Babies

Meet Clayton - Waukesha Lifestyle Newborn Session

Milwaukee_Waukesha_Lifestyle_Newborn_Photography_birth_photographer_0034.jpg

Since having Lacey last year, I get so excited to meet a newborn baby! They are so tiny compared to my 12 month old and seeing them makes me really appreciate how much my baby girl has grown. I had the pleasure of photographing Rachel and Michael’s adorable itty bitty, 9-day-old Clayton this past weekend. Our wonderful childbirth instructor, Rowenna of Kinderhaven Birth & Family Services, connected us this past fall and I was so happy that they reached out to me! We had a wonderful time during their maternity session and I was happily waiting for their baby’s arrival when January rolled around:)

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, Clayton was born in the afternoon at Authentic Birth Center! I was so excited to meet him :) I gave Rachel a huge hug when I saw her and walked into the bedroom as Clayton was sleeping peacefully on Michael’s chest. Their faces glowed as they held their little boy and as they watched one another holding the tiny human they created together.

Clayton was so alert while I was taking pictures, I was surprised by how many times he looked straight at the camera. He was the perfect little model. I even got a photo of both him and his mama looking at the camera, I can’t even do that with my daughter now most of the time! I am going to love watching this little cutie grow :) I’m excited for playdates to come!

Congratulations Rachel and Michael! You are clearly amazing parents to your beautiful son already :)


Follow along on Instagram :)

Meet Rowan - Madison Home Birth Fresh 48 Session

20180927-DSC_8554.jpg

Baby Rowan made his grand entrance into the world like a firecracker and has given us all quite the story to tell for years! To give you a little background before I dive into the details of his birth, I met his mom, Amanda, when we were physical therapy students together at UW Madison. We hadn’t seen each other for a while after graduating, and we both started families of our own. When I announced that I was going to start photographing births, she asked me to photograph her planned home birth and I was so excited! Since then, we all reunited this summer and we had the pleasure of meeting her incredibly sweet little boy, Finn, who was so kind to Lacey as they hung out together :)

Fast forward to last night. I think the best way to paint the picture of how Rowan was born is to give a timeline of events and my text/call log with Amanda and her husband Jason:

11:58pm on 9/26 - Amanda group texts me to let me know that she has been having mild and inconsistent contractions (she didn’t even need to breathe through them or stop what she was doing) since 6pm, but she is not sure if she is really in labor yet.

12:13am on 9/27 - I text Amanda back encouraging her to get some sleep and call me if she progresses.

1:07am on 9/27 - Jason calls me to let me know that Amanda’s contractions have gotten stronger and that I should come now because her midwife is also on the way.

1:19am on 9/27 - Rowan is born!

1:27am on 9/27 - I’m about to leave my apartment when Jason calls again to tell me in the calmest voice, “Yea, so, the baby came already…”

I later learned that Rowan came so fast that their midwife didn’t even make it to deliver him and his dad had to catch him in their bathroom! Not only did Jason have to catch Rowan, but he had to catch Rowan on the fly because he had been clearing space in the other room when Amanda started to crown and urgently pleaded for him to help her! He literally had seconds and would have missed Rowan had he been a moment slower! Amanda even delivered her placenta before her midwife arrived, it all happened in a whirlwind!

I was so honored to see them a few hours later that day to listen to their incredible story and to meet their precious little cutie! Mom and Baby looked so bright, high-spirited, and healthy, I was amazed. He was so alert and adorable (which you will see in the photos). We talked about how it was a good thing that they had planned a home birth because that was what Rowan was planning all along apparently! I was so happy to see how this family is able to enjoy their first moments with their new addition in the comfort of their home.

Congratulations to this wonderful family!

Finn is adjusting to life as an older brother. With all eyes on little Rowan after I arrived, he made an entrance into the room with a paper towel roll voice amplifier! As the oldest in my own family, I know the feeling Finn! Otherwise I can already tell he is going to be such a sweet brother. Amanda told me he tried sharing a graham cracker and bottle of cows milk with Rowan, so cute!

pickart-family-fresh-48-milwaukee-newborn-photographer-1-2.jpg

Follow along on Instagram!

Milwaukee Home Fresh 48 Session - Fox Themed Nursery

Milwaukee-birth-photographer-3.jpg

Lochlan turned 1 month today, so I thought I would post his and his family’s Fresh 48/Just Born session from the day after he was born and came home a month ago (to see his birth story, click here!). What made this session extra special was capturing the moment his big sister met him and seeing this family of 4 all together for the first time :) Alexis was already such a sweetie to her little brother, gesturing to ask to hold him, booping him on the nose, trying to tickle him, and hugging him. Their matching “Big Sister” and “Little Brother” outfits were so stinkin cute and he has the most adorable fox-themed nursery! He was in a pretty good mood throughout the time I spent with them and he even smiled at the camera while in his crib!


