Do you photograph C-Sections? Cincinnati Birth Photographer

Do you photograph C-Sections? I get asked this question a lot and it kind of wrecks me. I hate that you have to ask that. I hate that you feel that your birth is any more or less worthy because of the way that you deliver your baby. Let me tell you something - YOU are a badass warrior woman. You grew a life inside of you for close to 10 months or more! You nurtured that life. You didn't eat sushi (or maybe you did). You probably tried to exercise more and get more sleep. You might have even sacrificed doing some of the things you love (Hello beer and wing night) to protect this life inside of you. I'm going to let you in on a secret here friends: IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW YOU BIRTH YOUR BABY AS LONG AS BOTH OF YOU ARE SAFE AND WELL ON THE OTHER SIDE. 

Your birth is no less valuable if you have a Cesarean or if you give birth in a tub filled with rose petals underneath a string of mantras on the wall. It's no less valuable if you walk in and ask for an epidural or if you deliver med free. It's no less worthy if your birth doesn't go as planned. 

YOU JUST BROUGHT A BRAND NEW PERSON INTO THE WORLD! YOU ARE PURE FREAKING MAGIC!

I've been a birth photographer in Cincinnati for quite a few years now and I've been lucky enough to attend all kinds of births with all different outcomes. I will tell you that every birth is special and deserves to be documented. This is the day you meet the new love of your life. This is the story of how they arrived on this earth. Birth doesn't have to be glamorized to be valuable. You don't have to wear makeup or look like you didn't break a sweat. Birth is raw and emotional and phenomenal. You just have to be you.

Your birth is yours alone and it has value for just that reason. 

Yes I know I'm a little soapboxy but this is something that has been weighing heavy on my heart. Mamas who will have or have had Cesareans - your birth can still be amazing and family centered. You can still find so much joy in your birth. It is no less of a birth than a vaginal delivery and a good birth team understands this and will support you throughout whatever kind of birth you have. I photograph ALL births because ALL births are special and sacred.

So...."Do you photograph C-Sections?" HECK YES!

Here are  some images of an amazing mama who have delivered via C-Section that I was lucky enough to document.

If you're interested in learning more about Cincinnati Birth Photography services you can contact me HERE

 

Mattaux's Birth Story - Cincinnati Birth Photographer

Mackenzie is one of my favorite people and Matteux's birth story is one of my favorites. It's pretty obvious that I love my job as a birth worker to anyone who meets me. I realize, often, that I have to reign it in because not everyone wants to her about placentas, face presentations and hip squeezes oh my! I love all my birth clients but it's a really incredible thing when those clients turn into good friends. 

At Mackenzie's consultation I knew we'd have a relationship well past the birth of her son. She is light. She is kindness. She mother's intuitively and loves unconditionally. She's also a doula, aspiring midwife and childbirth educator. I knew that I wouldn't have to worry about Mackenzie keeping me updating on her progress and labor. 

A few days prior to the birth I got a text saying that she thought it would be within the next few days. I always love these texts because it gives me a good idea that I should start changing my routine - driving separate to events, staying close to home, all that good stuff. On the day of the birth I got a call that Mackenzie was having mild contractions that were intensified after she left the chiropractor. She said that her and her family where going to get food and then headed home and she'd let me know if anything changed. Maybe an hour later I get another call and it's Mackenzie. I can't understand anything she's saying so I just say "Meet you at your house?" and get in my car and GO. 

I get to the house shortly after the midwife and it's a go. As a birth photographer I'm used to walking into a room, quickly assessing the situation and whipping out my camera. Mackenzie had the best support team. Her midwives, Brie and Meghan from Women's Wisdom Cincinnati, were incredible and her doula Caroline knew exactly what physical and emotional support she needed. Most importantly her husband Adam was an amazing birth partner and was so active in the labor and delivery of sweet Mattaux. Adam actually helped to catch the baby when he was born!

Home birth is such an amazing experience. Laboring and delivering in a space where you are comfortable is so empowering and the look on Mackenzie's face still brings tears to my eyes. It certainly didn't hurt having the birthing dream team on her side but all the credit goes to this amazingly strong mama who trusted her body to safely bring her son into the world. 

After some skin to skin time with mom and dad Mattaux was separated from his cord in a cord burning ceremony and we were all lucky enough to sing happy birthday to this new tiny miracle. 

Mackenzie is such an advocate for birth and birth support for women and families of color. She felt it was such an important thing to share these images and show that doulas are for everyone and that home birth is accessible to all families. 

Mackenzie, Adam & Family - Thank you for inviting me into your home, thank you for making me an honorary family member. I was so honored to document your sweet rainbow baby and can't wait to watch you change the world. 

