Caroline Ann // A Birth Story

I was certain I wouldn’t make it to my April 14th induction date. When I was about 32 weeks, I just knew that this babe would come any day. I felt absolutely awful and my ultrasound told the story of why: Caroline was breech and I had high fluid that was measuring me weeks ahead. Luckily, by the 36 week ultrasound, she had flipped to the head down position, my fluid was still high, but nothing too alarming and by week 38, I started feeling good like I was back in my second trimester.  Jimmy took night duty for big sister for the week leading up to D-Day so I could catch up on some sleep (I wish I could say the two year old slept all night, but alas, she does not). So, when induction day came around, I was feeling pretty invincible. I had the same birthing team lined up that helped me deliver Evelyn two years ago: my sweet husband, my mother in law and my best friend. I had my same room, same doctor and even the same super-hero nurse who helped guide and support me through Evelyn’s four-hour natural childbirth.

For some reason, having everything the same was so important to me. If I’m being honest, it’s because I felt so connected to Evelyn and our birthing experience that I yearned to feel that same connection with this baby. My entire pregnancy, I felt almost a disconnect from this baby. I worked hard for her, fought for her, kept myself healthy and yet, I still felt a distance between myself and my unborn child. With Evelyn, I was so enamored with everything about pregnancy and her growth. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t new. Maybe it’s because I had been in so much pain this pregnancy. Whatever it was, I had it in my head that if everything was the same, then everything would be okay.

We arrived at the hospital a few minutes after 5:30 in the morning to get it all started. The plan was to start pitocin around 7:30 and for the doctor to come in after her scheduled C-section and break my water around 9, if it hadn’t already broken. My MIL took Evelyn to my other best friend’s house for care that day and met us a few hours later at the hospital. Laura had already arrived and surprised me with the same vision board that we used for Evelyn’s labor! I was so happy that so many things were lining up the same as Evelyn’s delivery! We started placing our bets for baby time. How long would it be? We all thought we would be meeting Caroline no later than 11 a.m. Jimmy called her his ‘brunch baby’ — and I was ready for brunch already! But, by 7:30, it was starting to become clear that we were not going to stick to the schedule. My doctor stopped in and announced she was breaking my water before her C-section and not putting me on pit until after she was finished and I was to walk the halls to try to get labor started on my own. She checked me — a good 2+ cm dilated and 50% effaced. So, she put a ‘pin-hole’ in my fluid sac and sent me on my way to walk the halls with my mesh panty diaper on. Laura and I roamed the three (very short) halls that is the Birthing Center at DCH. I love that woman. She is such an amazing and calming force in my life. Her insights on life, her ideas and her sweet, old soul bring such peace to me. We talked about everything from simple daily routines, laughable moments and some real life serious subjects. She looked up the moon phases as we joked about it being a full moon this week. Today’s moon was a gibbous and the moon meaning was “Release and Receive” — fitting we said! I remember there were donuts everywhere I looked — at the nurse’s station and in two separate rooms. She pulled me away from practically licking the glass at one point. It was 9:30 by now and I was a starving, leaking, 39 weeks pregnant lady. I came back to the room shortly after, ate some Popsicles, rolled around on the birthing ball and got hooked back up to monitor the baby. Still no real contractions happening and baby was doing great. The nurses had been running in and out of the room getting supplies from my closet. Our little hospital sees, on average, one birth a day. On this day, Good Friday, they had multiple mommas having their babies simultaneously — and complications with the deliveries on top of that. So, team Horn sat with our Popsicles among good company and in good health and patiently waited our turn. Now, waiting wasn’t easy, but when I knew that other mommas or babies were fighting for a healthy delivery, I was happy to take a side-seat for a few hours.

Pitocin started around 10:15 and I was ready to jump for joy!

