Oklahoma City Birth Photographer | Baby Jack's Long Awaited Birth Day

It was an honor to document and now share the birth of Chloe and Matthew's long awaited baby boy. It's hard to believe sometimes that clients trust me fully to join them in such important and intimate moments and document the way I witness it. The love that Chloe and Matthew share is palpable and watching their family grow was such an amazing experience. I'm forever grateful that I was able to be there for them to capture these memories. <3 


No one expected our amazing son Jack.  I have a very rare genetic condition called a balanced translocation.  It basically means that I'm completely healthy, but any kids my husband and I conceive typically have mixed up chromosomes...Jack has four siblings waiting for us in heaven.  Even before we found out about the translocation we had always looked forward to adopting at some point, but we were crazy enough to try one more time...and thus baby Jack was conceived!  

A statistical near impossibility, little Jack kept us on our toes our entire pregnancy.  With almost weekly ultrasounds, numerous specialist visits, and very expensive blood tests, we were completely prepared to lose him...even after the tests came back "normal."  From 16 weeks onward I experienced quite a bit of bleeding completely unrelated to my translocation, some due to placenta previa and some due to a suspected placental abruption.  On Mother's Day, after a particularly surprising bleeding episode, I moved 2 1/2 hours away to a hotel in Oklahoma City to be closer to the hospital just in case.  We spent a week inpatient with the wonderful team at OU for monitoring.  No one could figure out why I kept bleeding and why Jack's little heart kept beating along, completely oblivious and happy as can be.  At 33 weeks I started contracting for hours and dilating 2cm, and went back to the hospital for another inpatient stay.  The doctors said it was a mystery but to prepare for a preterm birth.  I signed up for every NICU class I could find at OU.  We took our maternity pictures in the hospital in the observation unit, complete with fluorescent lighting and IVs in my arm.  We are actually grateful for that time...it reminds us continually of the amazing gift each day with baby Jack really was. 


To our great surprise Jack made it full term and we induced at 39 weeks for obvious medical reasons.  The nurses were so accommodating to everything we wanted in our birth plan, and we felt so thankful to get to deliver our baby with such a great medical team.

When we got to the hospital I was 3cm dilated, and we spent the day hanging out on a Pitocin drip, reading Bible stories to our little guy, and ordering an endless supply of red Jello and orange juice from room service.  My husband was pretty much the best ever.  He has such a strong, calm presence that I honestly feel like I can do anything when he is around.  He continually rubbed my back, kept me laughing in between contractions, read me Scripture about peace, and coached me through every contraction and every irrational fear.  By 6:30 that night I was just 4cm dilated.  Around 10pm I was 4.5-5cm dilated, and around 11:25pm we reluctantly decided to break my water.  

Things started happening quickly.  Around 12:50am I told Matthew I was feeling a lot of pressure. Stephanie called the nurse, who checked me and said I was completely dilated.  She made a call and suddenly there were about 12 nurses and doctors in the room.  Matthew propped me up on a bunch of pillows and they brought me a squatting bar for leverage.  We were ready to push!  Around 1:05am I started pushing with the contractions, tuning in to the strong, steady sound of Matthew's voice counting to 10 each time.  After what seemed like a million contractions and lots and lots of pushing, Jack Matthew was finally born, happy and healthy.  The sound of his cries are still music to our ears, even weeks later at 2:30 in the morning.  He is here.  He is alive.  And we are in awe of the God who created him despite the odds.


Oklahoma City Birth Photographer + Doula | World Doula Week

But...what's a doula?


A Doula, also known as a birth companion or post-birth supporter, is a nonmedical person who assists a person before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her spouse and family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support.
— Wikipedia

I've had the opportunity to see several doulas in action while photographing births, and I've been lucky enough to mentor under a fabulous doula this year. From my observation, a doula is your best friend through labor and postpartum, and a guaranteed support no matter what your decisions are.

She'll be a constant contact during pregnancy, helping you craft your birth plan and prepare for the labor YOU want.

She'll hold your hair while you puke, and tell you how gorgeous you are after 30 hours of labor - even if you feel like a hot mess.

She'll remind your spouse that everything he's doing is perfect - because he feels completely helpless seeing you do all the hard work. Together they'll give you massages and counter pressure to help manage the pain while you work towards your goal of an unmedicated birth.

She'll keep you hydrated, nourished, and moving - to help get your baby here in a healthy manner.

She'll make sure you and your partner rest - because staying awake for 48 hours is hard on anyone, especially new parents

And when it's all over, she'll cry happy tears with you because after 9 long months you FINALLY FINALLY have your sweet baby in your arms, and it was all worth it.


