This session just made my year. Jameson was such a poseable little ball of cute during his session. In planning their session, his mama shared that they have picked blues and gray for him. Dad… More
This mommy and me pair are absolutely gorgeous and perfectly styled. I love momma’s hair and amazing dimples. Baby girl is the perfect little cherub baby with wispy hair and sweet skin tones.
When mom booked her session she had a vision in mind. White and flowy dress with lacy details. A session in the water with her baby girl, and a few nursing images. As luck would have it, my #1 spot for water photos was too wet from several days worth of rain leading up to the session. Never fear though because my back up spot is GORGEOUS, just sometimes too dry in the summer. The rain helped! We shifted our session location and it turned out perfectly! The dress mom found was beautiful. Simple with the perfect amount of lace detail at the bottom. I actually provided the sweet little onsie that her little girl is wearing. I keep a small collection of studio props and was thrilled when she selected one I hadn’t used yet!
Interested in booking your own family photos? Send me an email!
This past June I was invited to document the birth of baby Ethan. I have asked his amazing mama to share their birth story here on the blog. There is so much beauty in birth, even when there is trauma. Heather is such a warrior and has tremendous support in her husband.
**Trigger warning, blog post is a retelling of this mother’s birth experience, which includes a life threatening complication she experienced. **
Watch the birth video here: https://jamieromaezi.smugmug.com/Jamie-Romaezi-Photography-Videos/i-GzGzrFz/A
Thursday, June 29, 2017 two major events happened. I gave birth to the most beautiful, perfect baby boy and I almost died. I’m not saying that to be dramatic, but just as a fact that changed my life.
The day started with me going into labor through the night and heading to the hospital that morning. I had a c-section with my daughter, but really wanted to try for a Vaginal Birth After C-Section (VBAC), so I was given a trial of labor. Since I had high blood pressure during my first pregnancy, I knew that if I had high blood pressure during labor, I wanted to get an epidural. My blood pressure did start to go up as the contractions became more intense, so I got the epidural and labored comfortably until it was time to push.
After pushing for a little over two hours, a couple of things happened. I was starting to get discouraged. I knew the longer I pushed, the less chance I would have for the VBAC and then my epidural wore off. I turned into the crazy lady in the room next door screaming in pain and begging the doctors and nurses to do something. It was then decided that I would need a c-section because baby boy just wasn’t coming and I was in so much pain.
I had to be put under because they weren’t able to manage the pain with the epidural or spinal. Since I was put to sleep, I didn’t get to see when my baby was born. I found out all the details in the recovery room afterwards. Our sweet boy measured in at 8lbs, 7 oz and 20.5 inches long. He started breastfeeding immediately!
We let our family know that baby boy was here and had our daughter come to meet her baby brother. I am so thankful I was there for that moment.
A couple hours after being in the postpartum room, the doctor had noticed a couple of red flags that could mean that I was bleeding internally. He decided to take me back in to take a look.
What happened next isn’t completely clear to me, but this is what I have pieced together. Everything was still dry in the area of the c-section, but then it was discovered that there was another tear in a different location where I was losing blood. They repaired that, but during all of this I went into shock and lost a lot of blood. They gave me 6 units of blood. I was intubated and sedated over night. I was placed in the ICU. I had also developed postpartum preeclampsia. I didn’t even know it was possible to get it AFTER having a baby. Because of this, and all the blood, IVs and medication being pumped into me, my body was completely swollen.
From what I have been told, they woke me up on Friday and I was very agitated. I remember them taking the tubes out of my throat. I still had my contacts in and asked them to take them out and for my husband to get my glasses for me. I also asked him not to give our baby a bottle because I knew I wanted to breastfeed and I didn’t want it to be more confusing than it had to be when I’d be able to feed him. I don’t really remember any of this, but they also had me sedated for most of the day on Friday.