Admittedly, my nerves started around the same time. ‘Will I be able to do this? Well, there’s no turning back now. Would I be able to have this baby without pain medication also? Could I take it? Will my baby be healthy?’ My mind started silently racing with a million questions just as my grandma came in with my great-auntie. We were all gabbing in the room, laughing and eagerly awaiting things to start progressing. Every few minutes, someone would say are you feeling anything?” and my answer was ‘not really’. This was a great distraction for me as I continued to roll around on the birthing ball and try to ignore the giant mess my broken water was making below me. Trust me, there’s nothing quite like having a conversation with your grandma across the room and feeling fluid leaking out of you with each contraction. My nurse, Belinda, came in to check on me periodically and increase my pitocin. Around noon, I told her I’d like to try to use the restroom and that I was finally starting to feel the contractions. She unhooked my monitors and accompanied me to the restroom. I sat, much like my two-year-old daughter, on the toilet and waited to pee. And waited. And Belinda ran water and looked away and really tried everything to help me, but nothing was happening. Then, we both laughed. You see, Belinda and I were in this same bathroom almost 2.5 years ago having this same conversation. I had to pee and couldn’t and then my contractions got real in that bathroom. So real, that my first labor I ended up throwing up. This time, I didn’t feel nauseous, but I was certainly feeling like I was in labor. I told her, apparently this bathroom was my labor starting place. She wanted to check me to see if I had dilated any further.

She ushered the onlookers out of the room and checked me. I was at 5 cm! It was an instant mood boost. ‘I’m already halfway there,’ I said to myself. And within a few minutes, I wasn’t able to talk through my contractions anymore. Belinda helped keep me progressing by offering different positions and birthing supports. She asked me one time, just once, if I needed any type of pain management — letting me know that this was my window to ask for it. Belinda knew I wanted to go natural again if I could and she was so supportive and encouraging of it. I could feel each contraction coming. My body knew what to expect. I would close my eyes and inventory my pain piece by piece.

Does my head feel pain? No.

My shoulders? No.

Arms, hands, fingers, chest, legs, feet, toes? No… No…. No.

I would focus on where the pain wasn’t until I could isolate the only place in my body that felt pain. Once I had it all balled together in my abdomen, I pushed the pain out of my body through deep breathing. Each breath bringing me closer to meeting this sweet girl. I wiggled my fingers and my toes and repeated “Release and Receive” over and over through each contraction. I would open my eyes to see the most loving blue eyes looking back at me, whispering sweet words of encouragement to me and I smiled. We had been here before. Neither of us were scared this time. My nerves were gone and I could tell his were too.

About 30 minutes in, Belinda checked me again — 8 cm! Now I was really motivated to push through these contractions.

My inner monologue continued:

Release this pain and receive new life.

Release your fears and receive new life.

Release all doubt and receive new life.

I told her I really felt like I should be pushing. I was leaned over the back of the bed and could really feel my body pressuring me to push. I waited through a few more contractions before moving — she checked again. Almost Complete. The doctor was called in to assess and assist. The baby cart was wheeled over and the lights turned on. The doctor checked me and said she was going to assist in getting me fully dilated during my next contraction. I’d been here before. She did this with Evelyn. I was prepared and comfortable knowing what was happening next. She was gowning up when I felt another one coming. ‘She’s missed her window,’ I thought to myself.

Mid-contraction, she instructed me to lay back and then said “Let’s start pushing” as my legs were grabbed on each side. Let me just stop the story here and say, I was NOT prepared for that statement. Like. At. All.

Belinda started giving me instructions, reminding me of the position for pushing and telling me to push. I looked at her with all confidence and listened. As soon as I started pushing, I knew what I was feeling – this baby was coming. The doctor kept calling out the progress. “Hair. I see hair. She’s crowning. KEEP PUSHING. There’s her head. It’s out. Keep pushing! Don’t stop!” Jimmy was reminding me to breath. Someone was telling me to not drop my legs and I was staring at a leaf on a curtain like it was the last thing I’d ever see in my life.

One giant push (and about a minute) later — and the doctor was putting her on me and stimulating her to cry.

