A Newborn In Home Session: Welcome Baby Callan!
I love photographing newborns; they are beautiful, innocent and naturally find a way to pose themselves perfectly. Their sweet faces, cuddles and cries are all worth being documented. Capturing these moments when your newborn is fresh to the world has a special place in my heart. I remember the days when my boys were babies, how quickly they change and how fast they grow, photographs help preserve the most amazing time in my life. Documenting your newborns first few weeks is something you won’t regret.
I was so happy to have the opportunity to photograph Callan when he was a few days old. In home sessions are special, not only is your home is “your” place; it’s a place where your family comes together, laughs, cries and grows. Inviting me in to your home is an honor. I had so much fun photographing baby Callan and his family in the place they will grow, learn and love together.
If you are interested in booking a newborn session, I’d love to chat! It’s best to photograph your sweet love the first 15 days of their life.
I’d love for you to learn a little more about me! Click here to find out more!
South Shore Park Maternity Session
In my time living in the suburbs of Milwaukee, I had never been to South Shore Park until the evening of my session with Emily and Pete. It is a beautiful park and was the perfect location for their maternity session. I love when my families choose their location for their session because I want a place that has meaning to you and your family. I want a place that is “yours”. South Shore Park is that place for Emily and Pete. It was such a beautiful evening to capture their love & Emily’s growing belly.
A Love Like No Other
“I swear I couldn’t love you more than I do right now, and yet I know I will tomorrow” -Leo Christianson
As a momma-to-be, I believe it is so important to document this time in your life. Your pregnancy is a blessing and should be captured. With every milestone, from tracking your baby’s size according to fruit & veggies to feeling the kicks inside your belly, it is all a gift. You deserve to remember your glowing smile and the selfless time you nurtured and carried your miracle. I am so lucky to have captured this miracle for Emily. She was glowing in the beautiful sunset and I wish both Emily and Pete all the best in this next great adventure!
For more details about maternity sessions or to book your session, please contact me by clicking here!
For more details about maternity sessions or to book your session, please contact me by
What is Craniosynostosis
According to St. Louis Children’s Hospital “Some babies are born with bones of the skull that are abnormally fused. This makes the head look misshapen and may cause problems with brain development. When the skull bones fuse prematurely, the condition is called craniosynostosis.” To learn more, you can visit their website by clicking here.
Everett’s Sagital Craniosynostosis Journey
Everett was born on April 28, 2014. He was healthy and we were a happy family of four. However, as soon as Everett was born I noticed a bony ridge on the top of his head. After being released from the hospital, we saw our pediatrician for Everett’s newborn check up. Right away our pediatrician knew what the ridge was. That was key. She explained to use briefly about a condition called Craniosynostosis and Everett needed to see a specialist in order to confirm if he had it. She asked if we wanted to hear more about the condition or wait until it was confirmed. We waited and in the meantime I Googled Craniosystosis. Bad idea. As a new mom, my emotions were high and my fears were coming to surface. I saw images of children with heads that looked just like Everett’s. Images of children that had scars that went from ear to ear, I read that children that under go this surgery need a blood transfusion, ICU time and a possibility of multiple surguries. I was terrified. We met with a plastic surgeon at our local children’s hospital and he confirmed that Everett indeed had Sagital Craniosynostis and would need surgery.
There are two options for children that have Sagital Craniosynostosis when it’s caught early:
1. Traditional surgery, which is a complete skull reconstruction . Thanks to the internet and my crazy googling, this is the type of surgery I had seen images of and read about. It involves an intensive surgery, blood transfusion, ICU time and a zig zag scar on the top of the head from ear to ear.
2. Endoscopic surgery, which is a minimally invasive approach. It involves a shorter surgery, minimal blood loss, less hospital time and helmet therapy.
Endoscopic surgery seemed like a better route for Everett, but the catch was our local children’s hospital had not performed that approach before but had been preparing to. If we selected that approach, Everett would be the first.
