San Antonio Home Water Birth - The Birth of Blake

Here I was 41 weeks and 1 day pregnant and feeling fabulous. Almost like I wasn’t at the end of pregnancy. Shouldn’t I be miserable? Everyone assumed I was or that I should be. The thought that this baby was never going to come started to seep into my brain. Of course, I knew I would not be pregnant forever, but you start to wonder.

I am a firm believer in baby will come when baby is ready. But if I heard ONE more person say that to me, I was going to scream. My biggest fear was having to be transferred to the hospital to be induced. As each day passed, I was closer to 42 weeks and each day I was still pregnant.
For weeks I had been having tiny contractions here and there. Nothing major, none that told me, “Ok! THIS is labor!” The week before I really went into labor, I would go for five hours with contractions 10 minutes apart. Again, nothing painful or serious, but enough to know my body was getting ready. Since we were having a home birth, every night I would “prepare” my house – in hopes that I would have a birth team coming that night or the next morning. Then, I would wake up each morning…pregnant. I love being pregnant. I feel like I’m that weird lady that would be pregnant forever if I could, but I was REALLY ready to meet this baby. I wanted to hold them and kiss them and know if they were a boy or a girl!

So here we are, Saturday, July 16 (41w1d). Finally, I sent a text to my doula for some words of encouragement. She told me to take a day to myself – no social media, find something relaxing to do, take a bath, etc. I had been having small contractions again, but nothing consistent. I decided to do some acupressure points, drink some tea, organize my craft closet, (insert that other thing you do to induce labor here…a few times) and finally, relax and take a bath and have a heart to heart with this baby. At 10:30 I had one really big sharp pain in my lower abdomen and thought, “YES!! It worked! Let’s see if there’s another….”  Ehhhh…nothing. Off to bed I went.

Sunday, July 17 12:30ish a.m. I woke from what I thought might be a contraction. I kept reminding myself what my midwife told me “Labor will call you out of bed.” I doze back off. Woke up again – same feeling. I decide to get up and use the restroom and go back to bed. Again! It’s happening again! But these are not small and are a little painful. I kept referring back to my first birth when I was in labor. My contractions woke me up at 5 minutes apart and I was able to handle them pretty well for a long time. But these, these were a little intense. Another one came. They seemed so far apart but felt like forever. I decided to time them, but also try and sleep in between. At first, 12 minutes apart, lasting 1:45.  Then 10 minutes later, another one. Eight minutes later, another one.  Five minutes later another one! They weren’t consistent but were coming so fast. I figured this really could be it. I decided to get up and take a shower. In the shower I was only able to wash my hair because I had 3 contractions back to back. There’s no way these are 5 minutes apart, I thought. I get out, another one. I time them, brush my hair, get partially dressed, another one. THREE minutes. By this time it’s 2:00 a.m. and they just keep coming anywhere from 3:30 – 2:45 minutes apart. I take one last photo of my belly at 2:36 a.m.  I decided to call my doula to see what she thought. By this point they’re consistently 3 minutes apart, but now only lasting 50ish seconds long. I also call the midwife. More contractions come. I wake up my husband and tell him I called the midwife because I’m in labor. He wakes up and we start getting the room ready. It was also really adorable because he ran downstairs and mopped...haha! I try eating in between; napping is out of the question because I’m too excited!

A little after 3:30 the doula arrives. I’m still chatty cathy but tell her when the contractions come, it’s intense. I kept referring back to my first birth, “They were not this intense until later on…” I make sure we contact my other doula friend and of course, the photographer! Sometime after 4:00 a.m. I’m throwing up. The doula tells Chris to call the midwife. Thankfully, she’s awesome and was already waiting for the official invite to come on up! She came in and I was still able to talk and laugh with her. I labored in a squatting position for a while. I start to feel myself entering labor land. My eyes want to be closed. I want to be by myself. But yet, I don’t want to be alone. Us laboring women are demanding like that.

