Family Photographer Seattle | Anything is Possible
Photography is well… light. Playing in the light is one of my most favorite things about my job. I learned to see light in ways that I never understood or thought possible until I learned my craft from some amazing teachers. I love Golden Hour – I talk about it relentlessly in this blog. But its stunning. Enjoy this video of this incredible family.
Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT’S
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be. – Shel Silverstein
Meeting this family was such a treat! We walked around the wondrous acreage of Capital Hills, Volunteer Park to capture this amazing families essence. I believe we did. She loves to garden and he is a bee keeper! As we walked they talked about all the different types of trees and flowers to there son.
He is beautiful – and fast! You got to love the workout you get chasing a toddler!
Family Photographer Seattle | Meet Andrea
Breast Feeding Awareness Month | Andrea’s Journey
“I can remember growing up hearing my mother’s stories about breastfeeding me for 18 months. She always says that choosing to breastfeed for so long attributed to our close bond today. Needless to say, when I became pregnant with my daughter, breastfeeding was the one thing I looked forward to the most! My daughter was born a little over 2 weeks early after a very quick and intense 3 hours of labor. When I saw her for the first time, the love I felt was so deep, it nearly hurt. Who knew you could love a complete stranger so much? She was the most perfect, tiny little person I had ever seen. The nurses immediately told me that she would have trouble latching on because she was so small. My girl proved them wrong and latched perfectly within 1 hour of birth, and I remember feeling so very proud of her.
When we brought her home, we had both forgotten everything we learned in the hospital. At the time, we couldn’t afford the help of a lactation consultant so there was about 3 days of sore nipples, baby tears, mama tears, and a very hungry baby! I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt because I couldn’t feed my own child. Then one day I decided to look up on YouTube (of all places!) proper latching techniques, ditched the Boppy pillow, and got my girl latched on correctly and we haven’t looked back since! She is nearly 1 year old and going strong. My personal goal is 2 years, but if she wants more, I won’t say no My husband and family have been so incredibly supportive of my decision and i believe that helps tremendously.”
Family Photographer Seattle | Meet Jessica
Breast Feeding Awareness Month | Jessica’s Journey
“My son, Nikolai, turned 3 months yesterday. He was born at Swedish Ballard after a 41 hour (very intensive!) labor. We went to MN for the summer where my husband and I work at a summer camp. Being there with him, I was able to expose the younger staff about what modern parenting can be (where I take him with me wherever I do in a wrap, don’t hide myself away when I feed him, and still do activities that I want to do…just in a different way). I am now back to work and he is staying home with my husband. It has been difficult finding the time to pump at work and I look forward to getting home to feed him as soon as I can every day. I’m sure you hear it all the time…but I didn’t know that I could love someone as much as I love him!”
Family Photographer Seattle | Meet Kate
Breast Feeding Awareness Month | Kate’s Journey
“When I was pregnant I was terrified of breast feeding. I mean TERRIFIED. I had heard absolute horror stories from friends- bloody nipples, biting, and painful raw skin. I was much more afraid to breast feed than I was to give birth! Unlike the birth, which would only last a day (or two) this would hopefully go on for at least a year and was something I was very committed to doing because of the overwhelming health benefits for both myself and my baby.
Needless to say, nothing goes as planned. I ended up with an emergency C-section, and by the time she was about to arrive the only thing going through my head was “Don’t fall asleep! Don’t fall asleep!” I had never had a major surgery and was monumentally unprepared for how helpless I would feel during recovery. As a new mother I wanted to care for my baby but could barely care for myself.
I will never forget arriving back to the hospital room where my amazing midwife immediately smiled and said, “OK time to breast feed!” Breast feeding was empowering for me right from that moment. [Here is a picture of both Christine and Taylor (from In Tandem Midwifery) helping Eliza and I get started].
Breastfeeding was the one thing that I could do for her, and frankly, I could feel proud that we did it well. Right from the start she would gulp and slurp and burp like she was, well, born to do it! Eliza gained weight quickly and steadily and is now in the 75 percentile for weight and 90th for height.
I also love breastfeeding, something I could never have imagined when I was pregnant. This might sound a little odd but I am a tea drinker, and the best way I can describe breastfeeding, is like tea time for love. You take a break from all the dishes, the bills, the never-ending to do list, to be entirely present with your child. And for just a few minutes the world slows down and you can remember that your baby is this spectacular, beautiful, little life that you grew and are continuing to nourish from your own body. During those moments breastfeeding you have this built in gift of time to stare down at this little face and kiss those little fingers and soak it all up before time flashes by and they are graduating high school.
Because I have learned to cherish these moments, I have also become much more open about breastfeeding in public than I ever thought I would be. Feeding my child is such a precious gift that I really could care less what a stranger thinks about seeing an inch or two of skin.
