Jazlyn Has Arrived! My Birth Story

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

Play the slideshow below for the photo documentation of Jazlyn’s birth and first few days (thanks to our doula for taking the pictures with my husband & I).

My Birth Story

On March 15th, 2014 my life changed forever when my baby girl Jazlyn was born. It had been a long nine months of watching everything I ate, mentally and physically preparing myself for an experience I was once terrified of, and on top of that, the longest I had been sober since high school. I was huge, I was uncomfortable, I was finally ready to be done with pregnancy and meet my baby.  My husband and I prepared the best we could for an all natural birth, but unfortunately our baby had other plans. Labor started off with mild cramping around 3pm on Thursday the 13th. It took a few hours for me to realize these were more than just pregnancy cramps, but I stayed calm, took my dog for a walk, baked some brownies, and even waited till my husband got home from his racquetball game around 8pm before I told him my suspicions. It was then that we both got really excited but we took it easy and tried to enjoy our last night alone together. When I realized I was not going to be able to get any sleep that night we called our doula to come over around 1 a.m. to help us get through the  labor process. Around 4am when my contractions got much closer, about 2 minutes apart, we decided it was time to head to the hospital. Something must have been in the air that night because the hospital was full of deliveries.  When I first arrived they checked my dilation and I was at 4 centimeters and then one hour later I was at 5.  My labor kept progressing well through the morning. I spent most of the time relaxing in my hospital room’s jacuzzi tub which was lined with LED candles and with my favorite music playing in the background. My husband was absolutely amazing as he was right by my side massaging my back through every contraction, and when I needed a break from the water we would slow dance or just laugh together, it truly was magical. It was also great to have our doula, Carolyn of Doulawise, there through the whole process. She provided confidence, support, and gave my husband much needed breaks.  And the midwives and nurses at Denver Health Hospital were so accommodating and supportive that at times I felt like I was getting royal treatment at a spa.

I was as relaxed as could be considering the contractions were greatly intensifying as I got further along. And then after about 16 hours or so of waiting to push at 8cm, everything began to change. We realized that my body had stopped progressing, the contractions and exhaustion were starting to become unbearable, and my baby had turned into an unfavorable face-up position.  She wasn’t going to come out on her own. We tried a number of natural induction techniques from breaking my water, aromatherapy oils, and even the use of a breast pump before I finally gave in to an Epidural and Pitocin to try to chemically induce dilation.  I only had 2 more centimeters to go, but after trying everything, nothing was working.  Then I had one of the strongest intuitions I ever felt, that a C-section would be necessary.  It was the last thing I wanted, but I knew at this point it was the best and possibly the only option left.  Thankfully my husband, doula, and the medical staff all agreed and before I knew it I was whisked away to the operating room.  I began to cry for the first time, and then started shaking uncontrollably.  The doctors told me the shaking was normal, due to the hormones, drugs, and anxiety.  But even so, it was scary being strapped down in a crucifix position, almost completely naked, under the bright lights, and surrounded by a room full of strangers covered in gowns and face masks.  I asked the anesthesiologist if I could have some music to calm my nerves and thankfully he agreed and grabbed his personal MP3 player and played Bob Marley over the speaker for me.  I instantly stopped shaking, at least for a few tracks.  When they finally let my husband in I barely recognized him in the face mask and scrubs.  It was far from the intimate experience I was hoping for, but when I saw my baby’s face for the first time I knew it was all worth it.  She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.

People immediately feel sorry for me when they hear how long I labored for.  But honestly you could have told me I was in labor for 10 hours and I would have believed you. I was in another world where time moved fast and getting my baby out safely was all I could focus on.  However I certainly couldn’t have done it without my husband, doula, the jacuzzi tub, and the wonderful staff of Denver Health.  And if I have another baby one day, I would certainly attempt another all natural vaginal birth again.  I’m thankful for (most of) the experience, and of course thankful to now have a happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl.

newborn pictures

newborn pictures

Cute and funny baby pictures

Cute and funny baby pictures

 

newborn pictures

newborn pictures

Baby Jazlyn

Baby Jazlyn

 

