Photography


Breastmilk Keepsakes

EXCITING NEWS! Read on to find a 10% off coupon code for HollyDay Designs!

Breastmilk Necklace

What do you do with your frozen breastmilk stash? It might sound like a rhetorical question, one with a simple answer: Feed it to the baby! But, there’s a way to turn some of your milk into a breastmilk keepsake to memorialize your breastfeeding relationship!

It might sound silly, but this wasn’t around when I was at the end of my stash or I would have sent it off to a breastmilk jeweler instead of using it as an additive in the bath to help with my daughter’s eczema. Last year, a close friend moved very, very far away, so a big group of us pooled together and bought her a breastmilk necklace to honor her and her son’s hard-won nursing relationship.

So, if I was to have access to a time machine, one of the many stops would be to the day I used my last bag of frozen milk to tell myself to hold onto it because there was a cool new trend going to happen in a couple years.

If you search online, you will find a million different jewelers who create breastmilk keepsakes – necklaces, beads for your Pandora bracelet, and more. The artisan selected for our friend’s necklace was one recommended to me, Hollyday Designs. I loved that she had a design that incorporated a camera as the recipient is a wonderful photographer (her pics are all over this site!). If you like this necklace, you’ll love her other designs!

 

UPDATE!!!! Once I shared my blog post with Holly, owner of Hollyday Designs, she was so thrilled to hear about my experience that she offered my clients and readers A COUPON CODE!

Now through July 31st, use code BOLDBIRTH10 for 10% off your entire order from HollyDay Designs! They offer more than just breastmilk keepsakes – they also create memorial pieces and, similar to the breastmilk options, they have beautiful pieces that incorporate your life-sustaining placenta!


Meet Casey Yu: A Dissertation on Motherhood 1

In honor of Mother’s Day and a special birthday, I interviewed Casey Yu. I remember the first time I met Casey but it was so HOT that day as I was waaaaay too pregnant for Summer, I’m not even sure I said more to her than a grunt or a defeated sigh. I met her for real when we hired her as our maternity photographer, and we became fast friends. Tallahassee NICU

So, what special birthday? Two years ago today, Casey’s son William was born. The Will of #freewill and #feedwill hashtag fame. His birth was the first planned cesarean I ever attended as a doula, although it was planned last minute for very emergent reasons, as you’ll read below. I remember being nervous and scared for both he and Casey in the days and weeks leading up to his birth, although on the outside I did my best to remain a calm source of support. I spent every single moment of his birth sending good thoughts out into the Universe for the two of them, hoping it would help get them through the hard times ahead. And today, Will and his family celebrated his second birthday halfway around the world! Casey is now using her experience as a photographer and a mother via cesarean delivery in her dissertation research.

What made you interested in writing your dissertation about motherhood?
I have been writing on and off about mothering online ever since I started my doctoral program at FSU, but it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my youngest that the focus started to change. Will was diagnosed with IUGR in utero, I had high blood pressure, and was on bedrest from 24 weeks until he was born, in all of his 3lb 2oz glory, at 32 weeks in an emergent cesarean section. In all regards, my experience birthing Will was not too bad. I had a really supportive birth team, with a doula, helpful family members, and surprisingly, a midwife from my practice that I’d had my doubts about but she was perfect at the time. The culmination of events from his birth and my recovery led to my interest in writing about and learning about cesarean sections and their impact on women as a whole. His birth, the support I received, the recovery (both physical and mental) path I took – all of this had a profound impact on me as a person, so it was pretty much inevitable that I would end up writing about it for my dissertation!

My dissertation topic explores the use of cameraphone photography in how knowledge is gained and shared by women who have undergone cesarean sections. I argue that the act of capturing images on a cameraphone and sharing them socially can be considered a powerful act, capable of effecting change. I am in the midst of editing the prospectus of my dissertation, which is essentially the first three chapters outlining my argument, the literature review I have conducted, and my proposed method of
answering my research questions. Getting there!
Tallahassee Parenting
How do you hope your research will change the future of motherhood?
One of the most unique experiences women have is the ability to give birth. This process has become progressively more complicated and murky with so many women who have given birth feeling less in control of their bodies than ever. It is my hope that this work will culminate into photographs captured by mothers to describe the experiences they are having, and encouraging all birth professionals (obstetricians, midwives, nurses, doulas) to consider the impact of cesarean birth on women as a whole. The United States performs over 30% of births every year via cesarean sections, when the World Health Organization indicates that the optimal rate for cesarean deliveries is between 5-10%. This huge discrepancy needs to be addressed by everyone – pregnant women and their birth teams.

Perhaps most simply, though: my hope is that my work can empower women in their quest to birth their children – however the baby is born.

Who has inspired you?
Oh gosh, so many have inspired me. I have grown up in a long line of amazingly strong women with my surname – my mother, my grandmother, my two aunts, and my two cousins. They are some of the most badass, strong, passionate women I’ve ever known. Josh’s family boasts some amazing people too – my in-laws have been incredibly supportive of my education and have helped me shape what I want to do. My advisor is amazing as well and has understood the fervor and anger I feel when I write about some of the things I have had to write about to get this prospectus off and running. My husband Josh is, as I term, the best girlfriend I’ve ever had. My three kids are inspirations (and also cause premature greying of my hair!).

