Oh my goodness, where to even begin with this one?! This radiant mama to be and I used to work at Best Buy together many moons ago!! I am so very grateful or the power of social media for allowing me to keep in contact with friends and family from all over. Michelle moved to Rochester, PA (just over the Ohio/PA border) a few years ago to be closer to family. She met her husband (and baby daddy!) Dan, and the rest is history. They are expecting their first child, a baby boy, any day now!! I cannot wait to see and meet little Sawyer Daniel! <3
24 weeks along with my little princess!
EEEEK! How surreal, crazy, exciting...we are 6 months along with our little girl! It doesn't even seem real.
I don't even know the last time I took an actual bump photo and the truth is, I rarely feel "good enough". Meaning my hair is RARELY styled, make up is a luxury, and finding the time to set up my camera and do the editing is rather difficult! My hair is often in a bun on top of my head, leggings on, and some sort of stained up t shirt on my top half :) While those may come across as complaints, they really aren't. I can't stress enough how lucky I am to be able to stay at home and raise, grow, and have my babies! But being photo ready is a rare occurrence....lol!
24 weeks along into this pregnancy and for the most part, another wonderful pregnancy! I caught viral bronchitis a few weeks ago and MAN was that terrible! I was coughing so hard I was having contractions, was on bed rest for about a week, and just felt plain awful. I am so thankful to have such a loving hubby who didn't hesitate to take over toddler and house duty for a full week! He even cooked some dinners for us <3 Other than that sickness, I have been feeling TONS of Braxton Hicks contractions and lots of heartburn. If this little girl is anything like her big brother, she will be born with a full head of hair! Though I don't recall having much heart burn with Asher's pregnancy? Who knows!
She is growing right on schedule and will hopefully be here around mid May! Heartbeat has consistently hovered around 145bpm and this week she is the size of an ear of corn! :) Approximately weighing in at 1.5 pounds and active as can be. As of Monday's appointment with our midwife, baby is head down! Of course she can flip a few more times before birth, but it's great knowing she is in the right direction!
Thanks to a few close friends, baby girl has ALL the clothes she needs for the first few months of life! She does have a few of her brother's newborn clothes (gender neutral) which is so sweet to see in her dresser. I washed all of her clothes, blankets, and swaddles and am in the process of sorting it all into drawers this week. I splurged on two items for her: a rock and play and a snuggle me organic! Asher LIVED in his rock and play for the first 4 months of life, and we had the most generic version of it possible. Little miss has the cadillac of rock and plays! :) And if you're not familiar with the snuggle me, it's very similar to the dock a tot! I've heard so many amazing things from other mamas about these, and if it's one thing I've learned thus far into motherhood...LISTEN TO MOMS!
I think we decided on her name, and I *think* we are sticking with her brother's initials of ARH. <3 Of course, I named Asher "Huck" my entire pregnancy, and as soon as he came out, I knew he wasn't a Huck. So while we are planning on her name, things may change after we meet her! :) And sorry friends, we'd like to keep her name to ourselves for a few more months. I know it probably sounds so silly, but some things as parents you just like keeping to you and your partner. It's my way of really bonding with her and I'm not quite ready for everyone's opinions yet ;) While most people usually say complimentary things, there's always those few people who tell you how they really feel! Regardless, her name is something I had dreams of before even becoming pregnant with her. It's just so emotional thinking that my dreams are literally coming true! <3
Every new mom knows all the things she looks forward to once baby is here. You're SO ready to not be pregnant by the time week 37 gets here so when it finally does end, you can't wait for things to become "normal" again. Today marks 4 weeks since I gave birth (what!) so I wanted to share a few things that have been celebrated :)
1. This deserves number one for sure- Fitting into your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans! This just happened this past week, and while I am not one to brag, I'm pretty damn excited about it! Wearing maternity jeans sucks. Correction, wearing maternity jeans not pregnant sucks. If you were like me, you barely spent any money on maternity clothes so by the time baby arrived, I was SO tired of rotating the same 4-5 outfits. I have a beautiful closet full of clothes and not being able to wear them has been torture! I still have work to do, but it's amazing knowing my body is recovering and healing! :)
2. Your first cocktail. Ohhhh yessss. That first drink in 9 plus months tastes way better than it probably is. Once you know your baby's "schedule" and your feeding routine, having a drink at the end of the night is SO relaxing. Whether it's a glass of red wine or a bottle of your favorite beer, be sure to enjoy it!
3. Putting your wedding rings back on. My wedding band & engagement ring are my absolute favorite pieces of jewelry so I was CRUSHED around week 28 when my swollen little fingers couldn't wear them any longer. That moment when they slid on after baby it's such an exciting (and for me, emotional) moment! My husband worked hard to gift those rings to me so they're really important to us both <3
4. The bleeding stops. Ah, sorry for this one BUT it's a good one. The recovery and healing process after birth is a long road, full of more gross stuff. Your body's blood volume increases as much as 50% during pregnancy so you can imagine after birth, that all has to go somewhere! That moment you can comfortably not have to wear a maxi pad is a great moment! :)
5. Stepping out by yourself. Don't get me wrong, leaving the house without my baby is tough. But even running to the grocery store while my husband watches him is SO freeing. To be able to turn "mommy mode" off for 45 minutes is NEEDED. Remember me talking about taking care of yourself so you can take care of them? This is part of that. Give baby to grandma or daddy for an hour and just get out. Get a coffee, a pedicure, or in my case, roam the aisles of Giant Eagle, all baby free :)
And of course, enjoy every moment. Even though my baby is only 4 weeks old, I don't know where those 4 weeks have gone. Each day passes quicker and quicker! I'm celebrating my own set of milestones today, but can hold off on his! <3
Motherhood photography has always been a favorite of mine. From photographing a first time expectant mother to her birth to her journey throughout the stages of motherhood, I can't get enough! The bond between a mother & child is something I can never fully put into words. It is one of those moments in life you just need to see it, and in my case, photograph it.