I attempt to use the restroom and try to give the midwife one last dang urine sample. I had one contraction on the toilet and it was nice to be in a different position. I labored there for a while and ask if I can get in the tub. By this time everyone is here and I know baby is coming soon, or so I hope. The tub starts to get filled but it felt like an eternity before I’m able to get in.
Finally, I get in – “Ahh, this is so relaxi…” Here comes another one. I remember saying out loud “I haven’t even gotten a break!” I have no idea what time it is at this point, but I see that the curtains are getting lighter, which means the sun is coming up! (I told everyone I wanted a day birth, so it was perfect).
I already felt like I needed to push. It seemed to help and felt so. much. better. That and really letting out a loud noise. I don’t even know what to call it – but I remember joking that I hope I didn’t sound like that one lady from that movie with Jennifer Lopez when she attends the home birth and the mom is mooing – haha!
Even though I was pushing, I wasn’t able to feel his head and I started to get discouraged. I realized my water hadn’t even broke! I kept thinking of my birth with Eli. My water broke and he wasn’t born for another 2.5 hours! I thought I was in for the long haul. I pushed some more and this time when I reached down, I felt something – maybe the bag of water? I was so happy there was something happening. 
I loved being in the tub but didn’t know how I wanted to sit. I couldn’t find a comfortable position and felt like I was all over the place. I finally got in a nice squat and was trying to hold my own legs and push but felt like it wasn’t working. My midwife was one step ahead and asked my husband to get in. He got in and I had a contraction. I pushed and felt it. The head. The ring of fire. HOLY GOODNESS. That’s a baby’s head! I bare down with my next contraction and push again and his head came out! Nikki checks to make sure cord is off from around baby's neck. I took a moment and felt his head and his tiny button nose. I even laughed, "I can feel his nose!" I wait. I breathe. I asked, "Ok, are y'all ready?" (ha!) I push again and I can start to feel the head turn, I push and I pull baby out and onto my chest. It's 7:18 a.m. - The baby is here!!! I felt so amazing. I’m pretty sure after saying “Hi Baby!!!!” The next words that came out were, “That was SO AMAZING!” I can’t believe I was starting to think baby wouldn’t be here for a while and now I’m holding this tiny, wet, adorable human being!!

Having a home birth was an amazing experience. Right after having Blake, everyone helped me out of the tub and onto the bed. My friend brought me Eli, Chris and Damiane snuggled up to me and we soaked in the new member of the family. My doula brought me breakfast upstairs and the rest of Nikki's team helped with Blake's exam and put away everything from the birth. I was able to get up and take a shower, enjoy the rest of my breakfast and smoothie, get some last minute photos in and before I knew it, Blake was nursing and we were napping.

I cannot believe a year has already gone by. Time is a thief, but we have enjoyed every second of having Blake in our lives.

We love you, Blake!

Midwife: Nikki McIver-Brown/San Antonio Nurse Midwife
Doula: Desiree Sangiuliano-Jemal/Pretty Sweet Doula
Photographer: Kara Gomez/Open Book Studios



All images are from Kara Gomez/Open Book Studios. Film clips were taken by my doula, Desiree.

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Last photo of this big pregnant belly! 2:36 a.m.

San Antonio Photographer - Breastfeeding Sessions at Cibolo Nature Center

I am sooooo excited for these!
Sessions will be held Tuesday, August 1st at Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne, Texas

Session fee is $165.00 and includes 5 high resolution digital images. Options to add on images, prints, and albums are available.

Brittany has a selection of gowns available, but please note, once one is used that evening, it won't be available for a second use. If you'd like to wear your own outfits, we recommend light and neutral colors, no neon and nothing too matchy.

TO BOOK YOUR SESSION: http://brittanybrooksphotography.bigcartel.com/product/breastfeeding-sessions-deposit-only

Samples of outfit ideas and poses:

A non-refundable $50.00 deposit is due at the time of booking your session. Your remaining balance will be due no later than Tuesday, July 25th. Invoices that are not paid by July 25th will forfeit their session time slot.

Looking forward to meeting you and your nursling!
-B

San Antonio Family Photographer - Cibolo Nature Center

The more and more I photograph families in San Antonio, the more I am realizing my heart truly is with a documentary style type of photography. Letting the kids just be kids, enjoying themselves, being silly, and playing. These are the memories we want to preserve.  These are the memories I want to document for you. These are the memories I want you to look back on year after year in an album.

