My daughter turned 1 year old on April 2nd (my how time flies) and to say the weeks leading up to her party were hectic would be an understatement. My husband and I bought our first home in Indianapolis in March and we moved in about 2 weeks before Mackenzie's First Birthday. We had lots of cleaning, unpacking, painting, decorating and party prep to do in those 2 weeks. I'm not quite sure how it all came together since it was all a blur leading up to her party, but everything was fabulous! I handmade a lot of the decorations and my husband and I made all the food and desserts. It was a lovely day to spend with our friends and family celebrating our little miracle baby. Below are some pictures from her first Easter, her birthday party, her 1 yr session as well as her cake smash. Time needs to slow down now, lol!
On October 2nd my daughter, Mackenzie, turned 6 months old. We headed out to Anderson Apple Orchard to do her big 6 month session. I absolutely LOVE the way the images turned out and I'm so very thankful of the picture that my husband was able to get of me with my daughter. It's been so fun watching her grow and learn and become this little individual already. (She's now 9 months old, lol, that's how far behind I am on blogging so be expecting that post here soon!) I absolutely LOVED shooting at this orchard and cannot wait to shoot there again sometime.. it's especially pretty in the fall time. <3
I'm finally getting around to blogging my daughter's 3 month session! I really enjoyed taking her 3 month pictures as it's so fun to see so much of her personality really starting to shine. We headed out to Oliver Winery at golden hour for some outdoor picture (big thanks to my husband for taking a few picture of me and Mackenzie together) and then the next day, I set up a mini studio in our kitchen for some more pictures. It's so amazing how much she's grown in 3 months and I cannot believe she will already be 4 months old on August 2nd. Time flies by and babies change so much that I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to capture these times for babies!
A lot of my friends, family and clients ask what exactly happened during my pregnancy and how my little girl is doing, so I thought I'd write up a blog post about everything. This post will be VERY image heavy (some cellphone pics and some from my pro camera), just to give you a heads up.
Back in May of 2012 I experience a miscarriage at 8 weeks pregnant. It was one of the worst experiences of my life at that time and I even had to undergo surgery a few days later. I found out I had really bad endometriosis at that time and was told that if we were wanting a baby soon to start trying as soon as I was healed. I found out I was pregnant with my now daughter in August of 2012 and besides some bad morning sickness that first trimester, things seem to have been going smoothly. There was a little hiccup at the beginning when they couldn't find a heartbeat at first, but after doing an ultrasound they were able to locate one.
Fast forward to November of 2012 when I was 18 weeks pregnant we had an anatomy ultrasound scheduled to see how the baby was doing and to also determine the sex. I'll never forget that day sitting in the ultrasound room looking at the screen and barely being able to see anything. We originally were told the ultrasound would last 45-60 mins, but we were only in the room for maybe 10 mins. The ultrasound technician was very quiet and acted uneasy and all she said was "The Doctor will talk to you in a bit." We didn't find out the sex nor were we told anything else and the time just seemed to drag out forever as we sat in the waiting room waiting to be called back.
Once called back we were told that my amniotic fluid was extremely low (they said it was at a 2 which was basically a small pocket up by her mouth) and the baby was measuring extremely small. The low fluid and small baby basically made it almost impossible for the ultrasound technician to see anything. We were recommended to a specialist in Indianapolis and there we were told the baby was over 2 weeks behind on growth and there was almost no fluid. They seemed so sure that I had a leak and really pushed me to do amniocentisis, but I refused since there is such a risk of having that needle stuck into my belly. They told us with low fluid and a small baby that more than likely she would have some sort of genetic defect so if we didn't do the amnio then we needed to do blood tests to determine if there was anything genetically wrong. We were told that the baby had a 1% chance of survival and more than likely she would end up passing away while in the womb. I remember when the genetics counselor went over everything with me, it just seemed like too much to take in and I broke down crying in the chair. We were told that day that we would more than likely have a premature baby if she survived at all and she would more than likely have health problems.