When it comes to your children, you want the best for them and sometimes have to follow your gut. While we respected our local doctors, our instincts led us to look 378 miles south to St. Louis Children’s Hospital where they had performed hundreds of endoscopic surgeries for Craniosynostosis. It was a difficult decision to consider surgery out of state, but we believed it was the best decision for Everett.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital
Something my husband and I quickly learned about hospitals is that communication and experience are key. From the moment I contacted St. Louis Children’s Hospital I knew we had made the right decision. We were informed of anything and everything we needed to know from that first phone call with their administrative assistant. We felt that we were not just another patient, and felt informed and confident in the Craniofacial team. They didn’t disappoint.
We set out for St. Louis in the hot and sticky month of July – Everett was 3 1/2 months old. The day before his surgery, we met both the nueorsurgeon and plastic surgeon for the first time. They explained everything we needed to know about the surgery. Everett had a CT scan done and we were sent on our way to get as much sleep as we could.
We woke up bright and early after a stressful night of worry and not being able to feed a 3 1/2 month old all night or all morning. The surgeons performed the 2 hour surgery, and while time seemed to drag on, my husband and I remember a feeling of peace while we waited. We were supported with so much love, we received so many prayers, and we knew we had the best team for Everett. The surgery went exactly as planned, and our sweet boy was waiting for us in the recovery room.
After the surgery, we spent one night in hospital where Everett recovered just fine. It couldn’t have gone any smoother. OK, that statement might not be true… sometimes I get crazy dreams and yell in my sleep. I happen to have had one of those dream while I was in the hospital and apparently started screaming in the middle of the night (ugh, talk about embarrassing). A bunch of the nurses ran to my rescue and although I was extememly embarrassed everything was fine. The day we were released from the hospital we met with the team that performed the surgery and they were so kind and optimistic about Everett’s recovery. 24 hours, two scars, and a little less skull later, we were free to make the 5 1/2 hour drive back to Wisconsin.
Over the course of the first year we had many follow up appointments. Back in Wisconsin, Everett was fit for his helmet within a few days of returning home. We met with a local team for Everett’s helmet therapy, where his helmets were adjusted at least once a week and then slowed down to every few weeks as he got older. Everett had three helmets total and wore them until he was almost a year old. Everett’s helmet was harder on my husband and I than him. He was allowed to take his helmet off once a day for less than an hour so we could clean it and give him a bath. The helmet was sweaty and stinky, but over the course of the year it did its job and Everett was able to get rid of it for good.
We also traveled to St. Louis several times to meet with the plastic surgeon and make sure Everett’s head was on track. This progressed from making the visit every other month to once per year. We will continue to visit the team in St. Louis for checkups until Everett is 18. The team, which also includes speech pathologists, psychologists, dentists and more, monitors his head growth and development. To date, Everett’s check ups have been great and his development is right on track. We use the trip to St. Louis as a celebration of Everett and an excuse to have a mini family vacation.
Early Detection is Key
Our pediatrician knew right away that Everett had Craniosynostosis. Early detection was the reason Everett qualified for endoscopic surgery as opposed to the traditional more intense surgery. As kids get older, the endoscopic approach is no longer possible. Our nueorsugeon explained that this approach is usually not used for babies older than 6 months. Why? He explained that babies skulls are very soft. It was described to us like cutting through cardboard as opposed to older children whose bones are hard and therefore much harder to cut.
We have always loved our local pediatrician, and because of her knowledge and previous experience with Craniosynostosis, she knew to send us to a specialist right away. We are forever grateful for her outstanding and compassionate care.
Additional Support- Cranio Care Bears
I stumbled across Cranio Care Bears while I was researching Craniosynostosis. Cranio Care Bears is a non-profit organization that gives support and encouragement through care packages. Their mission is “to spread awareness, support & compassion through loving care packages to families of children facing surgery for craniosynostosis. Our care packages include items for the child & family to relieve the stress accompanying this very serious surgery.”
I added Everett to the list to receive a care package from Cranio Care Bears. A week before his surgery he received the most wonderful package which included snacks, toiletries for the hospital, a handmade hat and a beautiful handmade prayer chain. The love and support from complete strangers blew us away. This organization meant so much to us as a family and we encourage you to take a moment and check out their amazing work. Click here to view their website.
