutely, been the strangest year of my lifetime.

Looking back, I would not have believed it if someone had told me that this is how our year would have unfolded, and in many respects, I am glad that I didn’t. The only way I made it through with any sort of sanity was by realizing that I had zero control over this past year’s circumstances. My best plan of action was to love people and do my best by being flexible. As someone who has struggled with control, this has been a trial. The whole year felt like a trial of waiting and unknowns.

Now, I am only left with feelings of gratitude. Gratitude that I was able to keep on working for the most part. Although I missed out on many births because of the hospital restrictions and financial burdens the pandemic has placed on families, I have also had more opportunities to give back to my community. I accommodated high school seniors who had their year hijacked and photographed those sweet babies and their families when it was safe to do so, as well as more space for families this past fall.

One of my favorite ways of putting things in perspective is by going back through my year in images both professionally and personally. Each year I pick one favorite image from each session (it is pretty hard, trust me) and put them together in a collection. It’s so funny because often my favorites change throughout the year.

So, without further ado, here are my 2020 client favorites. There are a small number of clients who preferred their images not to be posted online, and I always honor that!

Be sure to stay up to date on my plans for 2021, I will be sharing them at the end of this post. There will be some changes, and I am excited about it all!

In 2020, I was able to document 6 births.

That is less than half the number of births I was able to document in 2019. This was by far, the biggest challenge in my business and the most difficult obstacle to overcome. As a photographer specializing in birth, this was incredibly tough to navigate. The most difficult and heart-wrenching part was really for my clients. Most of the year was spent hoping and praying that things would look better and restrictions would lift. I was able to document a small percentage of my hospital clients during the downward trends in the dual photographer/doula role, as I am currently working on my doula certification.

I am a birth photographer because I believe that documenting your birth is so important on many levels. It is a moment in time that cannot be redone. It is the reason I have been in the birth industry for over 20 years (19 of them as an L&D nurse). It is, in my opinion, the most life-changing and emotional time of our lives. You are able to finally see your baby for the first time, hear those first cries, and experience those tender and powerful moments of birth, they are all so important. I also happen to believe that documenting your birth can be emotionally healing and help in the processing of your birth whether it is a traumatic or easy one.

I will be a part of the birth industry as long as that passion continues, and I can’t see it ever fading. As I mentioned above, I am currently working on certification as a doula as another option for my birth clients. I will take a select few clients in this role in the upcoming year.

a hospital birth at Nellis Air Force base February 2020
Beautiful perspective of the many hands involved in birth
brianne hidalgo holding her son after her home birth in Las Vegas
The power of women and their birth stories as told by a Las Vegas birth photographer
Hannah Neilsen holding her new baby after her delivery in Las Vegas
powerful birth photography image by Little Loo Photography

I captured two Fresh 48 sessions

fresh 48 session at home incorporating siblings
sweet fresh 48 session 24 hours after birth

8 Maternity Sessions

maternity session at Valley of Fire in the outskirts of Las Vegas
beautiful couple maternity image by Lisa Weingardt of Little Loo Photography
family maternity session in Las Vegas
beautiful maternity session in Las Vegas wearing a red dress
Las Vegas maternity photographer and sessions in 2020
fall maternity session with aspen trees outside of Las Vegas
beautiful connection between a pregnant wife and her husband during a maternity session

19 Newborn Sessions

Many of my newborn sessions were birth clients that we ended up having to roll into newborn sessions because I was unable to attend their births. I still captured so much sweetness!

in home newborn session in Las Vegas using your nursery
beautiful black and white image of in home newborn session using window light
in home newborn session using props
lifestyle in home newborn session in Las Vegas for surrogates
sweet sister holding her new baby and giving her a little kiss
outdoor newborn session during covid
mother holding her new baby at home after giving birth during covid
mother holding her daughter after a long nicu stay during covid
an in home session with social distancing
adorable expression by a baby during his newborn session
beautiful in home session using a newborn nursery
parents holding their identical twin daughters
purple wrap and set up during an in home newborn session
young parents holding their son at home after delivering in a Las Vegas hospital during covid
two year old brother touching his sister during an in home session
the Nielsen family holding their new daughter
sweet in home newborn session after a hospital delivery
mother and father holding their new son in the living room in Las Vegas
sweet newborn session with creams on a baby girl

I photographed 13 families

fun and relaxed family session in Las Vegas
high school senior boy ideas
sweet hug from a daughter around her dad's neck
mom holding her two year old daughter during golden hour session
a baby brother laughing at his older brother during a family session
2020 session favorites by Little Loo Photography
urban family session in Las Vegas downtown
siblings hugging during an outdoor session in Las Vegas
mom holding her one year old son with beautiful sun flare
couple hugging at their family session before deployment
sisters hugging during a family session

6 first year milestone sessions.