I can only imagine what my husband was going through during this time. New baby, wife in the ICU, the unknown of what was going to happen. Luckily, there were some amazing nurses and doctors that helped him, and me, get through everything. They didn’t know him or me, yet they did everything they could to try to help us. They showed my husband how to finger feed our son in hopes that it would be easier to transition to breastfeeding. They helped get my son to me in the ICU so we could have skin to skin time, which required a nurse to also come to the ICU for the whole time my son was there. They got the lactation consultant to me so I could start pumping while in the ICU. During this time, no one told me that I was not supposed to be able to breastfeed. I just assumed my milk would come in, no problem, never thinking this traumatic birth experience or the amount of blood I lost could affect my milk supply. Thank God no one told me. It would have broken me and made all of the events much more real.
Being in the ICU was a pretty awful, but a humbling experience. I couldn’t really do much for myself and had to rely on the nurses. It was extremely frustrating to be away from my baby and any time it seemed like something wasn’t going the way it should, I would get pretty down, thinking I would never get out of the ICU and be with my family.
But I did get out. On Sunday morning they got me out of bed and my legs felt like logs from all the swelling. They wheeled me down to my postpartum recovery room and, after 3 days I was finally with my family.
My son, since he was perfect for every check-up by the pediatrician, could technically have been discharged. My husband fought to keep him there. The pediatricians fought to keep him there. And he was able to stay and we were able to be together.
We spent the next couple days at the hospital, meeting with doctors, the lactation consultants, and getting taken care of by the amazing nurses. We were able to go home Tuesday morning and start our new normal as a family of 4.
Recovery has definitely not been a walk in the park, but I’m getting better everyday.
I am so incredibly grateful to all of the people who helped us during this time. The doctors and nurses helped us understand everything that was happening and made sure we were all taken care of. So many of our friends and family that made sure we were ok, had someone to talk to, and had something to eat. I feel extremely lucky that all of these people were placed in our lives.
Going through all of this has made me reflect on who I want to be and how I want to go about being that person. My husband deserves the best wife and my kids deserve the best mom. I want to be the very best version of myself, through actions to others and to how I treat myself.
I just love the tradition this family has started for their little lady’s birthday. Annual family photos, balloons and a cake in front of her cute birthday sign. This sweet girl was so on for family photos and was so full of spunk. I’m not sure if her sweet snuggles with mom and pop, or her sassy sunglass photos are my favorite!
Interested in booking your own family photos? Send me an email!
If there were a contest, this little guy would win for most expressive baby. He smiled more than any newborn I’ve ever met! Patrick was such a mellow sweetie and slept for me his entire newborn and family session. His parents are baseball fans, especially papa, so we incorporated some of the fun props they brought along for their session too.
If you are looking for a newborn photographer in the Northern Virginia area, I would love to work with you. Posed newborn photos are taken at my in-home studio in Sterling, VA when your baby is between 6-14 days old. It is important to book your newborn session no later than the beginning of your third trimester. I am currently booking newborn sessions through March 2018. Please contact me for specific availability.
Ok, so it’s time to be candid. I strive to keep my business and personal life very separate. That’s hard to do when a business is *literally* your name and you run it from home, out of you house, and often working hours coincide with raising your children. Every work at home, small business owner parent does it differently. For me personally, there are places where I allow my personal life to intersect with business. Sometimes for me that means that personal shares take longer to transfer from my head to where they belong–in this case, a blog post! One place is when I share photos that my children actually allow me to take of them, a rare treat. Another space in which I share with you includes personal struggles I have worked hard to turn into something positive. You may remember when I shared that I have Alopecia Areata. Today I want to tell you a little more about my family’s preemie journey with my son, the community we have found among other parents of premature babies, and the healing we have found by giving back to the March of Dimes.
Our son Kamran was born at 35 weeks gestation. He was considered a late term preemie and was expected to spend a maximum of 2 weeks in the NICU. In actuality he was there for just over a month, mostly due to immature lung development. I went into labor with him at 23 weeks and was on hospitalized bed rest for 3 months. He had very little amniotic fluid which hindered his growth, and lung development.