Follow along on Instagram :)

VBAC at Columbia St. Mary's Hospital - Milwaukee Birth Photography

columbia-st-marys-vbac-milwaukee-birth-photographer_0038.jpg

Rachel's birth to Lochlan struck a personal cord with me. Let me give you some background.

In the first few weeks after Lacey was brought into the world through my c-section, I felt sad, and I felt guilty for feeling sad. Having an unexpected and unwanted c-section can be isolating. During those early postpartum days, the only person I felt that could truly understand me was my husband since he had been there by my side during our entire stay at the hospital. I felt that way until I discovered an organization called ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). My husband and I had confided in our birth instructor and friend who was one of the few people that validated our feelings. She mentioned that ICAN offered support groups for mothers, especially c-section moms, who had experienced a traumatic birth. After reaching out to another friend who's first birth story was similar to mine and having another person that I respect recommend ICAN, my husband and I decided to go to a meeting.

It was in that small group circle at my first ICAN meeting that I met Rachel. Five of us sat in a circle and introduced ourselves before telling our birth stories. As I listened, I was relieved that I wasn't alone in the feelings I was going through. Rachel's story struck me especially because I related to hers so much. We both had been striving for a natural birth, we both pushed for over 2 hours, and we both had baby girls over 9 pounds by c-section. Her story also stood out to me because she seemed at a place of peace in her healing journey and sounded hopeful for the future. At that meeting, Rachel shared that she was pregnant with her 2nd baby and that she was going to go for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). Attempting a VBAC is a surprisingly polarizing topic in the birth world. I am disappointed in how many providers discourage all women from having VBACs because even the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that, "VBAC is a safe and appropriate choice for most women who have had a prior cesarean delivery, including some women who have had two previous cesareans." Rachel was brave in making an evidence-based decision to swim against the current and societal norms that ignorantly proclaim, "Once a c-section, always a c-section".

Rachel had an incredible team of people supporting her. Her OB is not just VBAC tolerant, but a VBAC advocate. Her doula, Amy, knew exactly what to say to keep the experience peaceful and encouraging. Her friends stepped in to provide childcare for their little girl in the middle of the night. Don't even get me started on her husband, Nate, who was there for Rachel at every single step. They have such an incredible relationship that you will be able to see a little glimpse of in these photos. 

I know that every birth is special and important in its own way and the same would ring true for their boy no matter how he was born, but I was rooting for Rachel to get her VBAC so hard. I was rooting for a leader who's example I was ready to follow. I was rooting for her to be able to meet her baby boy in a way that she could be fully present with all of her senses. I have heard several VBAC birth stories on podcasts which usually bring me to the verge of tears, but witnessing Rachel achieve hers was on a totally new emotional level for me. Seeing the joy on her and her husband's faces when she got to pull in little Lochlan to her chest for their first snuggle was something I will never forget.

I am so proud of my friend. She has encouraged and inspired me in such deep ways. I feel so honored that they welcomed me into this sacred space. I could write paragraphs on what happened that day or about how precious Lochlan is, but I think these images will do a better job than my writing can. :)  For any fans of emotional photo montages, watching the video right below is one you don't want to miss. If you'd rather just keep scrolling for photos, that works too ;)


Follow along on Instagram :)

Meet Baby Gabe - Just Born/Fresh 48 Session

Columbia-St-Marys-Milwaukee-Birth-Fresh-48-Photographer-32.jpg

Maria and I connected through a wonderful support group for moms that have had a c-section called ICAN. I got to talk to her about Fresh 48 photography when she was about 37 weeks along with baby Gabe in her belly. Having the next baby after a c-section can be scary for a lot of women, and let me tell you, Maria had a lot of courage. She told me she was going to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), which is no easy feat! There is a lot of negativity in society surrounding VBAC, but being a labor and delivery nurse herself, Maria knew the pros and cons very well.

As her estimated delivery date on 6/4/18 came and went, Maria gathered support and good vibes from her community. One day before her scheduled induction, I got a text in the morning saying she was in labor and at the hospital. Both her and I were relieved that little Gabe got to choose the day he would enter the world. About 9 hours later, they let me know that their son had arrived and she had her VBAC after all! I drove to the hospital shortly after that so that I could capture the moment that her adorable daughter got to meet her little brother. It was such an honor that their family welcomed me during this special time. I felt so inspired be in the presence of this strong woman and her amazingly supportive family. I am so happy for them all and I am so glad that Maria had the healing birth that she deserved.

Without further ado, here are the images from my time in the hospital with them:

Milwaukee_Wisconsin_Birth_Photographer_Fresh_48_Photography_Session_Just_Born_Columbia_St_Marys_0005.jpg

Maria's dad was so proud of her <3

His big sister sang him a very special song that she has been singing to him since he was in the womb. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed, she loves her brother so much already.

Thankfully all his grandparents were ready to record this special moment for them so he can watch it with his sister one day :)

I love the way that grandparents look at their grandchildren.

Welcome to the world baby Gabe, you are so loved by so many people.