I’ve had the honor of photographing 53 BEAUTIFUL births. Each one so incredibly special in their own way. I can say without a doubt in my mind that my favorite moment of birth is the moment you meet that little one you already know. That rush of emotions.. Every single reaction is different. Each unique. But they’re always beautiful. I feel so blessed to call this my job. To be able to preserve such an important, life altering moment for so many incredible families.
From the moment Brandy & Steve found out about Jasmine she was part of their family. She was theirs, but the state of Florida made it official this week. I was honored to have been there to witness such a beautiful moment for this family. This was their second time going through this process (the first time with Jasmine's older sister), Brandy said this time was much quicker than the last, she also said "I almost feel bad having everyone come for such a short moment". Instantly I thought NO WAY, I am SO GLAD we were all there to show support and love for this moment, this may have been a quick day but the moments leading up to it were long. They were sometimes hard, but this quick moment, was a blessing. Jasmine has been their baby since her birth when they got to take her home from the nicu, but this was it. She's now a Brown.
This "quick" day couldn't have come to a more deserving family. Jasmine is blessed to have such an amazing forever family.
I have another birth story for you. But I'm not going to tell this one. This Mama's journey to motherhood is best told by her. Infertility and adoption aren't talked about enough. I hope Brandy's story inspires you, just as she's inspired me.
"After my loving husband and I endured eight years of infertility, two rounds of IVF and one miscarriage, God led us to complete our family through adoption. We had always discussed it but had not yet put anything into action. Once we started the process, I felt strongly led specifically to adopt a baby girl. A year after starting the process, we were blessed with our daughter Lillian Belle on 04/01/2016. We knew we had always wanted to have at least two children but wanted to wait to start the process again. February 2017 brought us a surprise opportunity to adopt, but we felt that it was not what God had planned for us. This experience did make us address that we were indeed ready to adopt again. We met Kayla Reeder, after she was recommended by my best friend for Lillie’s First Birthday pictures and asked her to take a couple of pictures to announce our wanting to start our second adoption. Before we could use those pictures to make our announcement, we got the most amazing news. We believe in open adoption and had kept in touch with Lillian’s birth family who has also became an extension to our family. So the same day that we received our pictures from Kayla, also became the same day that we were asked to adopt Lillian’s sibling. In May, I was blessed to experience something that I thought would be impossible in my life. I witnessed the ultrasound and discovery that the baby we were adopting was another baby girl. God had given us her name the night before: Jasmine Ruth. We also found out the due date was August, but July brought us our baby girl. She was several weeks early, so her first week of life, we spent with her in the NICU but the day we left to bring her home was one of those wonderfully unforgettable days. Our life is doubly blessed because of our two girls who have brought such joy, love and happiness to our life. We adore that they have each other and know this is something that only God could have done."
Hailey knew what day she was going to have her surprise gender baby and she knew baby was going to come quick! I just didn't realize how quick. Alex messaged me that morning to let me know she was 6-7cm so I took my time and headed her way since she was only 10 minutes from my house. I walked up to labor and delivery with no since of urgency. after all she was just entering transition.. as soon as I walked through the doors I was met by a nurse who asked if I was going to be in the room during delivery, of course I answered... "You better hurry" ... I ran down the hall to her room where Dr Hamby was just walking in! I quickly got to work, documenting those last minutes before her son was Earthside. It's A BOY dad said! The room was full of joy! Just look at Dr Hamby's face! What a blessing to call this my career! Documenting these perfect moments for amazing people!
A huge thank you to Dr Hamby & the sweet nurses at North Okaloosa Medical Center for their excellent care and welcoming my camera into their space.
Hailey & Alex, congratulations! I am so happy for you and your family of FIVE! Hudson is one loved little boy!
I love this birth story because it has such a happy ending. My mom works with Nicole! She told me that Nicole's husband may not be there for the birth of their first daughter. I immediately got into contact with Nicole to see what we could do.. WELLL just 4 days before Kenadee made her debut DADDY WAS HOME! What a relief. After UNDER TEN MINUTES OF PUSHING (I know.. WHAAATTTTTT) Kenadee was born at North Okaloosa Medical Center with an amazing and supportive staff, including Dr Hamby, who is an absolute joy to work with.
So proud of you Nicole, you rocked baby Kenadees birth. It was an honor to be there for you & Steven!