As I venture into my own Doula journey, I hope I can be half the support these women are <3

Pictured: Josiah Hackney, Webster Certified Chiropractor in Emond, OK

Pictured: Josiah Hackney, Webster Certified Chiropractor in Emond, OK

Worth The Wait | Full Term Pregnancy And Why It's Important

Pregnancy is LONG


The anticipation that kicks in once you've hit 36 weeks is REAL. A lot of pregnant women are pretty uncomfortable by this point, and just ready to have their baby in their arms. But (per ACOG guidelines) it's really and truly best for your baby to wait until 39+ weeks to deliver, barring medical necessity of course.


In 2013 the meaning of "Term Pregnancy" was redefined as the following:

  • Early Term:  Between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days

  • Full Term:    Between 39 weeks 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days

  • Late Term:   Between 41 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 6 days

  • Postterm:     Between 42 weeks 0 days and beyond


Research has shown that the last few weeks are incredibly important to baby's development

  • Important organs, like his brain, lungs and liver, get the time they need to develop.
  • He is less likely to have vision and hearing problems after birth.
  • He has time to gain more weight in the womb. Babies born at a healthy weight have an easier time staying warm than babies born too small.
  • He can suck and swallow and stay awake long enough to eat after he's born. Babies born early sometimes can't do these things.


And last but not least, your due date may not be correct!

Because every woman's cycle is different.
Because every conception isn't timed.
Because every baby is different.

Approximately 1 in 20, or 5%, of babies are born on their "Due Date"

Odds of …

  • being called to “Come on down!” on The Price is Right — 1 in 36
  • getting away with murder (assuming you aren't Steven Avery) — 1 in 2
  • living to the age of 100 — 1 in 3
  • going into labor AND delivering on your due date — 1 in 20

Yes, there is a chance.
But don't be discouraged if your due date comes and goes, and even if another week passes - not only is that okay, but it's normal!

For more information: March of Dimes articles related to Full Term gestation



Hospital Bag Must Haves

When packing for the hospital, it's important to separate your list into immediate necessities, and things that can wait. Anything immediate should go into one bag which can be brought in when you arrive at the hospital. Things that can wait should be left in the car, so you aren't attempting to haul in several bags while managing contractions and checking in with the front desk.

The Necessities

  • A folder with copies of your birth plan, contact list, insurance information, and any hospital paperwork (unless you've preregistered).
  • Baby book - Most books will have a page for baby's footprints. If it's removable, add it to your folder. If not, bring your book. Most nurses are happy to do a second set of prints for you after the birth certificate has been completed
  • Hospital rooms tend to be very cold, dry, and not very homey. Because laboring women get pretty hot, and prefer the air to be turned down, consider packing a warm shirt for dad, especially if he tends to be cold natured. For your own comfort pack warm socks, chap stick, throat lozenges, and a pillow to stay as comfortable as possible. Both physical and mental comfort is important during labor. Many moms choose to bring along other things to give their room a more home like atmosphere such as electric tea lights, birth affirmation banners, and essential oil diffusers.
  • Slippers and a robe to go over your laboring clothes/hospital gown if you decide to walk the halls. Easily removed nursing bra - if you haven't already ditched the stiff underwire bra, it's likely you'll want to when you're in labor or soon after.
  • Hair ties/Headband/Brush
  • Camera and backup batteries/charger/memory cards
  • Snacks - high protein snacks are ideal - if you're anything like me (and most of my clients!), by the time baby is born, the hospital cafeteria is closed and you're starving! Sure, dad can run out and pick something up, but a good snack is nice to have on hand.
  • Cash/change to use at the vending machines for when the delicious snacks you brought don't sound nearly as appetizing as a bag of chips.

Things to bring, but leave in the car

  • Chargers for electronics
  • Comfortable clothes with easy access for nursing - think maxi dress/skirt, yoga pants/leggings, and deep v-necks/button up tops, as well as nursing bras and/or tanks.
  • Pajamas and a change of clothes for Dad
  • Toiletries for Mom and Dad as well as flip flops that can be worn in the shower.
  • A pillow for Dad.
  • Going home outfits for Mom, Dad, and baby. This is important: Moms, don't be a hero - leave the pre-pregnancy jeans at home and bring something comfortable! For baby I highly recommend sticking with something simple like cotton pajamas. It's also a great idea to bring two sizes, just in case.
  • Season appropriate blanket for baby
  • Carseat - It's a great idea to have it installed in your car and checked by a CPST a few weeks before your due date so Dad isn't stress reading through the manual while you're in labor trying to figure out what the heck a LATCH system is.