Everett’s head continues to show improvement and he is a smart, silly and happy 3 year old. His skull molded into an appropriate shape with the help of his helmets, an amazing team of providers, and lots of love and support from family and friends. Today you likely wouldn’t realize that he ever had an issue without someone telling you, and we are incredibly proud of our courageous little “Cranio Warrior”.
While Everett has been blessed with a smooth recovery thus far, his journey continues on as we monitor his development and prepare the process of explaining to him what he has been through, and what may lie ahead. Other families fight tougher cranio battles that require additional surgeries, physical and emotional scars, and support from the communities around them. We stand with them as we recognize September as Craniosynostosis Awareness month, and we send our love and support to all of the cranio kids out there.
Thanks for reading Everett’s story.
I know your clothes aren’t fitting right, your ankles are swelling and if your cravings are anything like mine were, you are eating ice cream every night. You take your job as a momma-to-be seriously; worrying, wondering and questioning. You think about the future, how your life is going to change and what life is going to be like with this new addition. It can be overwhelming to think about, but I also know you are beautiful and strong. You are a momma who is caring for your unborn child with love and selflessness. You so bravely carry your baby for nine months; nurturing, loving, singing and praying for the baby you are so anxious to meet. Your life has already changed but you are in store for so much more. A love you never knew existed, a love you were so beautifully designed to share.
PREGNANCY IS A MIRACLE AND SHOULD BE CELEBRATED AND DOCUMENTED
Your pregnancy is a miracle and a gift and you deserve to cherish these memories. When I was pregnant I didn’t get maternity photos done and I regret not documenting that time in my life. During my pregnancies I felt like I wasn’t myself; the person I saw in the mirror was a puffy faced woman who was self conscious of her new body. I didn’t want to see myself in photographs. That was a mistake. My children are my biggest gifts, true blessings and they complete our family. My husband and I created these beautiful beings and I don’t think there is anything more amazing than that. I wish I could turn back time and beautifully capture my growing belly.
DOCUMENT YOUR MIRACLE
Mommas-to-be: Document your miracle. Celebrate the love you created. You were made for this. You are beautiful, strong, amazing and you deserve to cherish these moments forever.
CAPTURING EMILY & HER GROWING FAMILY
I had the privilege to photograph Emily and her family last year and have been blessed to know them for several years. Emily is the sweetest and kindest person and makes anyone feel welcome. We met at Menomonee Park for her maternity session where the air was warm and the sun was golden. I have a sweet spot in my heart for photographing her children; not only are they my kids playmates, they are so stinkin’ cute! We had an enjoyable sunset session where the kids explored and searched for bugs. It was a beautiful evening with a beautiful family.
Every good and perfect gift is from above. – James 1:17
Northwest Ohio is like my second home so to be able to offer family sessions in the area was something I had been dreaming about for awhile. I met Ashley briefly last year at my niece’s birthday party and I was so excited to have the opportunity to photograph her family. We met in downtown Toledo for our family session, where the weather was perfect and the area proved to be an amazing location. Ashley had the idea to have our session in downtown Toledo and find one of the many murals. The Toledo murals were new to me so naturally I searched online. I couldn’t believe how many murals Toledo has around the city. We had many to choose from, but decided on “The 12”.
“The 12”, which is a long strip of murals was created in 2015 by 12 local artists to display Toledo’s artistic community. It didn’t disappoint. In addition to the murals, the area beautiful old brick buildings (I’m a sucker for brick buildings). Ashley’s family was so enjoyable to work with and I felt like I had known her family for years. I loved photographing her daughters and watching the interaction between them. I’m sure they have their “sister” moments, but I could see a special bond and they are lucky to have each other. This beautiful family was so much fun to capture and Ashley picked the perfect location for them!
If you are in the Toledo area, click here to check out this article from the Toledo Blade about other murals around town!
If you are interested in a session, please let me know! I’d love to come to your area!
To contact me, Click Here!
Upcoming Travel Sessions:
Columbus, Ohio – October 27-29
Denver/Evergreen, Colorado – Fall/Winter 2017
Eastern Pennsylvania – Spring 2018
Eastern North Carolina – Late Summer 2018
specializes in child & family photography serving the Brookfield, wi area
capturing your family,
your love, your story.