Ever notice how some things can fall off of your radar for a while and then all of a sudden, it's everywhere you when you start loving chevron print and can't find it anywhere and then one day, Pinterest and Target are exploding with it ;-). That's how I'm feeling about birth photography lately. 

I haven't photographed any births in the past few months because of workshops and my travel schedule, but all of a sudden, BAM! I'm all things birth photography. I'm currently on call for a new baby to be born any minute now (I'm sure his mom wishes it was any minute now ;-). I also had an interesting phone call with a lady up north today about the rise of birth photography in the US (more on that in another post;-). During that chat, I talked about one of my most memorable birth sessions...who happens to be the older brother of a birth from earlier this year that I had not yet blogged. Thought I'd take advantage of this time to go ahead and check that off my ever expanding "to be blogged" list.

Let's start at the beginning for this little guy. This was to be a scheduled c-section and mom said she was determined to show up in heels for his arrival (go mom!). But, a few days before the anticipated date, I got a phone call at 2 a.m., "My water just broke!" She was so incredibly calm, "Yes, I think I'll take a shower and then we'll head over to the hospital in a little while." I was bouncing up and down with excitement and here she was talking like she was heading to the grocery store. She was just like this when her first child was born...she cracks me up--nerves of steel. So, taking a cue from her, I calmed myself down, took my time, and moseyed on down to the hospital some time later.

When I got there, however, everything was moving at warp speed. That had her all checked in and prepped for the OR. Turns out her labor had kicked it into high gear and they were ready to roll. On go the bunny suits and away we go!

It startles me just a bit how quickly c-sections go--fascinating process! Usually, it's only just a few minutes from the time mom is taken into the OR to when we get to hear the sweet cries of a brand new baby...

While mommy was in recovery, I tagged along with dad to capture the first few moments of their new baby boy.

A few hours later, it was finally time for this new family of four to be united. Big brother's reaction to his new little brother was enough to make your heart melt!

What a fun day that 2 a.m. phone call turned out to bring! And, I just got word that I'm going to be seeing this little guy again really soon for his 4 month pictures. I cannot wait to see how he's changed!

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babyboy-austin-birth-photographer.jpg still just as sweet.

Let me just tell you that I'm glad I decided to go to bed at 11 last night instead of staying up to proof pics because that 2 a.m. call this morning wasn't quite in my plans, LOL. This little man surprised us all just a bit as we were planning to meet him on Monday. It was absolutely incredible to get to be there with this family again (I was there the day their first son was born) and wow, were we all impressed with how big brother *immediately* took to his new sidekick. It was beautiful! 

Speaking of beautiful...

....I know. I know. I should just make this the fashion!

It was an exhausting (I haven't pulled a double header in a long time ;-) but ULTRA JOYOUS day! Gosh, I had to pinch myself periodically--is this really my job??? I absolutely adore this family and it was such an honor to get to document his birth. Congratulations again, you guys (guess I'll find out his name at his newborn session, LOL?). You make beautiful babies!

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I sat down to post the annual Year in Review slideshow, but instead, I'm finding my mind is still swirling from what happened yesterday. I need to explain to you just how grateful my heart is on this first day of 2012. As some of you may have seen on my Facebook page, I spent the very last day of 2011 worried sick over my baby sister in the hospital. She had been complaining of a pain in her leg since her trip to New York earlier in Dec. and she called me early yesterday morning saying she had just blacked out in her hallway. My first thought was a blood clot...and then immediately, the fear of a pulmonary embolism. [I want to pause right here and thank someone very special--she will know who she is--for unknowingly giving me a key bit of knowledge about this very dangerous condition and possibly helping to save my sister's life. Thank you and my heart was very much with you during this holiday season.] 

My first words were, "We're going to the hospital..NOW!"

As she was going through the barrage of tests with so many unanswered questions and the very real fear that my sister could die, all I could think was how desperately I wanted the gift of another year with my sister. Just the day before, she and I watched this and marveled over his courage and peaceful outlook on life and death. While we were waiting in the hospital, we read this and this, pleased with how many of those we had done and vowing to check off the rest this year. 

Turns out, she did indeed have a blood clot in her leg, but thank goodness her lungs were clear!!! She has started treatment, but now we have to figure out why the clot formed so we can keep it from happening again. She is so young and a very healthy, non-smoking young woman...this kind of thing just doesn't make sense for her. As I'm writing this, I am actually glad to share this story with you in the hopes that should you or someone you know experience symptoms of DVT or a pulmonary embolism, you'll know to get immediate medical attention.

2011 was one of the busiest years I can recall in a long time and I know that busy=blessed. I had the privilege of meeting and/or working with hundreds families and photographers from all over the world. (It's funny how small my world has become thanks to Facebook ;-). However, to be honest right now, when I think back over the year as a whole, it's pretty much a blur to me--the only thing I can really remember is yesterday.

But I feel it's important to always acknowledge and thank the people who allow me into their lives and trust me photograph their most important family moments. I want to remind them how beautiful they special their connections are...what a gift their families are. So, like I've done every year since 2007, I pulled just one image from each session to create the 2011 Year in Review... 

(Google Reader users: you'll need to click THIS LINK to see). 

My sister, my mom, and I all had separate plans for New Year's Eve yesterday, but all of our families ended up at my house last night. I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful up an impromptu batch of homemade chili, all of us watching the 360º of fireworks in the horizon at midnight, listening to "Auld Lang Syne" on the iPod, toasting in paper cups, ringing in 2012 together. Grateful.

[p.s. Clients: I sent out the details on the 2011 Pinkle's Pic of the Year contest to you all. If you had a session with me in 2011 of any kind and did not get this info, let me know ASAP so I can get you up to speed.]

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May 31, 2011

His birth was so calm, so uncomplicated, so bittersweet. His family is about to leave me town :-( and it's going to be tough not to see him and his big sister grow up in person like this anymore. But I'm going to hang onto these moments and I can always say, "I've known you since before you were born..."

While I've photographed a few c-sections before, I've never actually photographed THE c-section until now. What an experience!!! Modern medicine is certainly something to marvel. I couldn't get over how *fast* it was...beginning to end. Wow! Quite amazing.

So here is the birth of Rowan, shared with permission from his mommy (Google Reader/RSS'll want to click THIS link to view):

[See this for details on birth photography in the Austin area. If you're a photographer seeking information on birth photography, check out Pinkle Toes 4 Photographers].
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May 4, 2011

I can't imagine a more beautiful day for his birth! And I can't imagine a more wonderful family to share this special day with. He's perfect...just perfect!
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