Instinctively, I reached out to hold onto her. She was moving. Her eyes were opening, but she wasn’t breathing. “Breath baby, breath!” I said out loud. The doctor was saying the same thing, only there was no panic in her voice like there was mine. We all stood in silence, waiting for that first breath. I prayed for that sweet cry to happen. What seemed like an eternity later, the littlest cry escaped her lungs, followed by several large wails. I don’t have much memory of what transpired next. I’m sure Jimmy cut the cord. I know I delivered the placenta, I mean, I kinda had to. But the only thing I can tell you from that moment on was that I fell instantly in love. This sweet girl was resting on my bare chest. Breathing. Both of us covered in blood. I had never experienced a more life changing moment. One minute, I’m expecting to push through several contractions before meeting her, literally the next minute I’m praying for her breaths and the minute after that she is in my arms.

At 1:18 p.m., our 8 pound 7 ounce Caroline Ann joined us in this world.

We had skin-to-skin time for nearly two hours. She was ready to nurse almost instantly and despite everyone desperately wanting to hold and meet her (including her daddy), they all waited for us to have our moment. It’s like the universe knew I needed that bonding time with Caroline. To create the bond that I so desperately yearned for while she was inside of me.

Release and Receive.

The rest of our hospital stay was amazing, to say the least. Our hospital Birthing Center is filled with the kindest doctors, nurses and staff. They helped care for Caroline so I could rest and were so wonderful to my entire family. Here are some other photos from after delivery, including when big sister Evelyn met Caroline for the first time.

Evelyn :: 1 Year Old Studio Session // Cincinnati Ohio Baby Photographer

Well my new year’s resolution this year may just be to blog more… So far, January did not get off to a good start… I’m so very excited to say that I am completely caught up with client editing and can now focus on some of my own back log and on blogging! I plan to work way less this year than I have in year’s past so I can spend more time with my husband and our sweet little girl. I have four weddings on the books and will most likely not be taking any more for 2016. I do plan, however, to book a few session days in Madison, Indiana this summer and fall as well as take on two first year clients this year (when your besties have babies, you can’t say no!). I wanted to take a moment to share some of my favorite photos from Evelyn’s 1 year old/Walker mileston session. My dear friends who run Spring Grove Studios were kind enough to rent the space to me for the day so I could do Evelyn’s photos (and I squeezed in about five other sessions too for my clients!)

Enjoy!

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

cincinnati ohio photographer, studio photographer, spring grove studios, lawrenceburg indiana photographer, northern kentucky photographer, studio photography, baby studio photography, six month old photo inspiration, self sitter photo inspiration, baby girl photo, amy horn photography

Evelyn // July 2015

So I’m a little belated, but I wanted to share a few images of our summer. I haven’t edited all of them (of course) but here is a preview of Evelyn in July when she was 6/7 months old! I took some studio images as well as some everyday portrait images. She’s already changed so much! wow!

2015-08-25_0001.jpg

2015-08-25_0002.jpg

2015-08-25_0007.jpg

2015-08-25_0003.jpg

2015-08-25_0004.jpg

2015-08-25_0005.jpg

And of course we snapped some images with her BFF wyatt!

2015-08-25_0006.jpg

Things I hope my mom knew before she died.

I read this original post (cue tissuefest 2015) and decided I needed to write out a list of what I hope my mom knew before she died at the young age of 53 after a short, hard battle with stage four lung cancer.