These sessions are reserved only for my birth and newborn clients within the first year of life. I just love watching babies grow and change that first year and love seeing how much the family as a whole evolves and changes and settles into their own unique family personality!

3 month milestone session in client's home
5 month milestone session outdoors
baptism milestone session
6 month milestone session outdoors
mother and baby together during a milestone session
7 month milestone session using baby's room

5 high school senior sessions.

I don’t photograph high school senior sessions too often anymore, although I do love them. Specializing in birth leaves little room for scheduling other types of sessions. It was fun to shoot a few more this year, and was a fun way of giving back to seniors!

Logan Ohl and her dog during her senior session
Olivia LaBruzzo during her senior session downtown
Rylee Morse graduating from college
high school senior session at the pink corral sand dunes

I documented 6 passion projects.

These types of sessions are a way of me giving back to the community and telling the stories of individuals, families, and causes. I typically shoot two of these a year, this year I added just a few more.

documenting adoptions
senior prom covid style
the story giveaway on postpartum depression
diversity project for serenity birth center
Celia Valdez tells her story of her journey through postpartum depression
military deployment

2 head shot sessions

Serenity Birth Center team Las Vegas
Madison Weingardt in Las Vegas, NV

2 creative sessions

creative anniversary session
grandmother spending time with her granddaughter at the park

And, lastly, 1 branding session

Aisha Fanning Vegas Family doulas

If you’ve stayed with me this long, thank you so much! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me with your memories, being flexible, and for supporting my small business. I am still here because of you!

Moving forward in 2021

For 2021 I am back to my birth clients holding the large majority of my sessions. Because of the periods of time, it requires to be on call for my birth clients 24/7 (oftentimes up to 4 weeks at a time), I need to once again scale down on all other types of sessions in order to manage my schedule and give my clients the best custom experience I can.

My schedule is already full from January through May with 1 or 2 spots for birth clients. I have availability for one birth client in March, and 1 in late May.

I will be blocking off September for fall family sessions and will fill first with returning clients. Please reach out to me in advance if you would like to reserve your spot for September.

Here is looking forward with anticipation of what 2021 will bring! Have a blessed New Year!

2020 ~ Oh What a Year!

Friday, January 1st, 2021

the beauty of birth in the hospital setting in Las Vegas

fresh 48

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The Birth of Sloan Michael

I have had the pleasure of documenting this family from their first maternity session with their oldest right on through the birth of sweet little Sloan. Year after year, they returned to me and trusted me to document their maternity, newborn, birth, and family sessions.

It is an understatement to say I get a little emotional working on their images. In fact, their daughter’s birth was the first birth I documented as I made the brave and bold move in rebranding from posed newborn into specializing in birth photography here in Las Vegas.

las vegas birth story incorporating details

There have been so many surprises during this season of their life. They thought they were done having children, and this little one came along unexpectedly. When they surprised me with the news during their family session last fall, I just about died! Of course, documenting this birth was just as important, or maybe even more so, knowing it was their last. So, we began planning right away. Then surprise… COVID.

images of the radiant warmer in a labor room in Las Vegas, NV
applying fetal monitors during induction of labor in Las Vegas

There was so much anticipation leading up to their birth, and this strong mama worked right up to the days preceding their delivery. They wanted to revel, soak up, and enjoy every moment. This was the first time they waited to find out the gender until birth. It made it so much more fun!

standing while in labor to change positions
fetal monitoring while in labor
eating a clear liquid diet in labor
birth during covid in Las Vegas
use of oxytocin in labor
staying in contact with family members while laboring in the hospital
position changes while laboring in the hospital
breathing through contractions during a hospital birth

Nicole went into labor with the plan of listening to her body and deciding on an epidural, depending on how things went and how well she tolerated her contractions. She was so incredibly strong and maintained her composure throughout. I was completely in awe of her strength and determination.

physical support from husband during labor
beautiful birth images
mother breathing through contractions while laboring in the hospital
nurse adjusting external monitors on laboring mother in the hospital
support from husband and nurse in labor
husband hugging wife while in labor
patient supported by husband and nursing staff
nurse watching fetal monitoring while patient is laboring in her bed
the intensity of labor
a mother surrounded by love and support while laboring
standing and leaning on bed while laboring
beautiful birth images Las Vegas
preparations for delivery in the hospital
pushing with contractions while in the stirrups
first look at gender of their baby at a hospital birth
dad calling out the gender of his son at delivery in the hospital
the beauty of birth in the hospital setting in Las Vegas
dad cutting the cord after delivery in the hospital
parents meeting their baby for the first time after delivery
eye contact with baby after delivery
birth details in the hospital setting
staying connected with family while giving birth during COVID
newborn details as a birth photographer
newborn exam and measurements in the hospital setting
dad holding baby in the hospital after the newborn exam
dad holding his son near the radiant warmer after a hospital birth in Las Vegas
proud dad FaceTiming while in the hospital
dad holding his son after birth while mother rests
alert newborn less than two hours after birth
proud dad showing off his baby in the hospital

