5 Reasons You Should Hire a Birth Photographer

If you are like I used to be, you absolutely cringe and are boggled at the idea of having your birth photographed.  All you can think about is how someone is going to be taking pictures of your lady bits and the photos will look like a murder scene.  If that is how you think it is going to go, I don't blame you for not wanting a birth photographer.  But I'm going to give you five reasons for why you should hire a birth photographer.  Here we go.  

 

1.  The Memories of Your Baby

This is one of the most important days of your life.  You're going to want it documented.  You may not be thinking about it when you are in labor, but, in the future, when you are taking your sweet five-year-old to his/her first day of Kindergarten, you'll be extremely grateful you had the courage to get a birth photographer so you have those pictures to go home and weep on.  

 

2.  The Memories of Your Husband 

My favorite pictures my sisters took during my labors are the ones of my husband supporting me and the first moments of him holding our babies.  To see the love in his eyes for our new little bundle is something I will cherish forever and having an actual photograph of this moment is very special to me.

 

3.  To allow your husband to be present.

After you have a baby, you will have skin-to-skin for a while, they will do the baby's measurements, and a few other things.  I remember asking my husband to go take pictures of our last baby getting all that done.  I wish I would have had someone else there to do that so he could have been 100% present instead of bothering with the camera on his phone.

 

4.  To allow YOURSELF to be present.

Believe me, after having just birthed a small human, you are going to want to lay back and relax without having to direct your husband or mom to get all your desired shots.  Devoting this much of your thoughts to pictures instead of your new little boy or girl is only going to create an inordinate amount of mama guilt and trust me when I say mama guilt is real and it's no joke.  To minimize this as much as possible, it's best to hire someone to handle all the details for you - which leads me to the last reason.

 

5.  Professional is best.

I may be biased but professional photos are the best.  Professional photographers know the best angles, what photos to capture, and will be able to provide you with a great stylized session to capture the magic of your child's birth.  Not only that, but professionals will often times meet up with you at least once for a consultation well in advance of your due date to go over all the minor details of your special day.  During your consultation your photographer will discuss what shots you want captured, your birth plan and how they'll fit into it, and how they can best serve you when you are in labor.  

 

Do yourself a favor and hire a professional birth photographer.  I promise you won't regret it! 

New Year, New Goals

I know what you're thinking, "Not another New Years resolution post."   Well yes, I have some things to say and you should listen up!  I have always been the type of person who gets overly excited about the new year and setting these lovely "resolutions".  The goals I would set would look something like this - lose all the pounds, read my Bible every single day, be a better person, etc.  They were always too broad and I would give up in the middle of January which would make me feel worse about myself.  This year, I took a step back and really focused on what I wanted and needed out of 2018.  My photography business has a lot of room for growth, my spiritual and mental health needs more attention - not just reading my Bible but also building a stronger relationship with Christ, my kids need more of my focus/attention and I need to consider my husband's needs on the daily.   All of these goals have helped me come up with my word of the year - DISCIPLINE.  Good grief, could that word be any more intimidating?  Discipline has never been my strong suit which has made me pretty lazy.  Yep, I admit it, I can be extremely lazy - a lot.   I have been listening to the book "The Miracle Morning" on Audible and it has changed my whole outlook on what I should be doing before 8 AM.  This has changed my day drastically. Before I started doing this, I would sleep until the kids woke up and if they woke up before 6:30 (which was basically everyday), I was one cranky mama.  My biggest problem was that I wouldn't go to bed until 11 PM or midnight.  In my mind, I had been "momming" all day and just wanted some time to get things accomplished on my own personal list and I wanted to hang out with my husband.  With me going to bed before 10 PM, I am able to wake up at 5:30 AM ready to conquer the day.  I have made AM and PM goals which have helped a ton.  I follow @weescoutphotos on Instagram and she goes into great detail on these.  Remember, these are my goals, not my schedule.

       AM

  • Scripture/prayer/affirmations
  • Podcast while getting ready
  • Eat breakfast while continuing podcast or listen to worship music
  • Workout 
  • Play with the kids with no interruptions/read with them
  • Smoothie (I'm terrible at getting my greens in so I schedule it!)

      PM

  • Dinner together - ask questions and visit
  • Brush kid's teeth (Yep, I have to have a reminder!)
  • Family prayers/devotion 
  • Continue Ed. for photography (A big goal for me is to learn something new about photography every single day)
  • Spend time with my husband.

I am also a visual person which makes writing things down essential for me.  Also, since I am a creative person, visually pleasing products make me super happy!  One of those items is my Erin Condren planner.  I just ordered a new one and it's not in just yet so I will share my 2017 planner which they still have on their website!  When my planner comes in, I will share everything it comes with.  

 

 

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Come back soon to read more on tips to rock 2018!  I will be sharing books, podcasts, influencers, etc.

 

xo.

 

- Brittani 

EMBRACING THE STORM

On March 3rd 2017, Nick and I found out we were expecting our third child. We were thrilled, to say the least. On the same day, Nick, being the logical planner, immediately started to look at our kids' rooms to see which room they would share.  As for me, being the dreamer, I started coming up with names, downloaded pregnancy apps so I could keep up with development, and began to think about all the holidays the baby would be a part of this year.  There's just something about the third kid that makes you plan ten times faster. For us, we had never miscarried and fortunately became pregnant fairly quickly so something happening never crossed our minds which made planning more exciting and carefree. 

A few weeks into the pregnancy, something seemed off.  I was abnormally exhausted, depressed beyond belief, and became sick at about 4 weeks which was pretty early for me. My first prenatal appointment was right around the corner; I was able to get through each day because I had something to look forward to.  At the beginning of April, before ever being able to have that first appointment, I started to have some odd cramping and I finally went to the ER because I was really worried and the cramping was getting worse.  Nick stayed home with the kids while I went to the ER.  They performed an ultrasound and told me there was no baby but they saw what appeared to be a gestational sac.  I was told to go to my OB the next day to check my hCG levels and for another ultrasound.  At that appointment, they told me my hCG levels went up significantly but they couldn't find the heartbeat.  