  1. I hope my mom knew I wasn’t (and am not) mad at her. There’s a stigma that comes with having lung cancer. When it comes to cancers, it’s pretty much the worst because society in general can’t ‘blame’ the cancer on ill-fate or genetics. My mom was a smoker for almost 40 years. I don’t know if she thought she could avoid cancer after that long of an addiction, but I know that mom struggled with guilt over ‘doing this to herself’. I wasn’t angry at my mom for getting cancer and I hope she forgave herself before she died.
  2. I hope she knew how hard it was for me to be the strong one. That day on the porch when I told her we had to talk about her will, last wishes, funeral options, burial locations… it was the worst. Never, ever did I want to be the one to talk to her about it, but I felt no one else would and I wanted to have all of the information I could. I hope she knew it didn’t mean I was giving up hope or that I didn’t believe that she was fighting. I hope she knew that it wasn’t easy for me since I wasn’t crying. I’ve since made up the tears 10 times over thinking about that afternoon. The day of her benefit and the planning that led up to it. It’s difficult to describe how it feels to invite people to an event because your mom is dying of cancer. It’s overwhelming (in a good way) to see how many people loved and supported her, but it wasn’t easy being the one to say “There’s a need here. Let me fix it.” It wasn’t easy to go to the doctor appointments and take the notes, to clean the bathrooms after she was sick from chemo. It wasn’t easy when she was hallucinating late at night and she looked into my eyes and said, “You can’t see what I see, can you?” and telling her honestly that I couldn’t. It wasn’t easy accepting that look of sadness and loss in her eyes when she realized her brain was turning on her. None of it was easy, Momma, but you always said, “If it was easy, anyone could do it.” I hope she knows how difficult it was to be her rock, but that I did it with pride knowing not anyone could do it.
  3. I hope she knew she raised a strong daughter. My life took a sudden shift after she died. If I’m being honest, shit got hard. And it didn’t get any easier for a very long time. Overwhelmed by grief, I shut so many people out, including my husband. Not only were we both grieving the loss of my mom, someone whom my husband also loved dearly, but then our efforts to start a family were stopped in place by unexpected medical issues and a few realities for me that I wasn’t ready to face. Dealing with my mom’s death alone was difficult enough, but then I tried to grieve the loss of unborn babies by myself also. It took a while to see the damage my seclusion was causing and great efforts to bring my life and relationships back to where they needed to be. I hope my mom knows I never gave up. I always pushed through and I am stronger now because of it.
  4. I hope she heard me telling her I loved her as I held her hand  as she took her last breath. I hope she heard my prayers, my cries. I told her it was okay to go. To end her suffering. I hope she knows I meant it and I have never wished to be any other place than on her right side with my head near her shoulder as I watched her chest rise and fall for the last time. I hope she knew that.
  5. I hope she knew that she was the best mom. I mean, I think she had some idea when all of my friends always wanted to come to our house and they all called her ‘Mom’ too. For years after my brother and I moved away from home, many of those friends casually stopped by the house, one by one, and my mom would say ‘Amy doesn’t live here anymore’ and they would reply ‘That’s okay, because I stopped to see you, Pam.’ And they sat on the porch with her and told her stories of how their lives had turned out. Their success stories. Their struggles. Life lessons she taught them and that they carried with them through the years.
  6. I hope she knew that she taught me how to be a mom. When I was pregnant with Evelyn, I cried and cried one evening. I had this terrible fear that I didn’t know how to be a mother and that I didn’t have my mom to call and ask what to do if I got lost and needed guidance. In the stillness of that night between my quiet cries, I heard her voice in my head, “Amy, what do you think you should do?” It was a question she always posed back to me anytime I said, “Momma, I don’t know what to do. Tell me what I should do.” And she never would. She always pushed my question back on me and showed me how to trust my instincts. She showed me that she had already prepared me for this crossroads by giving me a lifetime of unconditional support to trust my own judgement. I hope she knew that she equipped me with the foundation to love my daughter unconditionally and to know Evelyn. Trust her. Learn her fears and her dreams and embrace them both.
  7. I hope she knew how badass she was. I mean really. She was a painter, an artist, a car restorer, artifact collector, antique-lover, builder, designer, musician… the list goes on and on. How many people have that many skills, hobbies, trades, crafts? She was really amazing.
  8. I hope she knew I meant it when I told her we would all be okay. I promised her that after she died we would all be sad, but that we would pick up the pieces and be ‘okay’ — whatever that means. I thought that it would bring her comfort since she was talking about not being able to die because everything would go to shit. Now, there are days that I feel the family has grown so distant and that I feel so disconnected and alone. But it doesn’t make us not okay. We are different now. Our family unit has shifted. My mom was the central line feeding out and connecting the entire family. We all came home to her. Without our central point, we’ve broken off into smaller clusters that come together occasionally and stay connected mainly via social media. This doesn’t make us any less okay. It just means her death changed us all.
  9. I hope she knew that I remembered the in between moments. There are some moments, while seemingly insignificant, leave a lasting impact. Like that time when I was a sophomore in high school and my boyfriend cheated on me and my bff knew about it and didn’t tell me and I thought my life was crashing down around me and that no boy would ever think I was pretty and that all girls were mean… Yeah that time. She found me sobbing in my room asking her why it hurt so bad and why people were so mean. She sat on my bed with me and wrapped her thin arms around me and cried with me. She told me to be the good in the world and not let the actions of others be an example of how I should live. Then the next morning she cancelled all plans and drove me to downtown Indianapolis. We talked the entire two hours and sang songs that came on the radio. She took me to the most amazing mall I had ever been to and let me walk in every store I wanted and even let me pick out some new clothes. Clothes shopping outside of back-to-school wasn’t a norm, nor was my mother taking me to a mall. It was a very big day and one 15 years later still sits fresh in my mind. I hope she knew that I appreciated those moments she spent shaping me into a young adult. I certainly wasn’t perfect then, and still am not, but she taught me compassion, love and how to lend your heart to someone who is hurting. I hope she knew I didn’t take those moments for granted.
  10. I hope she knew that she was my person. I called her every day. I confessed failures without feeling like one. I bragged about successes without feeling boastful. I complained about situations or people without feeling like a nag. She was my person who accepted me 100% for who I was without passing any judgement. She’s who I wanted to impress and never let down. She was a ray of sunshine in my day. Her southern drawl on certain words made me smile. She started every phone call with “Hey baby girl,” or if she dialed me “Hey, it’s me. Just callin’ to say hi” and we ended every call with an I love you. We called one another just to sing a song that came on the radio because it was one of ‘our songs’ and we didn’t care if it was on key, which it never was. I hope my mom knew that she was my person.
_MG_0078
133470_10100101772045310_324578054_o 328736_10100101749769950_1310380154_o