Nicole and Shawn are such amazing parents, and being away from the older two while they were in the hospital was hard. Thank goodness for FaceTime and family! It was important to them to capture as much as they could of siblings’ meetings for the first time, and since a Fresh 48 session was not an option because of restrictions, we did the next best thing and documented it as they came home!

big sister meeting her new brother for the first time at home

The meeting went even better than expected. Big sister was convinced she had a baby sister, so we expected some disappointment, and there was zero! They were both completely smitten by their new baby brother and wanted to check out every little detail.

introducing siblings to their new baby
brother and sister excited to meet their new baby brother at home
siblings holding their new baby brother for the first time.
fresh 48 session at home in Las Vegas
sister preparing to hold her new baby brother
sister holding her new baby brother for the first time at home.
sweet sibling moment after birth
sweet newborn at home 24 hours after delivery

And lastly, we were able to document their newborn session two weeks later in the comfort of their own home, where everyone felt at home and comfortable. Big brother and sister were still as smitten with their new baby brother, and it was so fun to see how they had all just fallen deeply and madly in love with this little guy.

whole family together on the parents bed during in home newborn session
in home newborn session in Las Vegas
sweet newborn session at home in Las Vegas
newborn close ups at home
dad and newborn on bed during in home newborn session
tender moment between dad and newborn son at home
mom dad and baby on bed at home during newborn session
newborn in mint wrap during in home newborn session
newborn session at home in Las Vegas
siblings during in home newborn session
sibling poses during newborn session

And finally, their beautiful birth story is told even more beautifully in film. Oh, what I would give to have my births captured forever in a complete birth story. I love that I can give this to the families that trust me with such an intimate and important time in their lives. Enjoy!

Unexpected Joy

Friday, October 2nd, 2020

mom and dad holding baby in their arms in an in-home newborn session in Las Vegas


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I have a whole list of reasons why I am passionate about documenting newborns and their families in their homes here in Las Vegas.

As much work as it is, I truly love blogging, especially if it can help someone else! Hopefully, this post will be helpful to anyone trying to decide whether an in-home newborn session is for them.

mom and dad holding baby in their arms in an in-home newborn session in Las Vegas

One of my favorite things about in-home newborn sessions is that they have so much more of a relaxed feel for me. I photographed newborns in my studio for six years and loved it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with posed newborn photography. The reason I moved away from my studio work into the homes of families and from posed to lifestyle is that I really developed a love for filmmaking and for really digging into the stories of each family. Birth stories have become my true passion. To be able to work cohesively with the families I serve, I really felt drawn away from the studio, and into the homes of families, where their memories are made and where they feel the most comfortable.

Las Vegas in-home newborn sessions in the comfort of your own home

Not having to take your baby out of the house during those first weeks is a good reason to consider an in-home session! I know that there are still appointments and places you have to go in those weeks, but the safest place is almost always home. You can control who interacts with your baby and know exactly how clean the items are that you use.

Las Vegas lifestyle newborn photography in your own home with children

This family is a good example of why I feel in-home newborn sessions are so wonderful. Although they had posed newborn images of their older two, they were really interested in capturing beautiful images without the worry and work of getting everyone out of the house and managing them in a strange environment.

newborn legs and feet in dads arms during in-home newborn session in Las Vegas

In the weeks before their due date, we communicated often, and I checked in to see how things were going. Mom had delivered at different gestations with her previous two, so it was hard to know which way she would go. As luck would have it, she went over her due date! When their baby finally arrived, things got even crazier. Poor dad got sick. Thank goodness the time crunch is not as vital for in-home newborn sessions. For posed newborn sessions I really tried to get my clients in within the first 10-14 days while the baby was still sleepy and easily settled in those adorable posed images you see.In contrast, lifestyle newborn images

focus on connections and a more natural feel to images. Your baby doesn’t necessarily have to be asleep. I do work to capture images of your baby alone and focus on those little details you don’t want to forget, but at a much more relaxed pace, and really follow the cues of your baby.

