Your mommy said to me, ” I just can’t stop starring at him. He is just beautiful.”  I smiled and thought, ” That is exactly how it should be :)boston-newborn-lifestyle--photographer2boston-newborn-lifestyle--photographer5boston-newborn-lifestyle--photographer6boston-newborn-lifestyle--photographer8boston-newborn-lifestyle--photographer9boston-newborn-lifestyle--photographer1boston-newborn-lifestyle--photographer7boston-newborn-lifestyle--photographer3

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The moment I held you…you wiped it all away- the pain, the 48 hour labor, the struggles of pregnancy.  I remember staring at you in disbelief.  Thinking… I can’t believe she is finally here…finally in my arms.  Absolutely beautiful in every way.  I remember saying, ” I would do it all again in a heartbeat…just to have you.”

samantha-birth-storySamantha’s Birth Story:

It started at 6:00am on a Monday morning.  The contractions were light, but consistent: every ten minutes and 30 seconds long.

By 10:00 am they were coming every 7 minutes and occasionally every 5.  Before lunchtime, I had cleaned the house, blown up the yoga ball for pre-labor at home, triple checked my hospital bag…showered and straightened my hair (naively thinking I would look nice in pictures after labor…ha)!

But then I sat down and the contractions began to space themselves further apart.  So me, ready for the baby to arrive, took the advice of my mom and began to walk the streets of the South End neighborhood….slowly…very slowly.  Sure enough after a few blocks, everything intensified and the contraction gap began to close to a consistent  5 and sometimes every 3 minutes apart.

I called Matt and asked him to walk home from work and on the way look for a slow pregnant woman in pre-labor…who thought she might not make it back to the house in time before the baby “dropped out on Tremont Street!”

Dropped out! Ha! Little did I know that I was gearing up for a 48 hour long labor.

To make this a little shorter…here are the Spark/Pink Monkey Notes:

Though I was textbook  5,1,1- contractions 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, and lasting for well over an hour. The nurse told me my pain level wasn’t high enough, as I could talk through contractions over the phone.  Pain level??…that wasn’t in the books!

The contractions remained like clockwork through the night. And the next morning I went to the OBGYN office to find I was 3cm dilated.  We were sent out to walk  along the harbor for 2 hours and then return to the office.  When we returned I was 4 cm dilated and we were off to the hospital at 3:00pm on Tuesday!

At the hospital, I remember sitting in the check in room with Matt.  Woman came in breathing “ooo eee ooo eeee oooooo” others just cried out in pain. I occasionally gripped the chair, but other than that…the pain seemed manageable.  With this, my confidence began to build as the nurse told me I was further along than the other women. I remembered thinking, ” I’ve got this.”

Let’s just say 12 hours later I did not feel the same way.

After almost 45 hours of standing through labor I began to tire.  The contractions had been close to two minutes apart and 1 minute long for almost 10 hours. My spirits began to drop knowing I was only 7 cm dilated.

At this time the midwife told me I needed to lay down and rest in between the contractions.  Knowing it was more painful off my feet I asked not to…but gave in after they explained I needed my energy to push.

As I lay down, the contractions brought my pain level through the roof.  As the first contraction ended, the nurse worked to relax every muscle in my body before the next one came.  I was so tired that within moments I was asleep until the next contraction started.  I was able to rest on and off for a half hour till the pain was unbearable.

Making my way into the shower…hoping for relief, I found none. I then asked…or maybe cried for an epidural.

Unsure of my decision, Matt held my hand.

Within just two contractions following the epidural I felt hope beginning to return.  I drifted off into a deep sleep as the epidural took full effect thinking…” Why didn’t I get this thing sooner!!”

An hour later I awoke to a room filled with Drs. and a mask on my face.  Panicked I looked over at Matty who had also been asleep.  My heart sunk and all I could think about was our baby girl.  I was told that my body had a 4 minute long contraction and our little girl’s heart rate dropped from the consistent pressure.  One by one the doctors left the room as her heart rate returned to normal. And then it happened again.

Ten cm dialated the nurse worked to stop the long contraction and then prepped me for pushing.  My midwife said I needed to push as hard as I could…our little girl’s heart rate had returned but they didn’t want her in distress again.

I pushed as hard as I knew how…which is a very odd feeling when you are mostly numb.

20 minutes later I pushed for the last time and she was born!