Baby Jazlyn

Baby Jazlyn

 

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Colorado Engagement Photographer – Ice Castles of Breckenridge

I first discovered these amazing Ice Castles in Colorado a couple of years ago and knew I had to come back one day for a unique photo shoot.  Well, when I had family come in town recently for a ski trip in Breckenridge…and knowing I would be the only one unable to do any skiing due to being pregnant, I figured it was the perfect time to set up an ice castle photo shoot.  While everyone was enjoying themselves on the slopes I was having fun taking pictures of the beautiful Vannoy and handsome Turner in the stunning Ice Castles of Breckenridge.  

unique engagement pictures at Ice Castles in Breckenridge

unique engagement pictures at Ice Castles in Breckenridge

 engagement pictures at Ice Castles in Breckenridge

engagement pictures at Ice Castles in Breckenridge

 We started their photo shoot right before sunset to take advantage of the colorful sky as well as the colored lights lit up in the ice.  And apparently that is when everyone else wants to come too, because the ice castles were packed with people.  We had to wait patiently for just the right moment to capture these shots without crowds of people getting in the way. 

unique engagement pictures at Colorado Ice Castles

unique engagement pictures at Colorado Ice Castles

keeping warm at the Ice Castles

keeping warm at the Ice Castles

 

engagement pictures at Ice Castles in Breckenridge

engagement pictures at Ice Castles in Breckenridge

unique winter pictures

unique winter pictures by Nicole Nichols Photography

 

Love & Ice

Love & Ice

getting sexy at the Ice Castles

getting sexy at the Ice Castles

winter engagement pictures at Ice Castles

winter engagement pictures at Ice Castles

fun creative pictures at the Ice Castles by Nicole Nichols Photography

fun creative pictures at the Ice Castles by Nicole Nichols Photography

Vannoy & Turner are inspiring models so they really knew how to work it behind the camera.  And talk about troopers on this freezing cold day! They did have big coats they would warm up with between shots, but when it was time for a picture they were great at hiding their chills and frozen hands.  But it was all worth it for these amazing pictures.  Thanks so much guys for being such great models and for being into this creative yet very cold idea of mine!

 

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Denver Lifestyle Baby Photographer: Baby Mya

I recently had the pleasure of doing newborn baby pictures of the beautiful little Mya.  I met the family in their home, where baby is most comfortable, and got some family portraits and lifestyle pictures of the parents hanging out with Mya.  Its always an honor to document this special time in a family’s life, and I also love to capture the interactions between mom and dad and baby, as well as the fun details of the baby’s decorated room.  Mya was right about five weeks when I took these pictures. 

Baby Mya in her crib

Baby Mya in her crib

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty

 

Baby Pictures by Nicole Nichols Photography

Baby Pictures by Nicole Nichols Photography

At this age they don’t like to be set down, so there’s always lots of crying, yet they are still so cute even when they cry.

Baby Pictures by Nicole Nichols Photography

Even Crying Babies are Beautiful

Family Portrait

Family Portrait

 

Nothing is quite as cute as tiny baby toes!

Precious baby feet

Precious baby feet

 

Daddy and His Little Girl

Daddy and His Little Girl

 

Baby Mya in her butterfly room

Baby Mya in her butterfly room

 

Baby Wants Momma

Baby Wants Momma

 

Momma & baby Mya

Momma & baby Mya

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New Orleans Destination Wedding Photographer: The Foundry

Kristen & Mark’s Picture Preview: A New Orleans Destination Wedding at the W Hotel and The Foundry

Bride & Groom Portraits at The Foundry

Bride & Groom Portraits at The Foundry

Kristen & Mark have been looking forward to this day for a long time.  They planned their New Orleans destination wedding from New York, with the dream of bringing all their friends and family together to witness their love in the city that they are in love with.  I was not able to photograph this wedding myself, due to being 9 months pregnant, but thankfully my associate Ashley, whom is also a huge fan of New Orleans, was more then happy to take over and document their wedding day along with Victoria, a New Orleans resident and long time 2nd photographer of mine.  