Chelsea and I talked about her birth plan months before she actually gave birth. I was so excited that she and her care provider had made the decision to attempt a vaginal delivery. I asked her to tell me a little about that, I'd love to share her words with you all:
"Wow. Where do I begin, we found out mid February that my husband and I would be welcoming not one, but two babies into this crazy world. To join our other two kids, Addyson and Waylon. I remember that first doctors appointment like it was yesterday, and one of the first questions was, “am I going to be able to deliver them vaginally” my doctor told me we will do what we can. Later on as the pregnancy progressed and the babies were doing well, baby A was head down already around 20 weeks and my doctor told me as long as Liv (baby A) stayed head down, we would be able to deliver the way I hoped. And we did. We had the twins on August 18,2017. I had delivered vaginally with both of my singletons. And I thought this would be just the same, I was wrong. I had not one but two epidurals that didn’t work, so the pain was something I had never felt. It was the most excruciating pain. I thought it was never going to end and I kept thinking i just can’t do this. I just want to have a c-section. But next thing I knew I was being checked and wheeled off to the O. R room for delivery. Liv was born first, posterior aka, sunny side up and 10 minutes later Mila followed behind. The pain was gone, the twins were here and they were every bit of perfection. It was all worth it. We left the hospital 2 days later. No nicu for the twins, no health issues. And Kayla Reeder documented every little thing. She made life long memories for me and my family, that I will cherish forever. "
Chelsea you were so absolutely amazing! It was an honor to document Liv & Mila's birth!
I love telling birth stories through images but the words aren't mine to share. This is Carter's birth story written by her strong, amazing mother.
"I was 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant when I went to my last OB appointment June 12th, 2017 to check my amniotic fluid levels, as they had been dropping for about 2 weeks.
Dr. Seaton decided that I needed to be induced that night because my fluid levels were too low to continue carrying until labor started on its own. It was exciting and scary all at once knowing our lives were about to change and our precious baby girl would be here the next day.
I got to the hospital at around 8:30, and Dr. Seaton broke my water at midnight. My contractions started immediately. I had chosen to give birth as naturally as I could with no epidural, and I truly believed I was prepared for what I was about to experience. I walked the hallways, sat on a yoga ball, and moved as much as I could, and eventually the pain was so intense that I could not stay still. I was dilated to 4 cm for hours, and my body just would not progress on its own. Carter's heart rate was dropping, and I eventually 'faced the music" and asked for an epidural . As soon as I had received it, I began to progress very quickly and was able to rest. Before I knew it, it was time to push and bring our baby girl into the world!
I pushed for approximately 15 minutes with vacuum extraction assistance before Carter Amelia took her first breath. When she was placed on my chest, I could not stop the tears and the love I felt for this slimy little purple thing I had just given life too. I was in disbelief that after 9 long months of anticipation and excitement, and 15 hours & 36 minutes of labor had ended in this one fleeting moment. My pregnancy had just ended, but it was only the beginning of a much bigger chapter in my life: Motherhood.
Her first few moments in the world were just a little bit rough for her, as she had fluid in her lungs and they had to use suction to remove it. She was such a trooper and got through it with no problems! She was perfect: 7 lbs and 10 oz of cuddly cuteness, 20.5 inches long, 10 little fingers, 10 tiny toes, a pretty little nose, the sweetest cheeks.... She certainly was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life and I had given birth to to her. She was mine! I could never explain in words the amount of love I experienced that day. Every little bit of her was an answered prayer.
My husband, Richard, and my Mom were there supporting me through the entire process, and I could not have asked for a better support group. I had such an amazing group of nurses and hospital staff at the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, and I am so thankful for everything they did for me to help me feel as comfortable as possible.
And I am so thankful to my wonderful birth photographer who captured all of those moments, and because of her, I will get to keep them forever. I could never thank her enough for her support and the wonderful job she did!"
It's that time of year. The time of year where you reflect on the highs and lows and make goals for the next year. This year was such an amazing one for KRP. I was able to witness 22 beautiful births (and one more due any day now!) Each woman worked so hard to bring their little one/s into the world. The beauty and strength of the birthing woman is out of this world. I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to hold space for these women. I look forward to serving even more women and families next year as the expand their families.
After spending way too many hours going through each gallery I've chosen one image from their birth to share here as my Best of 2017. May these images show you just how STRONG women truly are, and inspire you.
Thank you to each family that welcomed me with open arms, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018.