And that was when the entire two days disappeared.  With her in my arms…. everything melted away- the struggles of pregnancy, the long labor…none of it mattered.

Matt and I looked at each other in complete amazement as she lay in my arms.  I couldn’t believe I had the privilege to be her mommy.

The nurse cleaned up our little girl and the pediatrician came in to help her transition to breathing air, as she was struggling some.  The mucus was cleared, but she still continued to struggle and gag on the liquid she had swallowed.  To help her transition they wanted to put her on oxygen and keep her in the NICU for the next hours.

My heart dropped at the word NICU, but the doctors reassured us that swallowing liquid is very common and she was just going to need a little help till her  body reabsorbed the liquid that was in her lungs.

Sure enough our little warrior recovered very quickly and was released from the NICU that evening.

It was our first evening together and I couldn’t have been more happy.  With her curled up on my chest and Matty by my side…I was so in love with our family of three.

 

Just a little clip from her first day.

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If I want something new, if family is coming into town…this is one of the first food blogs I go to-  How Sweet it is.  Because I have never made anything from the blog that has disappointed including this Salmon with a light dijon cream sauce.  It was quick, easy (two words which are a necessity in my life right now as a working mommy of a 6 month old), and it was really good…lick up your plate kind of good.

salmon

Here is the original recipe from How Sweet it is:

I swapped white wine for chicken stock and if you don’t have sage you can use basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary…anything that goes nicely with salmon.

Pan-Crisped Salmon with Light Dijon Cream and Garlic Butter Breadcrumbs

YIELD: SERVES 2-4        PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES       COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES     TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES

ingredients:

1 pound salmon filet
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 small shallot, diced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
1/4 cup dry white wine (I didn’t have any hand so I used chicken stock)
3/4 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard

directions:

Prepare breadcrumbs first by heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and adding 1 tablespoon of butter. Add in 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, then stir in bread crumbs well, tossing for a minute or two until the mixture is combined and slightly golden. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season salmon with salt and pepper, then place in the skillet (skin side up, if the salmon has skin) and cook until opague in the center and golden on each side, about 5-6 minutes for salmon that is 1-inch thick. If you use salmon with skin, simply cook it skin side up the entire time. Remove salmon and set aside, then add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, shallot, garlic, and sage. Stir well to coat then cook for 1-2 minutes until sizzling, then add in white. Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing it to bubble and slightly reduce, then whisk in milk and mustard. Continue to whisk and cook while milk bubbles on the sides and thickens, stirring for a minute or two. Taste and season additionally or whisk in a bit more dijon if desired.

Serve salmon immediately, drizzled with dijon cream and then top with breadcrumbs. Serve with rice, potatoes, vegetables or salad

 

 

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Before my daughter was born, I was convinced I didn’t need a newborn photographer…after all I am one. Looking back though,  it is the one thing I wish we did differently; I wish I had hired a newborn photographer.

Because just like every other mom, I was tired, I wanted to soak in the wonder of holding my little girl  in my arms, I was trying to figure out breastfeeding, how to squeeze in a shower, soothe a crying baby, oh and did I mention I was tired.

I thought I was going to take the best pictures I had ever taken in my career.  And while I still love the pictures I captured they were taken by a sleep deprived mom who really just wanted a nap.

Before she was born, I also made the assumption that I would  have someone take a few of Matt, Sammy, and I as a family and that would be sufficient. Just a couple for the memory.  And we did.  I set up my camera, told my mom where to stand and she took some wonderful pictures of us…but now I wish we had more. I wish we had more of me holding her, more of her snuggled into Matt’s arms…more of us for the first time as a family of three.

I also wish I got my hair done…but that is a different post.

The thought crossed my mind that next time things would be different… but it left more quickly than it came.  Because I knew that once again I would be tired – after all, I’d have a toddler running around.  And because I knew that once again a few family photos wouldn’t be enough – after all, there would be four of us. Next time, even I, will book a newborn photographer

why-everyone-should-hire-a-newborn-photographer

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It was in the way he looked up at you …I almost stopped photographing  just to watch.  I could tell he knew it was you. That you were his daddy and you were his mommy.  I saw it in his undivided stare, the way he relaxed in your arms, the way he pressed his nose in against yours.  He knew your voice, your smell…and now he just wanted to look at your faces for the first time.

And of course as a new mom, I almost teared up behind the lens.

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