 

Instagram Obsessed

To say that I love instagram is an understatement, really. I used the image-rich site occasionally before I was pregnant with Evelyn, but it wasn’t until halfway through my pregnancy that I discovered the world of hand-made goods from vendors (as well as some great IG feeds that I follow!). Through a group of mommas I belonged to (WTE December 2014), I started following a momma who had her sweet babe around the same time I had Evelyn. I discovered she had an etsy shop (Prosisely from the Hart) and sold hand-made headbands and accessories for babies. Not only are her designs just lovely, but they are so well made and with quality materials. I love how all of Evelyn’s headbands photograph from this vendor. If I don’t have a clip in her hair to pull it out of her eyes, Evelyn is sporting a headband from this great vendor. I’ve also discovered some very talented seamstresses who hand-make adorable baby rompers. (OMG) So I ordered one for Ev from Brave Little Darling, who just opened her shop this year. It came and fits Evelyn so well. The fabric is a great quality and it was easy to get on/off a squirmy 8 month old (this is important). Here’s a few images from our mini-shoot the other night with her Prosisely from the Hart headband and Brave Little Darling romper.

Follow me on IG! @theamyhorn

2015-08-18_0012.jpg

madison indianababy photographer baby romper headband06.jpg

madison indianababy photographer baby romper headband07.jpg

madison indianababy photographer baby romper headband08.jpg

madison indianababy photographer baby romper headband09.jpg

madison indianababy photographer baby romper headband10.jpg

Evelyn Summer 2015

I’m photographing Evelyn like crazy now that she’s able to sit on her own. I need to make it a point to share more of her images here! I know I don’t really have a following of readers since I’m so inconsistent, but just even to document her growth here would be nice, huh?

Her newest trick is being able to get on her knees and even plank! I wanted to share a few from the last week with the intent of putting even more on the blog for you all to see! I’ve really stepped back from my photography business this summer to focus on family time. I’m still shooting weddings this summer but have scaled back on portrait sessions. Jim is traveling for work again and is only home a day or so a week, so that means this full-time working momma is on overdrive right now!

baby eating watermelonmadison indiana photographer baby01.jpg

baby eating watermelonmadison indiana photographer baby02.jpg

baby eating watermelonmadison indiana photographer baby03.jpg

baby eating watermelonmadison indiana photographer baby04.jpg

baby eating watermelonmadison indiana photographer baby05.jpg

and of course, after the watermelon, we had to get cleaned up!