I'm loving these images from Cibolo Nature Center.  I had never been and it was everything I imagined and more! The boys enjoyed playing and splashing in the water and it made for the perfect, candid moments.

ENJOY!
-B

San Antonio Newborn and Birth Photographer - Brittany Brooks Photography specializes in maternity, birth, and newborn photography and videography.

Offering services in San Antonio, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Schertz, Live Oak,
Cibolo, Wind Crest, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas.

To find more out about our sessions, please contact us.
To book your family session, please click here.

The Birth of Jack - San Antonio Birth Videographer

I had the honor of attending another amazing birth at the Birth Center Stone Oak in San Antonio, Texas!

I loved watching this strong mama labor while dad was with her every step of the way. They were so in sync and in love, I cry every time I watch their film. Jack is one lucky baby to have such loving parents.

ENJOY!
-B

San Antonio Newborn and Birth Photographer - Brittany Brooks Photography specializes in maternity, birth, and newborn photography and videography.

Offering services in San Antonio, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Schertz, Live Oak,
Cibolo, Wind Crest, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas.

To find more out about our sessions, please contact us.
To book your Birth or Fresh 48 Session, please click here.

A day at The Witte Museum - San Antonio Family Documentary Photographer

Anyone else so excited that summer is finally here?! We started things off right by renewing our library cards and getting a Witte Museum membership. The last time we went to the Witte they were finishing up their dinosaur exhibit. The kids and I were excited for this part because we LOVE dinosaurs!

We spent majority of our time with the dinos but loved venturing around the rest of the museum. It was amazing for them to see the exhibits up close, dig for fossils, explore outside, and have a dance break in the elevator! I challenged myself to bring one lens with me (the Sigma 15mm). It was quite the challenge, but I am loving how these turned out!

ENJOY!
-B

 

San Antonio Newborn and Birth Photographer - Brittany Brooks Photography specializes in maternity, birth, and newborn photography and videography.

Offering services in San Antonio, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Schertz, Live Oak,
Cibolo, Wind Crest, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas.

To find more out about our sessions, please contact us.
To book your Family Documentary Family Session, please click here.

San Antonio Family Documentary Film - The Hinds Family

I was so sad when Susan moved away. Her family recently moved to Las Vegas (insert crying face here). One night we were chatting about me coming to visit to document a family film for them. By the time the conversation was over, my flight was booked! I love traveling for work, but it's even better when you get to go see a friend.

We had soooo much fun while I was there. On the day we decided to film, the weather was perfect. The kids and Susan got ready, finished their school work for the day, then Susan spent one on one time with each of the kids. In the evening, everyone pitched in to help cook dinner (which was delicious, by the way!) and skyped with dad, who's deployed.

I think family films are still very new to San Antonio, so I hope they really start catching on. I obviously love taking photos of families, but films are really something special.

ENJOY!
-B

 

Brittany Brooks Photography specializes in maternity, birth, and
newborn photography and videography.

Offering services in San Antonio, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Schertz, Live Oak, Cibolo, Wind Crest, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas.

To find more out about our sessions, please contact us.
To book your Family Documentary Film, please click here.

San Antonio Family Documentary Film - ViVenzio Family

I have documented the ViVenzio family on several occasions. It has been an honor watching their family grow right before my eyes.

They recently welcomed their newest member in March and he is sooooo cute and squishy! I came over early one morning and documented them cooking, snuggling, and nursing. I love the way their film turned out.

ENJOY!
-B

 

Brittany Brooks Photography specializes in maternity, birth, and
newborn photography and videography.

Offering services in San Antonio, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Schertz, Live Oak, Cibolo, Wind Crest, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas.

To find more out about our sessions, please contact us.
To book your Family Documentary Film, please click here.

San Antonio Family Documentary Film - The Smith Family

I am so in love with Family Documentary Films!!

I met the Smith family when they were expecting their second. Their lifestyle newborn session is one of my favorites to this day.

They're the sweetest (and most gorgeous!) family and I was so honored to do a film for them. I ask families what it is they want to remember most. That's what I want to document.

Is it making pancakes on a Saturday morning? Board games? Curling up and reading together? Perfect. Let's do it! We had a lot of fun this day and their film turned out perfect. 

