Monday, September 28, 2015

Natural Beginnings

The very first morning I found out I was pregnant I made our first appointment with my gynecologist--before I even told the Mr. that we were expecting! Before that moment, I had never really considered an "alternative" birth, but soon after I made that appointment I had a feeling of slight unrest. When possible, we choose to eat organic, we avoid unnecessary medications, and are interested in a more natural approach to overall well-being. Why would I want my pregnancy and delivery to be anything different?

A friend of mine had recently shared her birth story and experience at Natural Beginnings, a birth center, near where we live. And all of a sudden I knew that this was the type of place where I wanted to bring our baby into the world.

Ryan was a little apprehensive at first, but I did my research and made an appointment to tour the center. Ryan and I came up with nearly two pages worth of questions for them. While on our tour, I couldn't help but envision my pregnancy care and delivery taking place surrounded by a team of women that had the same goal in mind--to deliver a healthy baby naturally. Everyone was so friendly, and each question we had was answered confidently and positively. As soon as we left, we both knew that Natural Beginnings Birth and Wellness Center was just right for us!

This is the family room where our parents waited on Raleigh's arrival!

I realize that you can have a successful natural birth at a hospital, even without midwives. But we felt like the environment at the center was ideal for us. After doing my research (and yes, reading the scary stories that are out there about both medicated and unmedicated births!), I knew that I wanted to labor with the help of my Mr. with as much freedom as possible. And I wanted to feel like my goals and preferences for labor and delivery were important to everyone involved.

I wasn't totally sure what I was signing up for. I had never been pregnant before, and I had no idea what to expect. But I had a team of incredibly knowledgeable professionals to encourage and support us for nine solid months plus postpartum.

This is the room and the birthing tub at Natural Beginnings that I delivered Raleigh Parker in!

Delivering at a birthing center can be a liberating and peaceful experience since you have the freedom to labor and deliver in ways that work best for you. Now that I have actually had our baby boy, I can't wait to share how amazing our experience was from start to finish (birth story coming soon!).

Here are a couple helpful blog posts if you are considering a birthing center or just curious! 1 / 2 / 3
Please know that I don't think there is any shame in the choices you made or are making for your delivery--whether it was at home, in a hospital, completely natural, or with every intervention available. As mamas and soon-to-be mamas we make the best decisions possible for our families, and I completely respect that. Please also know that hospitals can provide wonderful experiences as well, and I personally know of many happy birth stories (including natural ones!) that came from a hospital setting.

Photos from Natural Beginnings' Facebook page


Monday, September 21, 2015

Pregnant x3

If you hadn't already noticed from my Instagram that two of my best friends were pregnant alongside me then.. surprise! Before you even think it--no, this was not planned. At least not by us. I am confident that God works all things out for our good and benefit, and being pregnant alongside these gals was a true blessing.

It was only a couple weeks after Ryan and I found out that I was pregnant that we all found out about each other. It was such a fun moment when we discovered that we were all three pregnant together. And even better--our due dates were expected to be within ten days of each other!

With every twinge, cramp, and crazy side effect we were texting and calling each other. The group text has been non-stop! Now that we have all had our sweet baby boys (yes, all boys!), I honestly cannot imagine going through pregnancy without them. We had such an amazing support team, and I already love being a mama with them too!

We spent one warm summer evening with Sara Logan Photography right by WinMock for a fun group shoot. And these laughs and giggles are 100% real! I love these girls so much!

Amy Lynne Originals made the sweetest flower crowns for our shoot--they were perfect!

All photogrpahy by Sara Logan Photography


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Anticipating Raleigh Parker

 Well now that our little Raleigh Parker has been here for over a month, I figure it is about past time I share the photos from an incredible maternity photo shoot with Sara Logan Photography!

In the fields and wooded trails near WinMock I spent a couple hours traipsing around wearing a gorgeous flower crown by Amy Lynne Originals while Sara snapped photos of me eight months pregnant. I had so much fun, and Sara made it easy for me to be comfortable in front of the camera. It is crazy to think that these shots are from just a few months ago--time has really flown by!

These are just a few of my favorites! I just love how they all turned out, and I am so thankful for sweet pictures and memories of such a sweet time in my life!

All photography by Sara Logan Photography