A little backstory, we were told we lost Olivia at eight weeks and then they found her heartbeat five days later. That's a story for another day but this made me not trust the doctor this time. Not that I thought she didn't know what she was doing but we had already been through this before. After three more ultrasounds and my hCG levels continuing to increase in the span of a week and a half, my doctor came to the conclusion I had a molar pregnancy. Weird name right?  Let's just say I did WAY too much googling that afternoon. My OB called me a few days later and told me there was a small chance the molar pregnancy could turn into cancer and they needed to get it out ASAP. They scheduled me for an emergency D&C (dilation and curettage) for the following Friday, two days later. It was a super quick surgery and the recovery was fairly uncomplicated.  I had to go on medication a few days later due to excessive bleeding but other than that, it was a breeze.  Emotionally...hmm...not so much. We had to wait 10 days to find out if it was a complete or partial molar pregnancy.  We found out I had a complete molar pregnancy which happens when a sperm fertilizes an empty egg (a baby was never there from the beginning) and you start to grow a non-cancerous mass in your uterus. Your body thinks you're pregnant so you have all the symptoms but they are more heightened due to the extreme hCG levels. The danger of a molar pregnancy is it can essentially spread and become cancerous.  It's very interesting and quite intriguing but not fun when it's happening to you.  We did have a praise though - it was NEVER a baby. Good gracious, that fact right there took off so much of the emotional burden I had been carrying.  I was still devastated because we had been planning for this baby for almost a full trimester. I had prayed over this baby, guessed the gender, came up with several names, imagined them with Olivia and Easton, and tracked my progress every week with my baby apps. 

This experience gave me a lot of insight:
(1)  It's okay to be sad. Every Friday when I should be a week closer to my due date, I get sad. I would have been 25 weeks yesterday. 

(2)  I have learned it is okay to be over-the-moon excited for friends who announce their pregnancies but it's also okay to be sad about your loss. 

(3)  Nick and I's marriage grew more than I ever thought it could. He stayed up into the wee hours of the night and held me while I cried. There were times when he would tear up because he was scared and felt helpless.  

(4)  Y'all, men grieve differently than women.  When I was sad because I felt as though I lost something, Nick was optimistic because he knew we'd become pregnant again.  He felt as though it was helpful to be optimistic but I just wanted someone to grieve with and to affirm my feelings.  Now, looking back, I'm thankful he was hopeful because the grieving process would have definitely been a lot longer for me. 

(5)  I appreciate my children more than ever and am so grateful they are healthy. 

(6)  Our friends and family are amazing.  We had so many people bring us meals, gifts, pray for us, send cards, and send us the sweetest texts.  Nick and I felt so blessed by everyone! 

(7)  I am strong. I have had over 30 blood draws from March to today and still have to go back every month until December to make sure it doesn't come back and turn into cancer.  I have no idea what my future holds. We could go on to having perfectly healthy pregnancies or it could come back. I have no idea but I am holding onto God's promises - He is faithful. 

Today, I can 100% say, I would never take these past five months back. It has made me into a better wife, mom, friend, and believer.  I am stronger because God conquered.  

"My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness."  2 Corinthians 12:9


-Brittani
 

WELCOME

This is my very first blog entry so bear with me. I'll get the hang of it.  This isn't a place where I will only be posting about my photography sessions.  I want this to be a place where I come to chat with y'all.  Today's post, I will go more in depth than my "Meet Brittani" page. 

Edmond, Oklahoma is our hometown which is also where I grew up in my teen years.  We have two pups, Willow who is a Schnauzer mix & Baker, who is a Great Pyrenees.  Having two under the age of 4 and two dogs make life blissfully wild!  My favorite thing to do is watch YouTube, take pictures (obviously), cook, and I love to read but never seem to do it.  I am pretty much a wanna-be bookworm. Ha! 

Now, my honey.  Let's go way back real quick.  I met Nick back in high school when I was 14 & he was 16.  We started off as friends but later grew to like each other.  A lot. November 16th 2005, Nick finally worked up the courage & asked me to be his girlfriend.  Here's the catch though - I wasn't allowed to date.  For the first year of our relationship, we were able to work on our friendship due to us not being able to be alone.  Just like every high school girl, I struggled with mega insecurities. Nick affirmed me all the time which boosted my spirit.  He saved my high school years & made them easier.  That definitely shaped what our marriage is like today.  We are still best friends first which is really fun & makes marriage smoother.  We dated all through high school, college (for him), & were married June 18th, 2011.  Today is our sixth wedding anniversary & I am just so extremely grateful for that man.  

Now Olivia.  She is a spitfire who knows what she wants & loves hard.  She feels all emotions big which I know will help her change a lot of lives someday.  As a person who is also a "big feeler", I definitely try to protect her heart.  She will be four next month & our relationship is only getting stronger.  

My little fella, Easton.  This is going to sound terrible but I panicked a little on the inside when I found out we were having a boy.  I grew up with my two sisters & only knew girls besides my dad & husband.  When they say boys & their mamas bond in a different way, it's 100% true.  He melts my heart constantly.  I'm not sure if it's because he's the baby right now or what.  He's stubborn but oh so sensitive & I love that!  He is such a sweet boy.  I can see him growing up & being just like his daddy!  Every time I make eye contact with him, I see Nick.

I am in love with my little family & cannot wait to share more about them & a lot of other aspects of my life.  

Talk to y'all soon!

xoxo

Brittani