I’m on-call for my last baby of the year.  Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving.  My life - this wild, wonderful, beautiful life that I get to live - has the ability to change in a moment.  While I plan to go eat my weight in mashed potatoes and broccoli casserole tomorrow, there’s a good chance that I’ll spend it within the walls of the University of Louisville hospital with one of my darling client-friends.  Because being post dates is the pits, I figured she could use a little cheering up, so here we go.

Today, I am thankful for nurses that are willing to pick up my camera when I’m not allowed into an OR.

I’m thankful for that time that four midwives and a birth photographer walked into a bathroom.

I’m thankful that this Momma got her rainbow baby.

I’m thankful that I got the call JUST in time to witness this sweet couple become parents.

I’m thankful for the ability to document this moment for darling friends.

I’m thankful for normal birth … especially when it happens in a car … 

I’m thankful for awesome midwives, OBs and nurses.

I’m thankful for empowered parents.

I’m thankful for Dads that sing to their babies.

I’m thankful for technology to help ease the pain of separation to a NICU, for bringing these babies to these Mommas, and to help them grow and thrive when they came a little early.

I’m thankful for hospitals that toss protocol out the window to allow me into their sacred spaces.

I’m thankful for badass HBACs.

I’m thankful for healing births.

I’m thankful for the wild, crazy ride that acknowledging this moment took me on.

I’m thankful for the moment that a Mom realizes that she’s stronger than she thinks.

I’m thankful for this moment, always.

I’m thankful that sometimes, our babies know what is best for us, even if our plan has to change a little bit.

I’m thankful that my families trust me to provide the very best for them, through so many milestones in their lives.

I’m thankful for golden hour.

And last, but not least, I’m thankful for the families that welcome me into their birth spaces to document such an amazing time in their lives.  I’m thankful for the care providers that smile when they see me walking down the hallway.  I’m thankful for the nurses that take their time doing a newborn assessment so I can follow along.  I’m thankful for the grandmas, the sisters, the cousins, the besties that share their person with me, for just a little while.  I’m thankful for the partners that don’t hesitate to understand the importance of what I do.  I’m thankful for the Mommas that work so hard, and know that they only get this moment once.

I hope that your Thanksgiving is full of love and warmth and way too much turkey - as the year winds down, I’m so excited to see what 2018 brings for all of us.

Introducing RAW Motherhood | Allison

It is rare that we actually get to visualize what postpartum looks like.  There’s this huge disconnect between what we’re shown and what actually happens, what social norms dictate.  We no longer utilize our village, we no longer encourage a lying-in period, and we’re often left alone as our partners head back to work just a few days later.  I’m excited to introduce RAW Motherhood Minis, starting with my sweet friend.  (Please email me to set up your own session!)

Allison welcomed her second little boy on Tuesday, March 28th.  We made these images just five days later.  Being able to make these images - something a little taboo, unspoken - was incredibly special to me, both as a photographer and a Mother.  Being welcomed into someone’s space when they’re so vulnerable is a privilege, every time.

“A few days after I got home, i was asked to do a postpartum session. Of course i said yes! We as mothers don’t get to see this side of our journey. We don’t take the time. I was and still am recovering from my second cesarean. I feel useless, tired, sore, fat, lazy, I feel like I don’t contribute enough. The bills keep coming, my first son doesn’t understand, there are so many things that I feel guilty about. But this session showed me that I am strong. It showed me that I am a mother of two. I created this tiny human. I made him, that is amazing. We, as women, struggle with identity issues, we struggle with body image issues, postpartum depression, and so on. These pictures may offend some people and that’s ok because to other women it helps them to know that YOU are beautiful. Thank you #mommaktshoots for showing me how special I truly am.  This is me, and I love who I am.”

A Love Letter

Dear Maverick, Brentlee, Shaan, Declan, Ellie, Liam, Oliver, Ruth Ann, Violet, Henley & Charlie,

First of all, thank you, sweet little babies, for making 2016 so special for me.  I was part of your welcoming committee, in those precious moments where you were between two worlds.  I loved on your Momma and joked with your Dad, I slept on hospital floors and curled up in window sills, playing the most important waiting game I’ve ever played.  I photographed the swirl of your hair, sniffed your sweet little head, ran my finger down your round little cheeks, and fell in love with each and every one of you.

I learned so much this year.  The lot of you were my teachers, providing me with experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise.  You have no idea how important these moments are - at least not yet.  I watched your folks become parents.  Each of you came into this world under such different circumstances, but the end result was the same : you were born to parents that love you with every single bit of themselves.

One day, you may be a little bit embarrassed by your images.  That’s okay.  Later down the road, you’ll come to the realization that what your parents did by hiring me is incredibly special.  When you look at these, know how hard your Momma worked for you.  Know that in those moments right before you arrived, your Momma was giving it her all - no matter how you were born.  Little one, she is strong.  Don’t forget that.  And your Dad?  He’s strong, too.  Don’t let the tough exteriors fool you, though, I saw more than one of them wiping tears away upon your arrival.  They will fight for you, tooth and nail.  I know this because I’ve witnessed it.  It’s something that doesn’t always translate well in photographs, but trust me, I know this to be true.

You are the promise that there is something right in this world, that good still exists.  This past year has been one that falls squarely into the ‘extreme’ category and in the middle of it all, you still arrived and reminded us that it’s going to be okay.  You hold the promise of a better tomorrow.  I can not wait to see what the future brings for you.

Your Rainbow-Haired, Slightly Wild Photographer

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