But mostly, I am inspired by the stories I have heard from some of the most amazing people I know who have given birth via cesarean section. Having a child in and of itself a transformative experience. Having a child via cesarean section takes amazing courage and bravery that is not recognized nearly enough. They are my inspiration, through and through.

Tallahassee Newborn PhotographyWhat is something about you that we would be surprised to hear?
I asked Josh to answer this for me, and he says, “I think they would be surprised to know that you are actually capable of emotionally connecting with other humans.” I have a pretty tough exterior and my kids will be the first to tell you that I like to get my way, I am sometimes mean, but secretly way down deep (probably inside my little toes), I am a softy.

And now for the fun questions! Where did you grow up?
All over! I was born in Illinois, lived in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Virginia, California, and Florida. I spent two months in Alaska at one point too!

If it won’t make you homesick, what is your favorite part about Tallahassee?
The parenting community! I love the small town feel of Tallahassee – every time I went out to run an errand, I am bound to run into a friend and have a moment to stop and chat. It made me feel connected to an entity of motherhood far greater than the effort I put forth at home.

What is your favorite food/thing to cook?
My late grandmother’s sticky rice stuffing, with pork ribs, dried shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms. Mmmmm!
Tallahassee Motherhood

Have you ever won a trophy?

Yes! I ran a 5K in Chicago – my first one. I am 99% sure I got a medal.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Both! I am the first one awake in the morning, usually due to the sun that rises early here in Dhaka. And I get my second or third or fourth wind around midnight.

Whatโ€™s your favorite holiday?
Chinese New Year! Josh and I make a ton of Chinese food and invite all our friends over for a grand feast. I look forward to it every year!

What’s your biggest moment?
Hasn’t happened yet. The second I get to have my advisor hood me and call me Dr. Yu – that will be my biggest moment and you can come back and edit this post to reflect that when it happens.


Tallahassee Newborn Photography

If you’re not sure about the importance of newborn photography, think about how tired new parents REALLY are. Trust me, they’re TIRED. You will be tired, the most tired you’ve ever been in your entire life. Plus you’re tired and still HAVING to function, I mean your baby is cute but she doesn’t feed herself. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You might think you will remember every detail about your sweet baby’s face, and you just might, but what if you forget about how your little one’s hair like sticking up in the back, or how wrinkly his little hands are. Plus, what’s not to love about having a beautiful photograph of your precious baby hanging on your wall?

Tallahassee newborn photography

And guess what! You’re in luck! There are several professional photographers who take newborn and first year photos in Tallahassee. Take a look through the following links to look over the various beautiful portfolios and pick the one that fits your wishlist. There are true artists in this town, let them help create beautiful mementos for your family.

I know you’re probably reaching for your piggy bank to see what’s left after all the other things you’re getting while preparing for your baby to arrive (such as hiring a doula!). If you’re concerned about the cost, think of it as an investment and your future self is thankful you’re considering newborn photography. One thing you’ll want to ask when you call around to find the right photographer for you is if they have insurance. You can see photos of my newborn on various pages of Bold Birth.

 

Tallahassee newborn photography:

Bellflower Photography

Beth Johnson Photography

Catalytic Camera

Christy Baldwin Photography

Elizabeth Davis Photography

Jessica Diane Photography

Kira Derryberry Photography

Long’s Photography

 

If you know of a newborn photographer who is not on this list, please email their information to Leslee@BoldBirth.org. I’d be happy to connect with them to see if they would like to be included on my newborn photographer resource list.

Please visit my resource lists on Tallahassee Birth Photographers and Tallahassee Maternity Photographers.


Tallahassee Maternity Photography 1

Tallahassee Maternity PhotographyThere are many, many professional maternity photographers in Tallahassee, more than I listed below, I am sure. There are a variety of styles and techniques, so looking around to find the one who fits your vision for what you would like your maternity pictures to look like is important. If you have a friend or family member who has beautiful photography hanging on their walls, ask who the photographer is! Same goes if you see family photos that aren’t so lovely…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, why would you want maternity photos? As much as you believe you’ll remember exactly what you look like as an almost fully pregnant woman, you’d be surprised how quickly things change after your baby arrives! For this reason, I encourage my clients to have maternity photos taken (and the exact same reason I offer bellycasting services!). You will appreciate these photos for years to come, so embrace your new body and hire a photographer!

 

Tallahassee maternity photography:

Bellflower PhotographyTallahassee Pregnancy Photography

Beth Johnson Photography

Catalytic Camera

Captured by Casey

Christy Baldwin Photography

Elizabeth Birdwell Photography

Elizabeth Davis Photography

Jessica Diane Photography

Kira Derryberry Photography

Long’s Photography

 

If you know of a maternity photographer who is not on this list, please email their information to Leslee@BoldBirth.org. I’d be happy to connect with them to see if they would like to be included on my Tallahassee maternity photographer resource list.

Please visit my resource lists on Tallahassee Birth Photographers and Tallahassee Newborn Photographers.