All my love,

Stacey

 

Are you interested in labor and delivery photography in the Cincinnati Tri-state area? We'd love to talk with you!

 

 

Thatcher's Birth Story - Cincinnati Birth Photographer

I was unbelievably excited to photograph Thatcher's birth. I met this sweet babe's Mom and Pop at Cincinnati Baby Expo and Kelsey turned out to the daughter of a dear friend of mine. It's a small world isn't it? This sweet boy was three years in the making. He was dreamed of, prayed for, and so very loved. His mama was a warrior and I'm so happy to share the story of his birth with you.  Kelsey and Candace thank you for letting us document the moment you became a family of three.

All my love,

Stacey

 

Anaelle's Birth Story - Cincinnati Birth Photography

Estimated Due Date: 2-17-2017

Actual Birthday: 1-17-2017

Time of Birth: 11:35am

Weight: 5.02lbs

Length: 18.5"

Name: Anaelle Elizabeth

Meaning of the name: Anaelle means "God answered". Elizabeth is my middle name. 

Did you expect labor and delivery be this hard? I had a natural childbirth with my youngest daughter, so I knew generally what to expect. 

Did you take any classes to prepare yourself for labor? I had previously, but not in preparation for this birth. 

If you could change one thing about your labor and delivery what would it be? This was a very difficult l&d for several reasons. Our plans for a home birth ended when I developed high blood pressure later in pregnancy. It ultimately turned into pre-eclampsia just days before delivery. As a result, I had to be induced more than 4 weeks before my edd. I also needed to have medicine during l&d to protect me from seizures which made me feel awful and left me unable to move around and labor naturally. It also left me in a fog. So, I wish that I could change the fact that I developed pre-eclampsia because that condition essentially determined how this birth story unfolded. 

What was the most unexpected thing during l&d? Just how much I could vomit and contract at the same time. 😊

What was your husbands most unexpected thing during l&d? How quickly it went once contractions started.

What calmed you down during l&d? Knowing that each contraction was bringing me closer to meeting my baby.

When you first saw your baby what was your first thought? I was surprised she was a girl because we had been convinced I was having a boy! My second thought was that she was absolutely perfect. 

Who does she/ he look like? My husband says she looks like me. 

What was your experience having a birth photographer with you during l&d? Despite the fact that this birth was very traumatic for me, and didn't go at all according to my birth plan, I will always be grateful that Sonja was there. It was a scary situation and something I could not prepare for because it happened so quickly. But, this is Anaelle's story and how she made her way into this world, and having a photographer there to document that for us is irreplaceable. So many things could have gone wrong in our situation, but Anaelle arrived safe and sound and is a true testament to miracles. She is tiny, but so mighty, and our hearts explode with love for her. 

Harrison's Birth Story - Cincinnati Birth Photographers

We were fortunate enough to be able to document the birth of sweet baby Harrison. His mama was an incredibly gorgeous laborer and it was hard to narrow down our images. Kathy and Aaron were an amazing team and they worked together beautifully to bring their baby into the world. Welcome to the world Harrison (a little belated). We are so glad you're here. 

Estimated Due Date: 7/27 Actual birthday: 7/23 Time of birth: 8:15pm Weight: 11lb 1oz! Length: 22.25in Name: Harrison David Meaning of the name: Harrison was just a name we liked/agreed upon. David is my dad's name and husband's middle name

Hospital: Mercy West

Did you expect labor and delivery be this hard? Honestly, I didn't find it difficult until my water broke. I woke up at 6:30am having contractions 1 minute long, 5 minutes apart and I was already 6cm dilated! Trying to stay in the moment, making sure my body was relaxed, and breathing it out really helped when things started ramping up.

Did you take any classes to prepare yourself for labor? Yes, Bradley classes

If you could change one thing about your labor and delivery what would it be? Absolutely nothing. It was such a positive experience. I had the most amazing birth team anyone could ask for. Even though it didn't go to plan, I'd still make the same choices.

What was the most unexpected thing during l&d? Having an 11 lb baby vaginally. He was estimated to be 8-9lbs! Also, how fantastic and supportive the staff was at mercy west. I didn't feel like a "patient" there.

What was your husbands most unexpected thing during l&d? "his size" lol

What calmed you down during l&d? My doula, Kacey, was amazing. I absolutely believe laboring would not have been the same without her there. With Kacey as my physical support (leaning on her, massage and counter pressure for days!), my husband could focus on being my emotional support and it was exactly what I needed.

When you first saw your baby what was your first thought? "Oh hey, it's you!" and "Thank god this is over."

Who does he look like? Me! He definitely has my cheeks.