Having a premature baby feels a bit isolating. In the early days of being a preemie parent, it was helpful to have friends in our community who could relate, and act as a sounding board. Having someone there who understands the frustration of hearing how tiny your little one is over and over is helpful. Societal norms can be tough for any parent to navigate, but daily reminders from others are draining. Every premature baby has their own unique set of struggles that parents work through relating to feeding, growing, breathing, and medical care.Some of the babies in our community need surgery or frequent doctor visits. It’s exhausting. Our community has babies who were born as angels. Always hard, never fair, and they love their babies fiercely. Their time cut too short.
The March of Dimes is an organization that brings us all together and provides an outlet for us to celebrate and remember our babies as well as give back every year. They aim to combat prematurity, and fund research to help all moms have healthy pregnancies. This is a cause important to my family and we have been fundraising for 6 years. We just finished our 7th walk this past May.
Our preemie journey has not been something I would call simple. I didn’t really know going into what was our toughest time in life, that we would come away with such a rich experience. In 6 years, my husband and I have had the opportunity to raise our son, as well as his 2 year old sister. We’ve walked the line of doctors, hospital visits, and specialists galore. Often this means more than one doctor appointment per week. It has always been our normal. Our community has family, friends, and luckily for me, also clients who provide incredible support. Some walk with us, some donate (some every year for 7 years) when their budget allows. I am thankful that I am able to give back through my photography.
I have also found an amazing colleague and friend in Blaire, of Second Ave Photography. She too is a preemie mom. We had only just met when we started talking about the potential to take our passion for the March of Dimes, love of Photography and use it to give back. We created the Hug a Preemie mini sessions so that we could provide an incredible value to our clients and in turn also fundraise more than we would by using personal efforts. Session fees for our fundraiser minis are paid directly to our individual fundraising pages. Together we exceeded our $2,000 fundraising goal. Be sure to check out Blaire’s photos from our mini sessions too!
To the clients and friends pictured below, thank you for supporting us, our businesses, and our cause. It means so very much.
Do you have a cause that you support? I would love to hear more about it!
This little guy is a baby plan baby. That means I get to see him every three months and I feel like that makes me pretty lucky! What a happy little guy he is. Look at his sweet gummy smile.
Sitter milestone sessions are THE BEST. I tell my clients that no matter what you do, you should hands down photograph your baby when they start sitting, preferably just before crawling. They love to show off their new trick, are happy to sit in one place and they can’t crawl away from you yet!
If you are looking for a baby photographer in the Northern Virginia area, I would love to work with you. Milestone photos are taken throughout baby’s first year at my in-home studio in Sterling, VA when your baby is showing good head control, sitting, standing or, celebrating their first birthday. Discounted baby plans are also available. It is important to book your milestone session 4-6 weeks in advance. Please contact me for specific availability. A bit of good news is that I will also be taking limited weekday studio sessions beginning in September!
I met Abigail and her parents when she was 11 days old. Now she is ONE! Happy birthday sweet girl. Abby has been such a joy to get to know this year. I have photographed her and her family four times this year and she’s such a smiley girl every single time.
For her session, her parents wanted to plan something with balloons, and a then and now image. Mom shared that she had fun on etsy and got her a cute little “wild one” onsie that she wanted to include in her session. Her parents also wanted to turn this session into a family photo session with patriotic colors.
I have to tell you a story about this balloon. I enlisted my husband to run to the store for me to have it filled. When I purchased it online, I knew it said 36 inches but completely failed to inform my husband of this fact and just handed over the balloon with no label. The poor guy came home and said….”I had to tell them to stop filling it up so it would fit through the car door! Did you know you gave me a THREE FOOT balloon?!” Surprise, honey! This was so much fun to incorporate into Abby’s session.
When mom asked for then and now photos, I got so excited. Abby was one of the first babies to be photographed in this cute tiny sofa and I couldn’t think of a better way to use it for her 1 year portraits. I have Abby’s newborn image sitting here in the studio so it was quite simple to just grab the frame the day of her session. (Pro tip for baby’s safety, remove the glass before taking this type of photo with a baby.)
Take a look at Abby’s photos!