2015-08-18_0006.jpg

xoxo
Amy

A June Update

I’ve been so MIA since having Evelyn in December. I keep reminding myself to blog more about being a new mom and share images, but I never seem to find the time! I snapped a few photos of my sweet girl tonight on the farm in her Matilda Jane dress that she was gifted at the baby shower. She’s not quite sitting on her own at 5-1/2 months, but I feel like we aren’t far from it! Here’s what Evelyn is up to now.

2015-06-03_0001.jpg

2015-06-03_0002.jpg

2015-06-03_0003.jpg

2015-06-03_0004.jpg

2015-06-03_0005.jpg

2015-06-03_0006.jpg

2015-06-03_0007.jpg

2015-06-03_0008.jpg

2015-06-03_0009.jpg

2015-06-03_0010.jpg

Evelyn // A birth story

I held his hand as we walked from the parking garage to the hospital entrance. It was 5:29 a.m. on your birthday. I dropped his hand and stopped walking. He looked back at me, his expression silently asking if I was okay. “We are having this baby today,” I said to him with conviction. “We are doing this today.” Jimmy smiled and laughing said, “We’re going to have her by noon so then we don’t have to miss lunch.” He picked my hand back up, I gave him the most exaggerated eye roll possible and then we made our way to the birthing center.

We were scheduled to be at the hospital at 5:30 and typical of us, we arrived right on the dot (or a few minutes after). Nana Debbie was there with us too. We were all pretty sleepy and had spent the last three days in a marathon rush to finish the upstairs renovation, assemble furniture, move into the nursery, clean the house and take care of all last minute chores that needed completed before baby arrived. We even squeezed in a family Christmas party. Despite our tiredness, there was an energy between us. We had all been praying so hard for Evelyn and for this day. Today we would finally meet the little girl who stole our hearts many months ago. Today I would meet the little miracle baby that I worked so diligently for during my pregnancy. Today, I would finally become a momma.

Checking in, hooking into the IV and starting the pitocin all happened pretty fast. I was still 75% effaced and 2-3 cm dilated — same as I was at the doctors office Monday. I started working on a knit hat that I planned to have made for baby to wear home from the hospital. Jimmy and Debbie went to the cafeteria for breakfast and the nurses gave me a timeline for the day. Before I knew it, 8 a.m. arrived and the doctor came in to check me and break my water. I had been on pitocin for an hour and just started to feel contractions when Dr. Lovins broke my water. It felt like I peed all over myself. It was a wonderful feeling, as you can imagine.

2015-01-16_0001.jpg

2015-01-16_0002.jpg

2015-01-16_0003.jpg

The nurses kept increasing my pitocin drip and then my contractions started to get more frequent and pretty intense — quickly. My aunt Lesa came to the hospital to see us and my best friend Laura came to cheer me on for a while during labor. She brought this beautiful vision board that she created and used during her labor.

2015-01-16_0013.jpg

The doctor, nurses and my “birthing team,” as I called Jimmy, Debbie and Laura, knew my plan to have a natural childbirth. I didn’t want the baby to experience any of the narcotics nor did I want an epidural. I was open to any of those options if it meant that the birth experience would be smoother and less stressful. Above all, I wanted the entrance into this world to be calm and filled with love.

By 9:30, the contractions were piggybacking. Mine hit, then the pitocin contraction, then my contractions were trying to play catchup to the induced ones. I started to be able to recognize when one was starting, then close my eyes and breathe through it. The back labor started not long after. Luckily, the way the baby was positioned only caused pain on one side of my back. One of my sweet nurses showed Jimmy how to massage that area to help during my contractions.

2015-01-16_0004.jpg

2015-01-16_0005.jpg

2015-01-16_0006.jpg

2015-01-16_0007.jpg

2015-01-16_0008.jpg

2015-01-16_0009.jpg

2015-01-16_0010.jpg

By 10:30 another nurse had been into check me and I was almost complete. A call was put into my doctor to make her way back to the hospital. I went through transition before I even knew I had started it. I thought the intense pain I was feeling was still pre-transition and I would be experiencing them for several more hours. Little did I know by the time I even thought that maybe I couldn’t do it without pain medication, I was almost to the finish line! The nurses helped me to change positions pretty frequently to get me to 10 cm and ready to push. I had just a half cm to go and I wasn’t progressing.