What was your experience having a birth photographer with you during l&d? I loved it. People think wedding photography is important; the emotions of marrying your spouse pales in comparison to the emotions of welcoming your child into the world. I wanted to find someone that could capture the love and raw emotion of the event. Stacey was amazing. She knew just when to crack a joke or blend into the background. I'm so happy I have these images and I would definitely want Stacey there if I was having another baby!

The Leon Family Newborn Session - Cincinnati Newborn Photographer

We've been bad bloggers but thankfully it's been because we've been so busy! Over the next few weeks we hope to catch up on the last year of amazing maternity, birth, newborn and family sessions we've been so lucky to document. 

This session was so dreamy. The lighting was perfect and watching a new family so in love with their baby is one of my favorite things on this Earth. Enjoy all this sweetness. I apologize in advance to your ovaries. 

RJ's Birth Story - Cincinnati Birth Photography

RJ's birth story documented by his mama and photographed by Cincy Birth Stories!

Estimated Due Date: August 30th

Actual Birthday: August 25th

Time of Birth: 10:49am

Weight: 8lbs 3oz

Length: 22 in

Name: Richard Joseph "RJ"

Meaning of the name: Names after Jillian's father Richard who passed away November 1, 2015. Joseph symbolizes father in biblical terms as Jesus' father and is also Davis's fathers middle name. When Jillian's father unexpectedly passed away, she and David, who wanted a second child but unsure of the time to add to the family., decided to stop trying to plan every detail of life. Life proved to be so unexpected with no guarantees. And thus RJ. He gave us something to look forward, helping us through this time.

Did you expect labor and delivery be this hard? The contractions weren't as bad as I expected. I got the epidural right before they broke my water because I expected the pain to get worse and this being my second baby, I was also afraid of immediate delivery and not being able to get an epidural in time. Surprisingly up to 6cm, the contractions were not nearly as painful as I expected. However transition was very hard, much more than I expected. It was very intense. I'm not sure it was an especially painful experience but was accompanied by anxiety and panic. I felt very little with my first son so it was very daunting to feel so much more, be told I couldn't get another bolus of the epidural, knowing that I would feel even more pain before it was all over. It was a very scary and helpless feeling knowing that I had no choice but to get through it. Once I started pushing the panic mostly set aside and it became a mission to end the pain and the pressure.

Did you take any classes to prepare yourself for labor? Not this time around. We took childbirth classes with out first son.

If you could change one thing about your labor and delivery what would it be? Nothing. It was absolutely perfect. We went to our regularly scheduled OB visit the day before RJ's birth and were surprised to schedule an induction the following day. Our doctor recommended that we take the day off work spending our last day as a family of three. We had lunch at Ferrari's and mall walked to encouraged labor. While putting our son to bed, I savored his last night as an only child. About 9:30pm, I shockingly noticed rhythmic contractions. We arrived at the hospital three hours prior to our scheduled induction.

What was the most unexpected thing during l&d? After weeks of being 4 cm dilated, two stripping of membranes, multiple natural methods of induction used throughout the weeks prior, and scheduling an induction, I went into labor and arrived at the hospital three hours prior to induction.While pushing it was determined that RJ was not in a favorable position requiring him to be manually rotated.

What was your husbands most unexpected thing during l&d? Right before pushing, the hospital staff mentioned that it was going fast and only 10 minutes away. Due to RJ'S position it took much longer, about 45 minutes.

What calmed you down during l&d? Going inward and just focusing on the end result of getting the baby out and the pain/pressure ending. I also hung onto the words of encouragement within the room especially of my sister.

When you first saw your baby what was your first thought? Relief. I noticed how quiet he was and how he didn't cry right away. I also noticed that he was a hairy little baby. Overall I feel like I was in a daze. David's first thought was that he was big.

Who does she/ he look like? Just like his brother Dylan as a newborn and definitely resembles his dad.

What was your experience having a birth photographer with you during l&d? Loved it. I loved having the moment documented with all the emotions captured in the photographs.  I went into it with hesitation but have absolutely no regrets. I look forward to having a birth photographer (sonja) at my next birth.

Dakota's Birth Story - Cincinnati Birth Photography

"I had an OB appointment for April 21st. I was 39 weeks, my parents were on a plane from Florida to come support me through my natural birth plan but Baby Dakota had a plan of his own. 

I woke up that Thursday morning with my hand on my stomach kind of confused, wondering if what I had felt was actually a contraction. Not even minutes after that first one another contraction came rolling after that. Jared was supposed to get off work early and come with me to my appointment so I called to make sure he knew when to get off, both of us kind of joking at the possibility I could be in active labor. After messing with one of my contraction counter apps, I realized they were seven minutes apart. I called Jared right back and told him mayyyybe he should go ahead and leave. 