Of course, our journey hasn’t been entirely smooth. Eliza has being doing some major teething and has started biting (the stinker!) But what I didn’t understand when I heard all those horror stories back when I was pregnant, was also the amazing gifts that it brings to your life; intimacy, love, nourishment, empowerment and the ability to actually love my imperfect but utterly amazingly body!”
Family Photographer Seattle | Meet Leigh
Breast Feeding Awareness Month | Leigh’s Journey
“Our breastfeeding journey began on shaky ground after a necessary c-section and a NICU stay. I had no idea the uphill battle it would be due to complicating factors of the c-section. My son had a very severe tongue tie which we discovered at our one week postpartum check where we discovered he was losing weight, despite his constant nursing. He wasn’t getting enough food. I remember being exhausted and feeling helpless to provide for my baby. Our midwife was also a new mother and happened to have expressed milk with her. We started supplemental feeds that day and worked around the clock to increase my supply and teach my son to nurse effectively from the breast. For the next 4+ months I would need to get nearly 3/4 of his milk from donors. I felt overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers and supported by a community of women I never knew existed before.
My son never once gave up trying to nurse like so many babies switched to bottles this young, so I made a promise to him that I wouldn’t quit either. We had his tongue tie corrected, I started domperidone and with the assistance of a nipple shield we were able to nurse without bottles by the time he was 4 months old. One week before he turned 6 months he removed the nipple shield himself and started nursing! He never looked back. My supply filled in quickly after that and I was able to go off the medication. My journey was a slow and arduous one, but I wouldn’t change a thing. My son and I have such a strong bond and I credit that to those early days when I promised him to not give up. He’s now almost 19 months and we are still going strong.”
Family Photographer Seattle | Meet Krystal
For those who do not know I have been working with families for free to get their portraits in the park breastfeeding, in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month. I have been doing a FLASH ALERT on my Facebook Page – I post a date and time and those who can make it message me, the first 2 to message me get the spot! It has been a fun and rewarding experience as a photographer.
Krystal’s Journey Breastfeeding
“We were like two puzzle pieces.
I had no idea what to expect when it came to breastfeeding my son after he was born. The first time I had ever seen a woman breastfeeding was on the 132 in South Park on the way to Downtown Seattle in 2007. I was 26 years old and she was a Latino woman with a newborn son hidden in a soft blanket. I smiled at her and she smiled back. I thought it was a beautiful thing and that she had real guts to be feeding her baby on the bus.
No one in my family had ever breastfed. The only woman I knew who did in my family was highly criticized – especially since she chose to breastfeed her daughter until she was three. My family thought it was a path to spoiling your child, just like holding a baby or picking them up too quickly if they were crying. Everything spoils a child. To me it seemed like love spoils a child – and if that’s the case, I love spoiling my son.
When Jorian was born after an intense, long labor that spanned a weekend – I held him to my chest after crying out for him in a raw and roaring way. Where is my baby! My husband still gets chills thinking about the way I cried out for my son. No one told me that I had a son even and the surprise was magical. Prior to my birth, I had watched the famous “Infant Crawl” video; the one where a tiny newborn crawls up his mother’s chest minutes after being born and begins to suckle out of pure instinct. I was determined that my baby would have this chance to try it out on his own. And he did. He knew exactly what to do. With a small bit of help from our Doula after that first tiny latch – we were doing it!
I was lucky. I had no idea what I was doing, but nature simply took over. And being too tired to be neurotic about it helped I am sure. I tend to overthink – but in those moments it was easy. It was relief from such a hard birth. It was magical and he was my new baby.
Things got a little harder from there. It was toe-curlingly painful until my milk came in. And when my milk came in… HA… that was a weird feeling. For days I felt like I had a giant inflatable pool tube around my chest. I went on to “suffer” from oversupply until about 5 months. I leaked milk everywhere and constantly water-boarded my son. He would gasp for breath and spit and choke every time he nursed. Then we learned how to nurse lying down and everything changed.
I count myself fortunate that my son and I have been able to tackle breastfeeding with ease. We are both determined and strong-willed, so if we had had problems I know we would have overcome them. At 8 months old we are still going strong and at 17 months since his conception – we are still puzzle pieces.”
More on Tilly Goble – Seattle Family Photographer click here.
Family Photographer Seattle | Meet Marquita
Part III Breast Feeding Awareness Month Marquita’s Journey
“Being a mother has always been my lifelong dream, when I became pregnant almost 8 years ago I couldn’t wait to hold my precious little one and nurse him or her. That dream shattered into a million pieces after my daughter passed away after blessing me with her lovely grace 19 days after she was born from a rare congenital heart defect. Although I was never given the privilege of holding her in my arms and nursing her I pumped and stored my breastmilk everyday that she was in the NICU in hopes that one day she would be able to grow strong and thrive from my breastmilk.