captured newborn personalities during in-home newborn session in Las Vegas

We were past the three-week mark when dad finally felt well enough for us to move forward with their session. Because time restrictions aren’t so stiff with in-home newborn sessions, we were able to be sure that dad could be present and feel well enough to participate.

mom and dad holding their newborn baby as they take in all their little details
little newborn smiles during an in home photography session in Las Vegas

Another thing I love about in-home newborn sessions is that siblings feel so much more at home, and are able to move in and out of the spaces we work in comfortably. Big brother and sister were able to go upstairs and play with their toys with their babysitter while I focused on mom and dad, helping everything to stay relaxed and everyone at ease, which shows in images!

mom holding her baby in her arms using window light in an in home newborn session in Las Vegas
dad and newborn baby interacting during home newborn session
black and white image of dad holding newborn son on his lap at home during photography session
a view from above of parents holding newborn son in their arms at home on their couch

Another thing I love about in-home newborn sessions is that we use the spaces that hold the most meaning to you. Your baby will grow in the spaces where all those memories unfold. I love that you and your children will look back on images we have captured together and have the sentimental feelings associated with them.

dad with siblings on couch while mom feeds newborn

While mom was feeding baby brother, we could just play and relax and capture some images of dad with big brother and sister.

mom and dad in their living room in their Las Vegas home during their newborn session
creative composition of baby with parents during an in home newborn session

We then moved to little E’s room to capture some of the details there. This is another space I love to use during newborn sessions.

baby in his crib during an in-home newborn session in Las Vegas
aerial perspective during newborn session to capture different perspectives using crib
baby in his crib during an in-home newborn session
mom and big brother and sister together during a newborn session in their home.
dads hands holding newborn son during a photography session in their nursery
big brother and sister holding their new baby brother at home in Las Vegas
siblings interacting with their new baby brother at home
big brother and sister holding their new baby brother in rocking chair

No matter where you document your newborn, whether by hiring a posed studio newborn photographer, or a lifestyle photographer in your own home, I encourage you to do so! The newborn stage of life is one of life’s most fleeting periods between sleepless nights, diaper changes, and feedings. It passes quickly, and they change even quicker!

Reasons to Consider an In-Home Newborn Session

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

Warriors bleed blue emblem on wheelchair of Dan Brite


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The Dan Brite Story

The story of Dan Brite and his family is one that touched me right to the core the first time I heard it, and even deeper still in the telling of it.

I have always been drawn to the story because I truly believe everyone has one, and it is in the telling of stories that we often times find hope, for healing, and inspiration.

As 2018 ended, I decided to launch my first The Story Giveaway for 2019, to spend time telling the story of one family, individual, or organization. I was pretty overwhelmed by the response I received and deeply touched by the stories that poured in. The task of choosing just one was so difficult, I would have loved to tell them all.

Dan and Christine were nominated by their friend Anitra, who has followed my work and has always been so kind and a huge supporter of me and my business.

As I continued to narrow down my selections after reading through every story multiple times and spending time in prayer, I just kept coming back to their story. The telling of it would mean traveling to Denver, but felt that it was a story worth traveling for!

Dan and Christine are both police officers with Douglas County in Denver, CO. At the time of their story, Dan served as a SWAT team leader and plain clothes detective, Christine as Detective Sergeant over the Special Victim’s Unit, and as a trained negotiator. Both were in roles they had worked hard to achieve, and both had long careers within law enforcement.

On September 02, 2016, Detective Dan Brite responded to a call involving a heavily armed man threatening police and others in an area near a hospital, assisted living facility, and elementary school. As the suspect eluded police and then returned to his home, where he had additional weapons stored, it became vital to stop him from entering his residence. As Dan led the team to intercept the suspect, he was shot in the line of duty. As the call unfolded, Christine was en route to the scene as a negotiator. It was while listening to radio transmissions that she learned that it was Dan that had been shot.

Their lives were forever changed in a moment. Detective Brite was transported quickly to the hospital by his team (which was vital in his survival). He had no pulse upon arrival at the hospital and twice endured full cardiac resuscitation. The second required his chest opening for manual cardiac massage as a last life-saving effort.

In the meantime, the suspect continued to elude police and arrived at the exterior of the same hospital where Dan was, and opened fire, it was here that he was eventually shot and killed by a fellow officer.

It wasn’t until hours after Dan arrived at the hospital that Christine could finally see him. Dan remained in critical condition. Both Christine and his daughter Ashley stood by his bedside throughout the night, and they both describe it as the longest night of their lives.
Dan remained unconscious for 11 days. It was in the uncertainty of what their life would look like and what type of long-term damage Dan would suffer those close friends, pastor, family, and law enforcement community surrounded them, held them, and prayed for them.