Breathe.
This is NORMAL.
Don’t make fists.
Cleansing breath.
This IS normal.
Relax your face.
Low groans.
THIS is normal.
And anytime I to opened my eyes, they were met with a loving gaze from Jimmy’s blue eyes. Always inches from mine.

2015-01-16_0011.jpg

2015-01-16_0012.jpg

2015-01-16_0014.jpg

2015-01-16_0015.jpg

2015-01-16_0016.jpg

2015-01-16_0017.jpg

2015-01-16_0018.jpg

The doctor arrived and started to help me during my contractions to have the last little lip of cervix be pushed over the baby’s head so we could start pushing. After telling the nurse and doctor several times during the height of contractions that I really needed to push, they finally let me slide down to the bottom of the bed and start pushing. It was such a relief during the pain of the contractions to finally act on the natural feelings I was having. After a few contractions of pushing, the doctor told me to look at the mirror that they placed at the bottom of the bed and I’ll never forget seeing the face of our sweet daughter. It was the motivation that I needed to give one last big push to bring her into the world.

2015-01-16_0020.jpg

2015-01-16_0021.jpg

2015-01-16_0022.jpg

“You’re here. I can’t believe you’re finally here,” I said over and over with her in my arms. “I did it, Jimmy. We did it,” I said looking up at Jimmy who had just cut the cord. I pulled my gown down and put her on my chest for the most intimate, loving start to her life. We spent what felt like hours with her on my chest and nursing before the nurses took her for her evaluations and to get cleaned up. The next few hours were a blur of doctors, nurses a few visitors and watching Jimmy fall in love. I was running a fever and shaking pretty bad, but couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that I JUST PUSHED A BABY OUT OF MY BODY.

Our little girl entered the world at 11:56 a.m. (just in time for her poppa to go get lunch!) weighing 7 lbs. 9 oz. and measuring 21″ long. She had a full head of hair, long fingers and monkey toes.

2015-01-16_0023.jpg

2015-01-16_0024.jpg

2015-01-16_0025.jpg

2015-01-16_0026.jpg

2015-01-16_0027.jpg

2015-01-16_0028.jpg

2015-01-16_0029.jpg

2015-01-16_0030.jpg

2015-01-16_0031.jpg

2015-01-16_0032.jpg

2015-01-16_0033.jpg

2015-01-16_0034.jpg

2015-01-16_0035.jpg

2015-01-16_0036.jpg

It’s been a whirlwind ever since we left the hospital — a quiet first Christmas at home, Jimmy going back to work and me adjusting to being a full time mom to the most beautiful little lady, ever. I’m so grateful for the trio of people who helped coach me through this amazing experience. And especially to my best friend, Laura, who captured almost all of these photos for me. You are so loved my dear!

Weeks 22-25

Little baby girl is still growing like crazy! I heard the second trimester is a breeze and goes quickly — and that is SO true! I’m loving every day of this pregnancy and am so grateful to be experiencing this beauty in my life. We picked the name, went on a long weekend trip and are now in full home renovation for the nursery. More on the reno later! Here’s the bumpdates:

amy horn photography, 22 weeks pregnant, pregnancy update, pregnant, maternity, pregnancy journal, portrait,

amy horn photography, 23 weeks pregnant, pregnancy update, pregnant, maternity, pregnancy journal, portrait,

amy horn photography, 24 weeks pregnant, pregnancy update, pregnant, maternity, pregnancy journal, portrait,

amy horn photography, 25 weeks pregnant, pregnancy update, pregnant, maternity, pregnancy journal, portrait, name announcement, baby name announcement

Week 21 – It’s a GIRL!

What a beautiful, happy week it has been. Our checkup and anatomy scan went so well, Mom and baby are both doing great. Then when we thought Jimmy was going to have to change to a different job at the railroad, everything fell into place and he was able to stay right where he is. Then we surprised our families with pink-filled cupcakes this weekend to announce baby Horn’s gender! To top that off, we went camping with our nephew this weekend. What a whirlwind!

Here’s the recap:
2014-08-17_0001.jpg

2014-08-17_0002.jpg