One of my favorite maternity sessions! Amy has the prettiest bedroom and I knew it would be perfect for this session! Take a peek at some of my favorites and stay tuned for Kiele’s newborn session coming soon!
I was so excited when Jen asked me to photograph her wedding! We went to school together and it was so nice to catch up and meet her beautiful family! Here are some of my favorites from her perfect perfect wedding day!
day! Enjoy –
I am SO happy to introduce my sweet little Kate Addison! Born on Sunday December 28th, 2014 and officially completing our family. We are all a little in love over here….Gavin thinks that Kate is “his” and will jump at every opportunity to hold her (grab her?) and is very very sweet with her. I think he finally realizes that his new sister “cake” is here to stay and has adjusted nicely!
You can read about some of my pregnancy details here ,although things got even worse towards the end of my pregnancy. The short story is…my body hates being pregnant! With Gavin, I had gall bladder attacks. With Kate, I had gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Once I reached 32 weeks with this pregnancy, I was officially done. My blood pressure was fairly high and we were having trouble controlling it (well, the meds made me feel pretty awful so I was hesitant to take higher doses). My gestational diabetes was easier to control although I had to start taking insulin for the last 6 weeks. I started to worry about ME.
Below you will find my little birth story. Honestly, it’s such a blur and I THINK this is what happened but at this point, you never know!
On Tuesday December 23rd I started my induction. I was nervous but mostly excited because I was looking forward to feeling healthy again. They called me bright and early that morning and we headed to the hospital. They started with Cervidil and from what I hear, that usually stays inside for 12 hours and then if it works (and your cervix softens) then you can start the Pitocin (which will start contractions to help dilate you). I was moved upstairs to the 6th floor because it was VERY busy and they were short staffed, had no beds, it was Christmas, etc. Fast forward 12 hours…..the Cervidil did it’s job (yay) but there were no beds so I waited…and waited…and finally asked to go home on Christmas Eve around 4pm because I hadn’t slept the night before. They allowed me to go home and said they would call as soon as a bed opened up. The next couple days were a blur. It was Christmas Eve, we were “on call”, Gavin was at my sisters, and I was completely stressed out. FINALLY on December 27th (4 days later!) I went back to the hospital to finish up the induction!
I started the Pitocin around 8:45pm and waited…and waited…and waited. I think they nurses turn it up every 30 minutes and around 6am I started to feel the contractions. I’m just going to call Pitocin contractions “devil contractions” because from what I can remember I was fine…and then I was not fine. They hurt…. So bad! And they were double peaking so they would start off slow, get painful, give me a tiny bit of relief for like 2 seconds and then BAM! So terrible. Like the worst pain in the world. I immediately asked for an epidural (I was 4cm at this time) and had to wait for about 45 minutes because she was busy with someone else. This is where things get hazy! I know I was desperate for an epidural, I was throwing up, I was begging the nurses (I’m pretty sure I offered money at one point) to push me in front of room 7 (sorry room 7 mom) and even had Fentanyl. I felt like I was dying! When the anesthesiologist arrived with a resident, they went over a few things and I was like YES YES YES! The resident had planned on giving me the epidural and after 3 failed attempts, someone else came in to do it and they got it in right away. I think it took about 45 minutes to get the epidural and I basically had to sit still …so so still during the worst pain I have ever felt. I don’t even think I was with it at that point. I just remember the crazy contractions. They checked me after the epidural and I was 7cm (this was at 8:45am because I sent a text to my family saying I was 7cm and had the epidural). This is where things get a little crazy! Once I got the epidural, I laid on my back to let it do it’s job. Freeze me dammit! With Gavin, it worked right away. Instantly. With this one, it took the edge off but I felt soooo much pressure almost right away. Chris went to use the washroom downstairs and I patiently waited for my epidural to kick in. It must have worked, but I just felt intense pressure almost immediately. With Gavin, I had the epidural and 5 hours later, he was born. The nurse checked me right away and I was 10cm and ready to go. This all happened in like…15 minutes. From the time I got the epidural and then time I had the baby it was only around 25 minutes. Chris was downstairs and I needed to push!!! The doctors wasn’t in the room and I felt like I had no control – I literally had to push! I called Chris and said “Get upstairs no”and hung up. They prepped the room, called the doctors and the NICU and after just a few pushes, Kate was born! Chris made it just in time (thank goodness). It all happened so fast at the end – It was crazy! Kate was born at 9:20am weighing 7 pounds 3 oz (which is SO GOOD for a 36 weeker) and was 19 inches long. She spent some time in the NICU for observation (because she was early and making a weird groaning sound!) but luckily everything was perfect! We were allowed to leave a day early (pre-term babies usually have to stay 72 hours) and we were SO EXCITED to come home! A big shout out to my nurse (Meghan at St.Boniface Hospital) – Loved her. I really couldn’t have asked for a better person to spend 12 hours of torture with! And another shout out to the lovely Blaire – for holding my puke bucket, keeping me company and honestly, just being wonderful.