Christine describes sitting in a small room with two close friends and a pastor from work; as they talked and began praying, Christine felt a sense of relief, one that overcame her entire body. It was at this point that she placed the worry in God’s hands. She believed He wanted her to know that He was in control and would take care of Dan.

When Dan finally woke up, they discovered that through the aggressive life-saving interventions, he had suffered damage leaving him paralyzed from the mid-torso down. It was a devastating blow for them all.

After 5 weeks in the ICU unit, Dan was finally released to a rehabilitation hospital where he would spend the next two and a half months of his recovery learning how to live life in a wheelchair. It was just the beginning of a dark and difficult journey as he learned he had to depend on others.

Dan shared with me that as a man, father, and police officer, this was incredibly difficult. Dan describes the loss of his identity as one of the most difficult aspects of his recovery and one of the hardest to overcome. The realities of what he had lost and learning to accept life in a wheelchair were incredibly difficult for him. He struggled to find ways to deal with the loss. He became more depressed, angry, and irritated to the point of suicidal thoughts.

Dan and Christine have two beautiful daughters, and their journey was difficult not only for Dan but also for Christine and their daughters as they all struggled to navigate what their new life would be like. Their oldest daughter Ashley had just graduated high school, and their youngest, Addison, was just nine years old. Christine attempted to maintain a somewhat normal life for their daughters while being the emotional and physical support that not only Dan but their two daughters needed.

Christine says that when Dan came home in December 2016, everyone thought he was “better.” Little did people know they were struggling with the mental side of healing. Dan was extremely depressed. He slept 15+ hours a day, refused to get out of bed, hardly ate, and hated his life. She struggled with helping him and began experiencing caretaker fatigue. He was always upset, yelled a lot, and was never happy. It took a long time to adjust to the new style of living. They had to move from their home to a more wheelchair accessible one. She had to drive him to every appointment (there were LOTS!), and take kids to school, all while maintaining the household inside and out.

Through seeing a therapist, life became more manageable. The therapist zoned in on their trauma and provided them with tools and techniques to live the life they deserve. They still struggle with a lack of adaptable places, a lack of wheelchair-accessible parking spots, and cracks in sidewalks. They have learned to look for elevators and ramps. Dan still has lots of physical pain, complications (gallbladder removed, blood clots), and various medical issues that people aren’t always aware of.

Dan Brite at a church service in Parker, Colorado where he found hope and healing after being shot in the line of duty.

At Christine’s prompting, Dan began to attend church with her. During his first few visits, while listening to a sermon called Shipwrecked, Dan began to see the hope in his struggles. It became a turning point in his emotional recovery. It was in these days that he began to cling to that hope with white-knuckle strength. It was here that he began to see his purpose and his new identity. Dan has now become a huge advocate for mental health in the first responder community and a strong voice for suicide prevention among first responders.

Dan also describes the importance of community support in his recovery. Not only did friends, family, and community come alongside them in those first days and weeks, but three years later, they continued to stand with them and show up time and time again.

Warriors bleed blue emblem on wheelchair of Dan Brite
Dan Brite and his family Memorial Day weekend at Fort Logan

Dan describes his community as his safety net during these times and says their support and encouragement kept him from falling into a deeper depression.

Because of the impact of community and support on Dan and his recovery, his mission encouraged others to lean on that support, seek help when needed, and provide resources for first responders dealing with the mental struggles that they see and deal with daily. In this, he has found his new identity and continues to be a part of law enforcement now as Deputy in the role of Wellness Coordinator. He now spends time talking to first responders and encourages them to talk about their struggles.

Dan Brite placing flowers on graves at Logan Cemetery on Memorial Day

They have learned that they can do things they used to, which may look a little different, but the wheelchair has not stopped them from doing the things they love together as a family. They travel, fish, camp, and have found new hope because of the change in priorities that Dan’s injuries have brought.

Dan Brite getting in his wheelchair modified truck in Denver, Colorado.
Dan Brite at home with his wife Christine using mechanical legs provided by Home Depot in Denver, Colorado

What I was struck most by when I spent with them in their home while documenting their story was their willingness to be vulnerable. Their willing to share not only the victories but the struggles they overcame and still face individually and together as a family.

Ashley and Addison Brite jumping on a trampoline in Denver Colorado

Their daughters Ashley and Addison both talked openly about their struggles, from the fear of losing their dad, to the pain of seeing him suffer. They also shared the same gratitude in what coming through the other side of the darkest days has done for their relationship with each other, their dad, and Christine. They have all learned to communicate and express their love for each other out loud by being there for each other.