After battling immeasurable grief and a bout with infertility I was blessed to become pregnant again, but this time things turned out differently. On June 25, 2012 I gave birth to a healthy 7lb 6oz baby girl. I was finally allowed to present my daughter with the most precious, life sustaining gift that I could give her… my breastmilk. I always imagined that breastfeeding would be like second nature that it would have some minor bumps but I would be a pro, but I was sadly mistaken. Struggles with nipple shields, soreness, and milk supply hit me swiftly with reality. But the amazing thing that brought me through all of the roadblocks was SUPPORT. I had an immense amount of support from my loving partner, my mother, and more importantly my local WIC office who spent over 2 hours with me and my tiny newborn latching and re-latching until we got it right.
Once we got the latch correct the soreness went away and I was able to relish in watching my beautiful baby girl nurse from my breasts and grow tremendously. Over the past 14 months I have struggled with doubt and fears inadequacy but when I look down into those big brown eyes and I hear her sounds of gulping all of those fears and doubts quickly fade away. Our breastfeeding dance started out very rocky but with a lot of support and determination we stuck it out and I am so happy that we did. Breastfeeding is the most amazing gift that I can give my daughter and breastfeeding her these past 14 months has been the most cherished gift she has given me.”
Family Photographer Seattle | Amber
With little hesitation I knew I wanted to do something special for Breast Feeding Awareness Month. As a Family Photographer and Birth Photographer in Seattle you can imagine this is and intimate and personal part of family life that I would of course be interested in capturing.
I decided to do Free Portraits in the Park! Something so special should be captured! So I offered my services to some wonderful Moms and I asked them to tell their story.
Let me introduce to you: Amber
“I first decided I would nurse early in my first pregnancy. It was natural, best for baby, and as a bonus free. Like most women without children I knew everything thanks to my research and figured since I was prepared nursing would be a breeze. It was an eye opening experience months later when I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Sophia and realized breast feeding was more than just latching a baby to the breast.
Breast feeding, it turns out, was way more difficult than I thought. I didn’t know anyone who had breast fed more than a few weeks, and had no idea there were so many things that could go wrong. I had flat nipples (apparently fairly common) and my precious newborn had a shallow latch. It took 6 weeks, and several visits from the lactation consultant, before I could nurse without being in a lot of pain. I wanted to quit several times, but with my husbands support I just kept setting goals and encouraging myself not to make decisions until I reached my goal. Soon 3 months had passed and the pluses of nursing started to overshadow the negatives. I loved the freedom of not needing bottles and being able to grab my kiddo, a change of clothes, and a few diapers and run out the door. I was finally getting a hang of and feeling comfortable nursing uncovered which made nursing in public so much easier and less conspicuous. Around this time I also found a wonderful group of moms in my area and learned about extended breast feeding. I had had no idea that women breast feed past one, but the more I learned the more I thought this might be for us.
My daughter Sophia is now 2.75 years old and is still nursing tandem with her little sister Natalie (11 months). It hasn’t been easy, but what worth doing is? Every time I tandem nurse my girls and they sweetly hold hands I’m so thankful that I’ve had the ability to nurse both my girls and that they’ve started their lives with such an incredible bond thanks to breast feeding.”
Family Photographer Seattle
I am excited to introduce to you: Chelsea
I love breastfeeding my babies because, quite simply put, it is the best of me I have to offer. I can’t ever be the perfect mom, but I can give them the perfect nutrition; it’s a beautiful thing to literally build a new little person all by yourself, one sip at a time.
I love it because it is one of the only times they will ever truly need me, all of me. I love it because it gives me a break to slow down and just watch my little people growing before my eyes. I love it because it’s as much for me, my health and my sanity as it is for theirs.
For Owen, after being born blue and not breathing and spending almost a month in the NICU, the doctors told us he would never nurse; they also told us he would never move his limbs or breathe on his own or take food any way other than from a feeding tube. Nursing him is a daily reminder of how strong and resilient he is, how he proved everyone wrong and surpassed everyone’s expectations time and time again, and how blessed I am to have him in my life.
Arlo was supposed to be my easy baby, an amazing birth without complications and a very close relationship from the start; nursing was supposed to follow suit. After two rounds of mastitis, a tongue tie and a two-month-long nursing strike, I realized nothing good in life comes easy. Nursing him is a daily reminder that with a lot of patience, fierce determination and unyielding faith in my body, my babies and the universe, we can overcome even the most daunting obstacles in order to succeed.
Before giving birth I assumed I would nurse them both together all the time, but like much of new parenthood, it quickly became apparent that I had been living in fantasyland. Tandem nursing both of them became my absolute biggest dream, but didn’t seem realistically possible. It wasn’t until they were about six months old that we all came together and finally mastered it. Nursing both of them at the same time feels sacred to me; I am still in awe that it comes so easily now and it is a constant rreminder that persistence pays off. I feel connected to both of them in a way I have only ever felt while they were still inside me; intricately connected in the most basic, physical sense, one unit working together. Feeling both of them nurse fills me with awe and pride and when they lock eyes or hold hands there is just too much love for me to handle.