Honestly, this labor was way worse than Gavin’s ! But whatever. It’s done. I’m done! lol.
Gavin met his sister a few days after she was born and at first wouldn’t look at her (he basically pretended she wasn’t in the room even thought I was holding her) but that only lasted about 15 minutes and then he was in love! He wants to snuggle with Kate about 20 times a day – especially in the morning. He snuggles by placing his hands under her, and resting his head on her belly gently. It’s the cutest thing! I’m so happy things are going well.
Kate is sleepy. Possibly the sleepiest baby I have ever met. She sleeps around 22 hours a day. Still. At 5 weeks old, I didn’t even think this was normal but I have to remember she was born early and she needs time to adjust to life around here! She is plumping up nicely (over 9 pounds now!) and we all love having her around. She doesn’t cry (ever) and has the sweetest little baby girl sounds (she sounds like a baby lamb!) Here are some of my favorite photos from the first 5 weeks. We are having some family photos done in the next couple weeks and will post some more soon! Thanks for reading and thank you for welcoming sweet Kate into the world! Enjoy the photos!!!
Seriously – This so hard for me to write but I’m getting it all out!
First off, I know that I am SO FORTUNATE to be able to carry my own baby. I have many many friends & clients struggling to have a baby and I think about them every singe day. Every time I am feeling rough I think – but I am so lucky!?!?
When I found out I was pregnant in June (I was already 9 weeks) I was SHOCKED, then EXCITED and then I instantly started throwing up. It was a rough 6 weeks following that but I started feeling better around the 20 week mark. Then I felt GOOD for like….a couple weeks. And then things started going downhill. My blood pressure has been fairly high throughout this pregnancy but there has been many times where it has been dangerous high. Mix that with some gestational diabetes and things are just awesome around here. I have started taking 2 different medications for my blood pressure and they make me feel horrible. My head feels heavy, my limbs feel tired, I can’t sleep at night and I’m freezing all the time. Re: the gestational diabetes, I have been checking my blood sugars with a monitor for the last couple weeks and unfortunately even with the strictest of diets, my sugars are still higher and will likely have to start insulin tomorrow when I meet with my diabetes doctor. Because of the high blood pressure & gestational diabetes I have fetal assessment ultrasounds where they check on baby every 2 weeks, have to meet with my diabetes doctor every week and then meet with my OB every week/two. Mix all this with a toddler & running my own business and things have officially moved to crazy around here. I have had a rough rough couple of weeks, starting new meds, adjusting to new doses and have spent most of my time in bed. I am normally not a worry wart but I know how dangerous high blood pressure is and I’m feeling frustrated and scared that it’s not controlled right now. My doctor said that they will not let me go past 38 weeks and there is a high possibility that I will be induced even earlier then that.
Right now, even though I feel selfish thinking it, I am mostly worried about myself. I want to be o.k for Gavin & Chris. I try not to worry about the baby because she seriously kicks me all day and night and my fetal assessments tell me she is already 4 pounds and doing great. I just want to feel better. It’s so sad but I can’t even remember what it is like to feel normal and energetic. My wonderful doctor assures me that as soon as the baby is out, I should feel better! So I am holding on to those thoughts and counting down the days. My original due date was January 28th, then January 20th, and now doctors won’t let me go past January 6th but I have a feeling I will be delivering in December.
I have officially stopped working. I have had to cancel, postpone so many sessions the last few weeks that it’s not even worth it anymore. My clients deserve the old Jen that would do anything to fit them in and be the energetic smiley happy Jen that I usually am. I don’t feel like I am this person right now and it’s just not fair! So I have a group of photographers taking over my sessions until I feel better and for them, I am SO thankful!
Okay, I’m happy I wrote this post. I already feel a bit better. This is my 8th year owing/running Jennifer Lee Photography and it was one of my busiest years yet. I once heard that most small businesses fail within the first 5 years and I’m so happy to report that I am busier than ever. I have the BEST group of clients/friends who I am thankful for every single day. Thank you to all my clients that have expressed concern, dropped off little gifts and offered to help. So so sweet. You really are the best. Another huge thank you to my husband Chris – He has been in charge of 95% of EVERYTHING the last few weeks – Gavin, the house & the dogs. I seriously think he is the best husband ever. I don’t know what I would do without him. And to my little precious Gavin, who thankfully hasn’t noticed much of a change. I am still the funniest person he knows. I do most of the sitting activities – reading, play-doh, stickers, ipad games, snuggling! He still loves me just as much as before and for that, I am the most thankful. xoxo