ENJOY! -B


San Antonio Newborn and Birth Photographer - Brittany Brooks Photography specializes in maternity, birth, and newborn photography and videography.

Offering services in San Antonio, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Schertz, Live Oak,
Cibolo, Wind Crest, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas.

To find more out about our sessions, please contact us.
To book your Family Documentary Film, please click here.

25 Favorite Cesarean Birth Images - Cesarean Awareness Month

I'll never forget the first time I was asked to photograph a cesarean birth. I was so nervous when the day came. I got to the hospital to meet mom and dad. The nurses gave me a suit, hat, shoe covers, and a mask. I was sweating. "What if I mess up?" "What if I don't get my settings right and miss the birth?" "What if I pass out?" "OH MY GOSH! WHAT IF I PASS OUT?" (I didn't...)

I stepped into an OR and within minutes, baby was here. It was magical. I cried. I could not believe how beautiful the whole experience was.

I have since been allowed into the OR 10 times for 14 of my cesarean birth clients and every. single. one. is beautiful in its own way. I decided to create a blog in honor of Cesarean Awareness month. I compiled a list of 25 of my favorite cesarean birth images from over the years and interviewed some mothers on their thoughts about their experiences. I hope you're able to see just how amazing and beautiful the journey is.

ENJOY!
-B


One last kiss before heading back to meet their baby boy!

One last kiss before heading back to meet their baby boy!

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What is something you wish you would have known prior to having your cesarean?

"
That it is natural. I heard it described as a last option, when everything else failed, and was something you worried about... but just not now, only when it happened. But after having an emergent c-section, a VBAC, and an elective c-section - I see that it is just another tool and that tons of women have them. There is nothing "unnatural" about bringing a life into this world. No matter how you do it." -Victoria

"That it is major abdominal surgery and that you will still bleed! I for some reason thought they would take it all out when they did the surgery!" -Kim

"That I'd have a Foley catheter for 24 hours after! Yuck!" -Elisabeth


"That you have to go into the OR by yourself, get up on the table by yourself, let them administer the anesthesia while you're by yourself, lay down on the table while nurses and doctors are setting up for the surgery...all by yourself. That the best feeling in the world is when your significant other is finally allowed in to hold your hand." -Anonymous

Dad patiently waiting to join his wife in the OR.

Dad patiently waiting to join his wife in the OR.

I've dealt with some pretty amazing anesthesiologists while photographing births. At this birth, she is calming mom and whispering in her ear that everything is going to be alright.

I've dealt with some pretty amazing anesthesiologists while photographing births. At this birth, she is calming mom and whispering in her ear that everything is going to be alright.

I'm so in love with this image. I try to come up with the words to describe it and there are none. It completely speaks for itself.

I'm so in love with this image. I try to come up with the words to describe it and there are none. It completely speaks for itself.

What is a common misconception about cesarean births?

"That we want them and they are easy! It had to be the HARDEST thing I have ever done! The mental challenges you go through are a whirlwind. Imagine having a beautiful healthy baby and you can't pick them up. You have to have help to do everything! My husband had to help me go to the bathroom and everything in between. It was the moment I realized what true love was - a man who will change your pad and help you with your leaking boobs and be compassionate as you go through the most emotional and painful time in your entire life - is a keeper!" -Kim

"That it's easy. There is nothing easy about being cut open and recovering from major abdominal surgery all the while taking care of a newborn." -Anonymous

"That it is less than a vaginal birth. I've been fortunate to experience both "sides"/methods and they are both beautiful and they are both a mom doing what is best for her and her baby." -Victoria

"That it's the easy way out when it comes to childbirth. There is a ton more physical and emotional healing that comes with it!" -Aurora

"That you end up with a hideous scar. Mine's flat as a word and super low. My OB is a ninja in the OR." -Elisabeth

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A series of images of a cesarean birth

A series of images of a cesarean birth

What is one thing you wish people knew?