Wedding Details

Wedding Details

Bridal Portraits at the W Hotel

New Orleans Destination Wedding at The Foundry

The bride and groom got ready at the modern W Hotel in the French Quarter.  Then the guys took off in Capital City Trolleys and the girls in Big Easy Limos, to The Foundry for their wedding ceremony.  Over 100 guests from all over the country were anxiously awaiting their arrival and the start of the ceremony.  After all 12 bridesmaids, 10 groomsmen, 3 flowergirls, and 3 ringboys made it down the aisle, bagpipers came out to lead the way for the bride and her father. 

Bagpipers Start the Ceremony

Bagpipers Start the Ceremony

New Orleans Destination Wedding Ceremony at The Foundry

New Orleans Destination Wedding Ceremony at The Foundry

 

New Orleans Destination Wedding

New Orleans Destination Wedding

Following the ceremony they had a traditional New Orleans second line parade, where a jazz and brass walking band Smitty Dees led the guests dancing around the neighborhood. 

New Orleans Second Line

New Orleans Second Line

New Orleans Second Line

New Orleans Second Line

Bride & Groom Portraits at The Foundry

Bride & Groom Portraits at The Foundry

Perfect Presentations created the floral arrangements for the wedding, including Kristen’s pink and beige rose bouquet pictured below. The wedding cake was crafted by baker Jessica Doyle, and was simple yet stunning set against the mechanical wheels and colorful lights of the Foundry walls.

Wedding Details

Wedding Details

The bride and groom were all about having a good time, so after some quick wedding portraits it was back into The Foundry for lots of dancing and live music by the wedding band Harvey Jesus and Fire.

Kristen and her many bridesmaids having fun

Kristen and her many bridesmaids having fun

1st Dance at The Foundry

1st Dance at The Foundry

Congratulations Kristen & Mark, I hope your New Orleans destination wedding was everything your dreamed it to be!

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Denver Engagement Photographer: Urban Graffiti & Red Rocks

Heather & Dylan’s Engagement Pictures:

Urban Graffiti Engagement Pictures in Denver

Urban Graffiti Engagement Pictures in Denver

Heather & Dylan have a unique story.  They have both been married before, to each other.  Sometimes true love just doesn’t work out the first time around, sometimes timing really is everything.  This time Heather & Dylan are doing a lot of things differently, including documenting their love with engagement pictures.  Its clear these two are meant to be together and they are extremely excited about their second chance at marriage, and their upcoming destination wedding in Cozumel, Mexico.

Denver Engagement Pictures in Santa Fe Arts District

Denver Engagement Pictures in Santa Fe Arts District

 

Denver Engagement Pictures in Santa Fe Arts District

Denver Engagement Pictures in Santa Fe Arts District

 

Urban Graffiti Engagement Pictures in Denver

Urban Graffiti Engagement Pictures in Denver

Dylan & Heather own and operate Armbrust Pro Gym, so we also did a few pictures in their colorful work shirts, and I couldn’t resist getting a picture of them flexing for the camera.  No doubt about it these two love birds are in great shape for marriage and for a beach wedding in Mexico. 

Fun Engagement Pictures in downtown Denver

Fun Engagement Pictures in downtown Denver

Unique Engagement Pictures

Unique Engagement Pictures

We started their pictures in the unique Santa Fe Arts District of downtown Denver.  I love doing engagement pictures in this neighborhood, all of the colorful graffiti and urban artistic style always makes for fun interesting pictures. Afterwards we headed outside the city for a completely different style of engagement pictures among the rocky terrain, snow, and stunning landscape of Red Rocks in Morrison.

 

Unique artistic Pictures at Red Rocks

Unique artistic Pictures at Red Rocks

Fun Candid Engagement Pictures

Fun Candid Engagement Pictures

Romantic Pictures at Red Rocks

Romantic Pictures at Red Rocks

Unique Engagement Pictures

Unique Engagement Pictures

 

Unique Pictures at Red Rocks

Unique Pictures at Red Rocks

 

 

 

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