The Brite Family in 2019 in Denver Colorado after telling their story.
Ashley and Addison Brite talk about the difficulties when their father was shot in the line of duty.
Dan and Christine Brite together during the telling of their story in 2019
Ashley Brite and Addison Brite together in Denver Colorado
Dan and Christine Brite together in uniform after Dan Brite was shot in the line of duty.

The overwhelming message from them is that there is hope. There is hope through the struggles and darkest days, and they have made it their mission to share that hope with others.

Dan and Christine have created a foundation, the Dan Brite Scholorship, to give back to the community that has held them so well. Their foundation selects recipients for college/trade school scholarships.

Dan and Christine Brite together walking with him in his wheelchair and Christine walking beside him.
wrapping up the filming of the Brite story by Lisa Weingardt in Denver Colorado
Detective Dan Brite

Beyond the Darkest Days

Monday, December 2nd, 2019

Las Vegas birth story at San Martin hospital


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This is a time of year I find myself reflecting on the past year as planning for the new one begins. In these times of reflection, I realize just how blessed I am. I have been in business now for almost 9 years, most of them as a studio newborn photographer. As I focused on rebranding into the genre of birth photography over the past year and a half, there have been so many moments of fear and doubt. Would I be able to make it in this genre? It is a different direction, and I knew that I would lose some clients in the transition and rebrand, which was so scary.

This is one of those birth stories that helped confirm that my role as a Las Vegas birth photographer and storyteller is exactly where I am made to be.

I met this beautiful family when they were pregnant with their oldest daughter as they were searching for a maternity and newborn photographer. I fell in love with them right away and truly enjoyed working with them. Courtney grew up here in Las Vegas and has deep roots within our community; she is so well-connected. You are instantly drawn into their love for each other, beautiful sense of humor, and family’s importance.

When they were pregnant with their second child, I had already filled my calendar, so I could not take them on for their newborn session. I was ecstatic, to say the least, when Courtney contacted me early this summer about documenting the birth of their third baby! They had not documented their last two births, so this would be something new for them. It was something that she wish she had after the fact with her other two, which I have found so many families say. I think is through the birth of our children that we see less of the fears and more of the importance of capturing every bit of it, the desire to hold every little detail. It is such a momentous moment in life and one that can’t be repeated.

We talked about their wishes and hopes in documenting their birth through their questionnaire, email communications, and our in-person meeting, so I really had a good feel for the moments that were most important to them. Of course, I truly believe that seeing your birth story in video captures even more than still, images can, and we captured so much of both!

It is always so hard to narrow down which images to show, and it was so hard with theirs; I have so many favorites.

Courtney had gone a week over with her first and close to her due date with their second, so we figured it would be right around there. Her due date came and went, and as she approached her 41st week, she started experiencing a lot of prodromal labor, something she really hadn’t had with the other two. She spent the entire weekend before her birth contracting off and on, especially at night, so by the end of the weekend was pretty exhausted. I was on high alert the whole time, often communicating with her, keeping my gear charged, packed, and by the door ready for that phone call. I finally got the call just after midnight Monday morning; she was going in to be checked as her contractions were progressively becoming stronger. Since her hospital was half an hour away, I quickly got ready and headed over, which was perfect because she was 6 cms when they checked her. By the time I arrived, she was ready to move from triage to their room.

Las Vegas birth story at San Martin hospital
mom and dad walking on the labor unit at San Martin hospital after admission from triage
mom laboring at San Matin hospital using wireless monitoring

Courtney had planned on laboring as much as she could without Pitocin and planned to hold off on getting an epidural until closer to delivery, as she had done with the other two. Luckily, St. Rose San Martin hospital here in Las Vegas has wireless monitoring available, so she was able to move freely throughout the room, change positions frequently, and continue to stand, which is the most comfortable position for her.

husband's supportive touch throughout labor in Las Vegas
walking around in the room with wireless monitoring at a Las Vegas hospital during labor
rocking during contractions to help with the pain during labor while in the hospital
giving a mother space during labor for rest

They had only been in the room for about an hour when things started progressing, and Courtney was ready for her epidural, so anesthesia was called. As she waited for the anesthesiologist to arrive, things changed very quickly, and her water broke after a string of intense contractions. It was soon clear that the baby was coming without an epidural, and her doctor was there.

keep calm and push on socks worn in delivery at Las Vegas hospital

A delivery table was quickly made for her as staff rushed about the room, and the hospital laborist was called when it was clear her OB would not make it in time. Things changed in mere minutes. Within one contraction of the laborist arriving at the bedside, their baby was here!

beautiful black and white image of a Las Vegas birth at St Rose San Martin in Las Vegas