He came home and I decided to labor as long as possible at home in the bath so he started helping me time my contractions. At that point I had no clue it would only be a couple more hours until Dakota was in my arms. I had read so many birth stories of the process taking hours and sometimes even into the next day. I thought we had all the time in the world. We got so caught up talking about our new bundle-to-be that neither of us had noticed my contractions had gotten 3-4 minutes apart in no time. 

The birthing center was about forty-five minutes away so Jared was doing everything he could to rush my pregnant butt and our just awakened three year old into the car. Still, with the lack of dramatics and pain that Hollywood makes labor out to be, I thought it'd be forever and I just took my time. It wasn't until we got to the hospital and I was back in triage alone did I have my "Oh snap, this is real" moment. 

I was all hooked up silently clenching my jaw at every contraction just watching the monitor when a nurse came in to check my dilation. We chatted back and forth about how the full moon and rain must have pushed all of us into labor, then she told me I was 7cm and I'm not sure if she was in more disbelief or I was. Family beginnings had just given away their last room. L&D was full. My parents were on a plane. The two people who were able to be there to support me weren't allowed back in triage. Nothing felt like it was going according to plan. Everything after that happened so fast.

I had always imagined my birth similar to the hippie moms I follow on Instagram. I pictured flowers in the tub and a playlist of all the songs Jared and I listened to together. While most worried about packing toothpaste and coming home outfits, my last minute check list items were battery powered candles and essential oils. I worried if I had enough birth affirmations saved to my Pinterest and if I memorized the breathing techniques correctly. As a fighter not a lover, I should have known my birth would be everything but all that. 

I knew some things wouldn't go as planned but if anything was important to me, it was to be sure one of the birth photographers got there and just as my contractions got interesting, Sonja showed up. Thankfully not long after that a room finally opened up with a tub already filling for me. In those last 30 minutes my contractions had gotten intense, I had relied on water for comfort my entire pregnancy so when I saw that tub I stripped. I tuned out what everyone around me was doing but I felt the pain starting to get the better of me so I decided to reach down for myself and that's when I felt Dakotas head. I had never felt so empowered and with each breath I could feel the moment of meeting my son was coming closer. I had been quiet my entire labor but with a giant roar Dakota was out in one push and it was the most satisfying moment in my life. 

What I thought was going to be this lovey, supportive, peaceful birth turned into me going completely within myself to labor on my own to bring my child earth side and I would not have it any other way. I've replayed this moment in my head for almost the past two years wanting to experience natural birth and in the end it turned out better than anything I expected. After going through all that it was nice to finally come back to reality and see both Jared and my son Brendan looking at me like nothing was different, that they knew the whole time what I was capable of. We started off our day just us three and became four."

To book your birth photographer, please contact us at www.cincybirthstories.com

Erin + Ben's Maternity Session

Erin and Ben are adorable. They are super in love and they are having a baby! When they suggested their session take place at Rentschler Preserve in Hamilton I was a little apprehensive because I like to scout out my locations before a shoot but I said what the heck and we did it. Let me tell you it was stunning. Erin wins the prize for "best location picker outer". I could not get enough of this session and this couple. I can't wait to photograph their little one. 

Welcome to the World Baby Esme - Cincinnati Birth Photographer

Esme was born at the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio.

Her Mommy texted me at midnight that it's go time. I arrived a little after 1 am (long drive from my house) and Esme was born before 3am! Very fast birth and her Mommy was a champ!

I love Birth Photography for all the small and big moments that are happening. I love just being a fly on the wall and capturing these very raw moments during birth.

Welcome to the World Baby Esme. You are absolute gorgeous and I am so happy I was able to capture your entrance!

 12am text to head to the hospital

12am text to head to the hospital

 Dad was an amazing support for the Mom

Dad was an amazing support for the Mom

 Transitioning in the tub

Transitioning in the tub

 about 30 seconds after his baby girl was born... love his smile here

about 30 seconds after his baby girl was born... love his smile here

 look at all that hair

look at all that hair

 what can be possible better than Newborn toes? Reflection of tiny Newborn toes!

what can be possible better than Newborn toes? Reflection of tiny Newborn toes!

 30 minutes old and already pouting

30 minutes old and already pouting



Top Favorite Moment to Capture at your Birth - Cincinnati Birth Photography

I have mentioned this before but my absolute, hands down favorite moment at any Birth is when everything is calm, Mommy is holding the baby, Daddy cuddles next to her and they are looking over their new baby.

SWOOOOON

Little hats are lifted to have a peak under, blankets are unwrapped to look at tiny toes, little fingers are being inspected…

In this moment, the world seems to stand still for just a little time and it is my favorite moment to capture!

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