2016: a year in review

2016: a year in review

21 birth day parties: 14 boys and 7 girls. 15 hospital births, 3 out of hospital, and 2 c-sections.

I cut back in 2016. I wish I could tell you it was this super deliberate business decision but life ran us over a little (a lot) and by the grace of God, A Sacred Project took a bit of a backseat to survival. But you know what? What a gift these days were in hard times. I talk often about the light that birth shines in the darkness and the stories this year were a beaming ray of hope into a heavy and grim 2016. I am thankful for that. So thankful.

Like many of you, I’m shaking off the dust of the past and stepping into 2017 with fresh eyes and open hands. There are many stories on the books already and there are many that I won’t know about until later. I’m going to meet new faces and say hello to old friends, step foot into new territory, push myself creatively, and continuing loving and being obsessed with what I get to do for a living.

the birth of Elle

the birth of Elle

It’s not often that a baby takes my request for an afternoon, naturally lit birth seriously. But Elle, that girl — she knows the way to her photog’s heart.

PS: Despite what these photos may look like, this was Brittany’s very first natural and out-of-hospital birth. Right? I’m impressed too. Gorgeous and strong and sweet and boss mama.

the birth of Haven

the birth of Haven

Throwback to this gal’s first birth — 70 something hours, 3+ hours of pushing, and obvious HARD FREAKING WORK. When the Mayer’s sent the exciting baby # 2 news my way, I a) did my repeat mama happy dance and b) started praying for an easier second time around.

Well.

Fast forward several months and labor signs begin. Yay! Praise the Lord! Here we go! Little did we all know that less than 2 hours later, this little lady would be earthside and ready to take on her new world.

Did she wait for her birth photographer? Not in the slightest. But she absolutely made up for it with a sunset herbal bath sesh. Thanks sister!

the birth of Liam

the birth of Liam

Without fail, I book a trip to Disney and one of my favorite mamas sends me the “Hey! Baby #2!” message. Though, my plane does leave a week after her due date and positive thoughts and we’ll be just fine.

LOL.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – thank the good Lord in heaven for amazing back up. When days went by with no sign of baby, I turned the reigns over to my talented pal Jashley and prepped for a few days at the happiest place on earth. Woke up early on October 8th to finish packing (last minute, duh) and awaiting me on my phone was a text saying – of course – labor had started and things were becoming speedy. Jashley was on her way and knowing the family was in the best of hands, I put my phone on airplane mode and enjoyed the flight to Orlando.

Fast forward 2 hours and baby is here. Jashley didn’t even make it in time and dad + midwives almost didn’t either. It always amazes me how quickly the body can do miraculous things like push out a baby.

Even with how chaotic the birth was, Jashley did such a great job telling the story of those quiet hours afterwards and captured beautifully the first moments of this new family of 4.

2015: a year in review

2015: a year in review

I’m all cheesy smiles & teary eyes today. The new year feels get me every time but I can honestly say that after looking back over the year, it’s been one of the best yet with ASP.

15 girls. 9 boys. 6 mamas decided to keep the gender a secret until delivery, which is always the most fun.

5 c-sections. 4 home births. 4 birth center births. 11 hospital births.

I was at my first birth of the year on New Year’s day and spent half of my anniversary with a great family welcoming their first little guy. I spent an early morning driving from downtown Fort Worth to downtown Dallas for a back-to-back birth marathon with a perfectly-timed stop at Whole Foods in between. I learned the value of keeping protein-rich snacks in my go bag because hangry is a real thing, people. I drove hundreds of miles all over the metroplex and spent intimate, precious, sacred time with 24 wonderful families.

Thank you, to everyone who makes this possible – my clients who let me tell these stories, the encouragement, the sharing, the patience, and all the love. I couldn’t do this without of you so thank you thank you thank you.

Here’s to the best 2016 full of babies and great stories!

the birth of Marlow

the birth of Marlow

There are some families who I feel, selfishly, should never stop having babies. Their births are a beautiful kind of intense, full of joy and surprises, and saying it’s an event full of love feels like an understatement.

I was lucky enough to be at big brother’s arrival a couple of years ago and have, honestly, been waiting by the computer for an “I’m preggo again!” email ever since. Last go around, both big brothers were certain he was to be a girl and the belly hereby officially named Marlow. Much to everyone’s surprise though, Marlow ended up being Colt and while all was happy and well, the masses still were routing for a Still baby girl – at least, I totally was.

Oh the tears that flowed the moment we found out this little one was THE Marlow. It was fantastic. I feel sometimes that my job is little in the grand scheme of things but it’s taking part in moments like these, with families I love, that makes all the difference.