Things happened so quickly that it took everyone some time to process them. Aaron literally had to sit down and gather for a minute, and he saw some things (they are both morticians). He gathered himself and then got right back up there and encouraged and loved on Courtney and their new baby; it was such a tender and beautiful moment.

dad supporting mom during the pushing stage of labor with cool washcloths
checking vital signs while mother and infant experience skin to skin after a hospital birth
dad and newborn skin to skin after a hospital birth in Las Vegas
weighing baby on a scale at San Martin St. Rose hospital in Las Vegas
family members present for birth spending time with the new baby in the moments following birth

By the time they had delivered and spent that important first hour of skin-to-skin with their new baby, it was the early morning hours. In just a few hours, the siblings would be up and headed for school, so we decided to have me run home and freshen up and then come back and document them meeting little Alessandra before school started. This was something that was really important to Courtney and Aaron and we had really hoped that the timing would work out with the timing of their delivery, so it was perfect!

fresh 48 session at San Martin hospital with baby in the bedside crib
mom holding her baby in their own wrap in the hospital bed for a fresh 48 session
big brother meeting the new baby in the hospital for a fresh 48 session in Las Vegas

The siblings meeting their new baby sister was one of my favorite parts of it all; it was so tender and adorable! Both were totally smitten with their new baby sister and fascinated at every little detail they could take in.

big sister meeting her new baby sister for the first time in the hospital after birth
big brother kissing his baby sister after meeting her in the hospital after delivery

introducing siblings in the hospital after the baby is born
taking in all those little newborn details in the hospital after birth

And we weren’t done! Because they had documented newborn sessions with the older siblings, they wanted to come up with a good middle ground. Because I no longer photograph studio-posed newborn, we scheduled an in-home newborn session once they got home and settled. We captured a few posed images they could hang on their walls to remain cohesive and then continued with a more lifestyle session. It turned out so adorable. Big brother and sister were still just as smitten with their new baby, and it was so nice to see them all together in their home, where most of their memories are made!

in home newborn session Las Vegas photographer
family together with newborn in their own home for a lifestyle newborn session
siblings holding their new baby sister during their in home newborn session in Las Vegas
parents posed with baby in an in home newborn session
mom and baby posing during an in home newborn session
big sister posing with her new baby sister during in home newborn session
big brother and sister posing with their new baby sister from above
lifestyle in home newborn session in Las Vegas
cute newborn yawn during lifestyle newborn session in Las Vegas

The Birth of Alessandra

Monday, November 11th, 2019


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A Las Vegas Family-Centered Birth

August has been my busiest birth month to date. I took on more birth clients this month than I ever had because each was so unique and special ( I still have one more to go at this point).

I limit the number of births I take a month to ensure that I am available when you go into labor, no matter the time of day. I don’t book much of anything else while on call for birth for the same reason.

Sarah Beth is a local photographer and dear friend. She is an extremely talented newborn and birth photographer (in fact, we are each other’s birth backups!); you need to check out her work! Sarah Beth Chamberlain Photography.

I was so honored when she reached out to me early in her pregnancy to book me! She knew early on what type of birth she wanted and where to deliver, and she worked hard to make it all come true. They are a military family and had delivered in two different states with their two older children and two different types of facilities with two entirely different experiences. Their oldest son was born in a hospital setting, and their second child was in a birth center. She found her second birth more in line with her wishes and really felt that if things were progressing normally in her pregnancy, and if she was not high risk then a home birth is what she really longed for. We spent time talking about her hopes and dreams for this birth, and she decorated her birth space just as she wanted.

She had gone early with her previous two deliveries and experienced preterm contractions for months leading up to her birth. She just wanted to make it to the 37-week mark to feel confident delivering at home. She went right at the 37-week mark! Sarah had an appointment with her midwife April Clyde of Serenity Birth Center on the day she went into labor things were looking great, but she just really had the intuition that it was going to happen soon. Her adorable son was especially eager to meet his baby brother and told the midwife that it would happen that night.

There is no better way to share their birth story than in Sarah Beth’s own words!

Everett aired his wishes for his little brother to be born all day on Tuesday. A number of times, including at our 37-week prenatal appointment that morning, he brought up the fact that it was a full moon and a lunar eclipse. He’d heard that lots of mommas go into labor under a full moon, and he was eager to get the party started.

That night we did our usual evening stretches, walking, and spinning babies exercises to try and encourage Waylon to turn out of his posterior position. At around 9:30PM I started having frequent but light contractions. After having rounds of prodromal labor since week 32 of this pregnancy, and that being the norm for all of my pregnancies, I didn’t really put too much hope into this being the start of labor. However, I phoned the midwives and our birth photographer anyway just to give them a heads up. Josh and I went to bed. Either way, we needed rest.