Alexis and I went to high school together & I was one of the first people to know she was expecting! Alexis & her husband Dan hired me to document their entire pregnancy, birth & now a snippet of her journey as a mother. I will never tire of capturing & delivering these priceless images to my clients. I know these images mean the world to this mama & they should! This is a time in life that will pass far too quickly & I'm so glad she will have these portraits to remember the most precious days of their lives.
Preparing for your maternity session can be a mixture of emotions. You aren't feeling yourself these days and trying to find an outfit that fits you in the right places can be a tough task!
Many of my clients ask my suggestions for apparel for their maternity session & it really depends on the season and vision of your session. It's important to discuss with your photographer what your and their vision for your session is. In the above photo, our goal was a cozy, classic, & timeless session. Kristen wore the perfect knee length, form fitting, solid color dress. Her simple necklace and wedding rings give this session the softness we were hoping to achieve.
Another option that photographs beautifully, is colorful blends. While this session's goal was similar to the above session, Courtney's pops of color made this a much more playful session. We were able to incorporate some cozy poses while still capturing those bright, fun photos! The color and cheerfulness the outfit brought to the session paired perfectly with this mama's personality!
Another option (and season!) is a bright, summery session. Amber chose a light, solid color dress that fits around her baby bump perfectly. She also chose a soft pink flower crown to accessorize the simplicity of her dress and it just made the perfect pop to her session! I love how beautifully solid colors photograph and I can really place my clients in a mixture of backdrops & I never worry about clashing.
To tie into the above session, Holly's session incorporated bright colors, patterned dress, and an adorable prop! This dress fit this mama so perfecting and it's pop of color and pattern against the warm sunlight was pure perfection. While I am not normally a prop photographer, the sign that Holly & her husband made for their surprise gender baby was too cute not to use! I encourage small props if a mama wants some, but it's important to discuss your thoughts during your consultation so you can capture everything in a blended way. The pattern and colors in the dress coordinate so well with the colors and simplicity of the prop.
Robyn gave birth to her second child, Ethan Adam, June 29, 2015 in the comfort of her own home. Robyn's story is so special because literally the day before her son entered this world, her husband came home from a deployment in Kuwait. While Will, her husband, only had a short time on leave to be with his family, his timing couldn't have been more perfect.
I asked Robyn to give her thoughts on why she chose to have a birth photographer this time around and her words are as follows...
"....I knew I wanted a birth photographer for Ethan's birth because I hate that I only have maybe 3 photos of me laboring with our daughter, Daniella. I was so in my zone (with both labors) and I knew having photos would help me remember parts of the labor I would otherwise forget. Also, I really wanted my husband to be IN THE MOMENT, instead of behind a camera meeting our baby for the first time. With a birth photographer there, I didn't have to sacrifice him being the photographer or miss out on being there for me. Also, we got to capture the emotions of him during the birth, not just mine. What I love most about having a professional photographer there, is I get to relive Ethan's birth anytime I want. I'm so excited to be able to share these photos with my children when they are older! I can't wait to show Daniella photos of her meeting her brother for the first time, & explaining that she was there the whole time during his birth."
I asked Robyn how she felt about her comfort laboring and birthing with me present, and how she felt about the price level for birth photography. Her response was as follows.
"...I honestly did not even know you were the the majority of the time. I remember looking at my photos and asking you 'Did you stand on my toilet?' or, 'How did you get that shot?!' I didn't see any camera flashes, I didn't hear you, you were never in my way, and certainly didn't hinder my ability to birth my baby. I recommend expecting women meet their birth photographer a few times to become more comfortable with them. Chances are, you will share an interest and love all things birth & pregnancy related. As far a birth photography pricing goes, I would say it's definitely an investment. Just like your wedding day. But births are much more intimate and you don't have a bunch of friend snapping photos of different things throughout the day. You will hands down cherish these photos forever, and for me, it was worth every single penny. One huge suggestion I have for women choosing a birth photographer, is to include that you are registered with Brittany Humes Photography, and they can gift you with making a donation to your balance!"
While I absolutely love photographing belly bumps and newborn sessions, I'd be lying if I didn't say births are my deepest passion. To be able to capture such an irreplaceable moment in my clients' lives, there is no greater gift. I know birth photography isn't for everyone, and thats ok. My goal is to normalize birth and show that birth is beautiful. It SHOULD be photographed & treasured forever. It's the day you meet your child for the very first time, how incredible is that? <3
Sweet baby Stella was in the studio this past weekend for her 6 month old milestone session and oh. my. goodness! This girl is growing up way too fast!! I watched her enter this world & to see her getting so big is way too much for this pregnant mama to handle! :)
Her two big brothers tagged along for her photo shoot & Cruz even made a debut in a few! I don't photograph many babies outside that couple week old age, but Miss Stella might make me want to change that! <3
When children are involved in a photo session, it's really a gamble on how long they will be "into" the photos. Brooklyn was an absolute DREAM to photograph a few weeks ago with her gorgeous momma! :)
We met at Silver Creek Metro Park in Norton (my hometown, go Panthers!) and we had just a few minutes of daylight. The photos we were able to sneak in came out magazine worthy!
I am so proud of the amazing momma this lady has become. Things have never been handed to her and she is always working hard to give Brooklyn the best life possible. Enjoy their sweet mommy-daughter session! <3