"That I wasn't disappointed or felt like my birth experience was any less because I had a cesarean. Women often give me a sad face when I tell them my son's were delivered by c-section. I wouldn't change a thing about their deliveries." -Elisabeth

"We don't want to have to justify or explain our c-sections. We birthed a baby...period. We don't ask "oh why did your baby come out of your vagina?" At the end of the day we had a baby and are mothers!" -Kim

"I'll never get the experience of birthing a baby vaginally. Yes I'm happy that my babies all came out healthy and so did I, but it's still the loss of the experience that I need to grieve over. Please allow me that." -Anonymous

"Birth is what you make it. It is one of the first things you do as a mother. You have choices to make through listening to others, gathering information, but ultimately doing what you feel is best. That's all you can do - what is best for YOU!" -Victoria

"It's still giving birth! It's one the most difficult, selfless, emotional, and rewarding things!" -Aurora

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This is from the very first cesarean I ever attended. Baby girl was hanging onto her cord here and started waving it around.

This is from the very first cesarean I ever attended. Baby girl was hanging onto her cord here and started waving it around.

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This was a repeat cesarean client and it was a SURPRISE gender! So much fun! (It was a girl, btw!)

This was a repeat cesarean client and it was a SURPRISE gender! So much fun! (It was a girl, btw!)

Definitely a favorite from when the anesthesiologist dropped the curtain so mom could see her baby boy.

Definitely a favorite from when the anesthesiologist dropped the curtain so mom could see her baby boy.

This was the first clear drape birth I witnessed AND the first where they let dad cut the cord.

This was the first clear drape birth I witnessed AND the first where they let dad cut the cord.

I love that mom was able to do immediate skin to skin and breastfeed in the OR

I love that mom was able to do immediate skin to skin and breastfeed in the OR

Overjoyed that they have a baby girl!!

Overjoyed that they have a baby girl!!

Supportive partners are so important.

Supportive partners are so important.

Celebrating!

Celebrating!

I love Dad's hand placed on mom's cheek. Almost as if he's saying, "You did it, baby!"

I love Dad's hand placed on mom's cheek. Almost as if he's saying, "You did it, baby!"

"The wound is the place where the light enters you." -Rumi

"The wound is the place where the light enters you." -Rumi

Any advice for future cesarean birth mamas?

"
If you get the chance, get a mirror or a clear drape so that you can see your sweet baby be born! It is the most amazing thing to see!!" -Aurora

"Hire a doula and a birth photographer - treat your c-section like a vaginal birth. At the end of the day it is a birth and you deserve it!" -Kim


"It'll be ok. It's not easy, but this is your story. This is your baby's birth story." -Anonymous

"Two words, abdominal binder!" -Elisabeth


"You are doing a wonderful job momma! Sometimes it may not feel like it but you are. You are there and you are trying. That's all anyone can do. Try. Try. And try again.
And sometimes have a glass of wine after they go to bed. "-Victoria







A special thank you to all of my clients that have allowed me to document such a special time in your life.

HUGE thank you to the those that opened up to me and helped with this post.

Love you all!
-Brittany





 


Brittany Brooks Photography specializes in maternity, birth, and
newborn photography and videography.

Offering services in San Antonio, Converse, Universal City, Selma, Schertz, Live Oak, Cibolo, Wind Crest, New Braunfels and other surrounding areas.

To find more out about our sessions, please contact us.
To book your Birth or Fresh 48 session, please click here.

 

 

2017 Mommy + Me Sessions

I am soooo excited for our Mommy + Me Sessions this year!

The sessions will take place on a white couch, with white blankets and pillows
(like the sample images).
White, cream, ivory, and neutral colored outfits are preferred but not required.

Sessions include access to Brittany's gown collection. Majority of our gowns are made from a stretchy jersey knit material and can fit most sizes.

Brittany also has outfits for children 6mo-1 year for boys and girls.
Outfit ideas for older girls: neutral colored spring/Easter dress.
Outfit ideas for older boys: jeans with no top or fitted white tops.


Sessions will be held at Brittany Brooks Photography Studio located in San Antonio, Texas
Address:
2379 NE Loop 410
Suite 22

Session fee is $325 and includes 10 digital images.
All mothers will receive a 5x5 leather album as a gift for Mother's Day!

Additional print products are available for purchase.

$100 is due to book your session. The remaining $225 is due no later than April 7th.

**All ages of children are welcome!


Click HERE to book your session!

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