At 1:50 AM, Evangeline came into our room. It had been months since she woke up in the middle of the night, but she was at my bedside, wanting some cuddles. I told her to wait just a moment so I could go potty, and then we could snuggle. After emptying my bladder, it became obvious that my water had broken. I woke Josh and returned to the bathroom. When he rose and came to check on me a few minutes later, I needed a whole stack of towels for clean up. Somehow, I think Evangeline awoke because she sensed something stirring. I probably would have slept for another hour at least.

After calling our birth team to let them know things were happening, contractions began to pick up pretty rapidly. Evangeline was eager to wake up Everett, but we managed to keep her from doing so for about an hour. I had woken up quite hungry from the contractions doing work while I slept, so Josh brought me snacks. Strawberries, blueberries, and corn chips. I’d regret the corn chips later, but I needed the energy. I sat on the birth ball, leaned on the wall with Josh applying back pressure, and couldn’t decide whether the tub or the toilet felt like a better place to hang out. Sarah, one of our midwives, arrived and checked for dilation. I was just 3 cms, so we had some work to do. I tried to stay out of the tub as much as I could, although it offered some relief to those powerful contractions that come after the cushion of a bag of waters has been emptied. I walked the hallway, rocked some more, and did whatever I needed to do to tell my body to get things moving. Sure enough, gravity and good labor positions eventfully led to some signs of transition. We sent for Sarah and April.

This stage felt nothing like either of our first two babies because this baby was not quite in the same position. He’d been posterior for weeks, and although he’d started to turn, it felt like he wasn’t nestled in quite the same. Nevertheless, I felt hot and nauseous, and I knew this meant that the tide was shifting toward delivery. I got in the tub and had Josh apply back pressure. A few contractions in, the nausea took over and up came those tortilla chips. With that heave however, I felt Waylon shove firmly down into my pelvis. That was the nudge we needed. Josh continued to squeeze into my back while I labored in the tub, waiting for the urge to push. Sarah wafted peppermint at me to ease the nausea. I was exhausted, and dozing off for a second or two between contractions. It seemed like it took so long, and when I felt that first pushing wave begin I cried out “yes”. I was so ready get this done and hold my baby.

With each wave of pushing contractions, I tried to squeeze in two to three pushes. Josh squeezed hard on my back to offer relief. After the first three waves, I was thinking okay, where’s my baby. Two to three pushes was all it took for big brother and sister. Waylon seemed so much harder to squeeze through, and he was descending slower. I needed to feel progress, so I reached down after each surge to feel for him, measuring his position in knuckles. At one point we made backwards progress, but it only made me fight harder. With the next wave I began to roar with each push. I heard Josh chuckle from behind me. This “beast mode” was new to him too, and amusing. I had to admit to myself it kind of was. Finally, Waylon was crowning. I reached down to feel his little head and was surprised to feel fingers. He had surfaced with a forward presenting arm. As I played with his fingers, waiting for one final wave of pushes, he grasped my finger. Sarah unwrapped his cord from around his neck. One final push, and he was out. I brought him up to my chest and snuggled him up. He had a perfectly round little face and was completely peaceful. As we rubbed his little back and stimulated him to get him to use his lungs, he finally let out a little cry. I could see he had a complete tongue tie like his brother. We also discovered that he had a knot in his cord, which was neat to see.

After some snuggles in the tub, Everett cut the cord, and we got out to warm up in our cozy bed. Waylon had his newborn exam, weighing in at 7lbs, 12 ounces, and 21 inches. He had his tongue tie clipped, and he latched right away when he was brought back to me. Such a relief to have him nursing easily. He’s been a pretty awesome feeder since. Everyone in the family is just smitten with him.

This was the most tender home birth I have seen; Sarah Beth was surrounded by and loved on by her family her entire labor. You could just feel the anticipation and excitement from big brother and sister and their awe of the whole process.

As soon as I documented those first tender moments with their baby and the newborn exam, I stepped out to give mama her much-needed time with her baby. I generally stay 1-2 hours post-delivery to capture those first moments and skin-to-skin.

I returned the next day for a Fresh 48, which is always fun because I get to continue documenting those first days with your baby. There is nothing like it; everything is so fresh and new and you are just soaking in what you have done and just how much you love this little human that you have created and finally get to hold in your arms. It truly is life’s greatest love story, in my opinion.

The Birth of Waylon

Monday, August 19th, 2019

As long as I can remember I have been drawn to stories and the people, like you, that make them worthwhile.

It’s an honor that you let me capture yours.

let's capture the beginning of it all. 

Big feelings, big changes, and big experiences are on the horizon