A week later we got the genetic testing results in and everything came back normal. We had to keep seeing the doctor every two weeks in Indy to monitor the fluid and growth. I was told to be on modified bed rest so that's what I did and I drank a TON of water. My fluid levels rocketed up to a level of 12, but the baby was still 2 weeks behind in growth. Every appointment we went to we were told it was a miracle that I was still pregnant and how important it was just to get me to 24 weeks. We had a lot of prayers coming in during the pregnancy and things started to turn around, our biweekly appts finally turned into monthly appts and I continued to take it easy. I had 2 steroid shots to help her lungs and brain develop in case she was premature, had to do a preeclampsia test due to slightly high blood pressure (which I passed) and had to do 3 glucose tests (I failed the 1 hour test by 1 point and I failed the 3 hour one due to the steroid shots messing up my sugar levels and finally passed the 3 hour test the third time). Monthly ultrasounds were going okay as the level remained about the same and the baby was growing, but still small.
Around week 34 I had an ultrasound and the baby fell completely off the growth charts and was at 5%. Because of this I had to start going in twice a week for a weekly ultrasound and 2 non stress tests a week. Finally at 39 weeks pregnant they decided it was time to induce me as to not risk anything happening.
On April 2, 2013 at 39 weeks pregnant I checked into the hospital at 5am and they started the induction process and later on broke my water. At a little after 5pm it was time to push and Mackenzie Evelyn was born at 5:59pm at 5lbs 9ozs and 19 inches long. I remember before I had to start pushing I told my husband that I wouldn't survive if after everything we've gone through to have her that she wouldn't make it on that last day. Once she was delivered she was only placed on my chest for a couple seconds before I heard the doctor tell the nurse to call special care bc she wasn't breathing. She was whisked away and given oxygen and I kept hearing the nurses ask why the baby wasn't that lively. I remember looking over at her laying there all purple with oxygen on her face and the nurses rubbing her little limbs to get her moving. I felt so helpless and all I could do was sit there and hold my husbands hand and cry until I heard her finally cry.
Those first moments that she was placed in my arms was like my entire world stopped and she was the only thing in it, I was absolutely in love with her.
The first couple weeks that we had her home were filled with sleepless nights and doctors appointments. I had to visit my OB office due to scoring high on a postpartum survey they gave at the hospital and I'm currently on medication and seeing a therapist of Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Anxiety and PTSD from the pregnancy. Mackenzie was slightly jaundiced and we had to keep her on a biliblanket for about 5 days after getting her home with lots of appts to check her levels. We also ended up switching pediatricians at the beginning due to our original doctor basically telling us that there HAD to be something wrong with Mackenzie due to the pregnancy even though she was healthy. That pediatrician even shamed me for not breast feeding, even though I tried numerous time and Mackenzie would not latch. I started using a breast pump at the hospital and still am continuing to pump (which is like a full time job) so I can give the best to my little girl, but that didn't stop her from making me feel like the worst mother for not actually breast feeding.
Before we knew it, she was a month old and growing so fast! She was already holding her head up and holding her bottle on her own when she wanted to. She still mainly slept most of the day and almost through the entire night, but those moments she was awake we made sure to shower her with love. We celebrated my birthday and my first Mother's Day with my beautiful girl.
By the time she was 2 months old we were finally settled into a routine and things started to calm down. She was still growing like a week, but small for her age. She was in the 25th percentile for weight and head and 10% for length. She was holding up her head more and more each day, smiling, laughing in her sleep and enjoying watching Cincinnati Reds games with her father.
On July 2nd, she turned 3 months old and was weighing in at 10 1/2lbs (be on the lookout for her 3 month session on the blog later this week)! She's smiling, cooing, baby talking, holding eye contact, dancing and discovering the world around her every day now. She enjoys naps in her swing, watching tv, getting read to and sitting up (with assistance) and standing! It's amazing how much she's grown already and how quickly these 3 months have gone. I'm so lucky to be her mother and I can't thank people enough for all their love, support and prayers during my pregnancy and during Mackenzie's first few months of life. She has a lot of guardian angels and people in her life that love her more than words can say.
Again, thank you to everyone for all their love, support and prayers this past year, it means more to us than you all will ever know. Thanks for the understanding while I had to place my business on hold and for sticking with me as I just reopened my business a month ago. I plan on doing little updates here and there on Mackenzie to keep you all updated! =) If you made it this far in the post, thank you for taking the time to read my story and to enjoy my photographs of my little miracle.
I love to capture life's fleeting moments and capture images that are alive, fun and true. My style of photography is mainly a photo journalistic modern style and I strive to give a one of a kind experience.