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the birth story of Calynn – a bradley method home birth

Getting the opportunity to document Angela and Cam’s home birth came by chance. A client of mine’s mom helped make it possible. (thanks Charlene <3 ) When I met Angela and Cam at their home for the prenatal appointment, we hit it off just perfectly. I knew it would be a great birth, and lucky for me, getting to know them late in the game meant not a whole lot of waiting before the big show happened!

I got a text early in the morning from them on January 2nd (one day shy of my two year birth photography anniversary), that they thought today was the day.. so I waited for more info.. and eventually, took my kiddo to preschool.. which just so happens to be right by Angela and Cam’s house.

When I left preschool, I wasn’t getting any texts back and figured that meant it was time to do a drive by.

The doula (Catherine Fagan) was there, and I decided to go ahead on in.. I like being one of the first to arrive to home births.. to capture a bit of the build up and anticipation, and to take the time to really settle in before the baby comes.

Angela was so strong, so at peace and so in control. You would never have guessed this was her first born. She sang praise as she brought her baby into the world, and that image will stick with me for a long time to come.

I have never seen a more proud daddy as Cam was holding his sweet baby girl, in her own home, just minutes after her birth.

The midwives (Scenic Drive Midwives) Angy Nixon and Pia Long(apprentice) were fantastic, and working with them that day led me to hiring them for my own prenatal and now miscarriage care. I just adore them both.

Now without further ado -

 

 

Calynn Huffman 2 from Allie Bennett on Vimeo.

You can also watch the video at http://huffmanfamily.alliebphotography.com.

xoxo,

 

allie

 

if you are interested in birth photography and videography, please visit the birthographer info page 

Beth - February 27, 2013 - 6:00 pm

This seriously made me cry. The still photo of the baby touching mama’s face is the most beautiful image I have ever seen.

Kelley Klemick - February 28, 2013 - 12:51 am

Such a strong mama and amazingly supportive papa. Absolutely beautiful!

Page Watkins - February 28, 2013 - 4:44 am

Angela, I am just speechless! What an amazing treasure to have this beautifully captured video! You were so amazingly beautiful throughout the whole process and Cam so tender and attentive. I may have just become a proponent for home births after watching this. Thank you for sharing!

Anne-Claire - March 6, 2013 - 8:09 pm

Beautiful video! The picture of the Calynn touching Angela’s face is so incredibly precious!

Natalia - March 8, 2013 - 8:04 pm

woman!!! you seriously make me weep EVERY SINGLE TIME!! I’m not sure you realize what a difference you are making!!!! you are such an amazing individual and to be able to keep these sacred memories for your clients is the greatest gift. So proud of you!!

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drained.

So, i’ve decided to do nothing.. and just see what happens. The D&C appointment for this morning will just go unattended and I will go on waiting. I am more at peace with this then I am with going under anesthesia. Plus, I am not in a hurry to get back to trying to make a baby. The burning desire had fled from me and I actually will be trying to NOT get pregnant for a while.

I was so so so ill.

The last month has been hell.

Of course, I didn’t want to complain because I thought there was a solid reason behind the completely paralyzing nausea.. the growing of a baby! I know it’s part of the deal and I know there are a million women who wish they could be that sick in the name of having a baby.

But.. I can’t do that again right now.

I simply do not have the stamina to go through that again.

Last night I went and had a blood draw done to get my HcG levels measured to make sure they are going down, all the way. And I will have another in a week or two. I went to MedExpress, since that is where the hubby works and they are always so kind there.

Tim recently interviewed for a new job, a much better paying job that requires a LOT of travel. He knew I wouldn’t be able to work as much being pregnant and then having two littles.. so he manned up and went after it.. and got it.. and was set to start at the beginning of March.

Last night, I realized how much he is loved at his job.. and how much people are not wanting to see him go. And that is valuable to me. I want happiness for my husband and I am afraid that he won’t be HAPPIER with the new position than he is now… and quite frankly, in the current situation, I don’t want him gone.

Who knew things would be so complicated?!

For two months, you plan for your whole life to change, and then you find out that theres nothing going to change..

I cancelled two weddings for two amazingly fantastic couples, that I was SO excited to work with… and now, I am suddenly widely available again. Talk about a blow to the gut. Having to say “I’m so excited to be pregnant! but I am truly sorry I won’t be available to do your wedding now!:(”  then turning around a few weeks later to say “I am so sad… but I am available to do your wedding again, if you want me..”

It is the great conundrum of being a wedding professional, I suppose.

But I have amazing clients, and they have been beyond kind, beyond understanding.. and one has already re-signed on for the wedding.. and I CANNOT WAIT to be there for them.

It’s time to re-focus and get back on track with all the work I had outlying while I laid sick and out of commission for the last month. (a million apologies to those waiting on videos.. it’s imposible to focus on something that intense when you are struggling to not throw up. and I feel terrible that it has been outstanding)

Happy Monday… time to get back in the saddle.

isn’t Ana gorgeous?! thank God for her.

xoxo,

allie

shelby nuckolls - February 26, 2013 - 12:43 am

Allies my heart hurts for you. I had a very similar experience when Mikhaila was four years old . All the different emotions were overwhelming. Thank you for sharing. I am sure it will help others. Praying for you :)

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on making decisions about things you should never have to make decisions on…

I swear, I am driving my midwife nuts. I am probably the most annoying patient she has ever dealt with but didn’t have a full chart on. We were all set to take care of that stuff, then I had the ultrasound.. so it hasn’t happened yet.

I keep going back and forth on what needs to happen now.

Immediate reaction was that I would just let the miscarriage happen on it’s own. I am of the more natural persuasion and have a general disinterest in surgery, anesthesia and hospitals. I mean, I was going to be having a frickin’ homebirth this pregnancy to avoid those things.

When we found out there was a possibility that it could be a molar pregnancy and that if not completely removed, that can lead to cancerous cells in my body… I relented myself to doing what was right for the future and was going to have the D&C done Monday morning.. against my true wishes.

After more research and some help from some friends, we think this is probably just a blighted ovum and that it isn’t dangerous to let it pass on its own… but then I start thinking a about my life in the next month and I have the largest bridal show (and only one we are planning to do) this coming Sunday, and then Tim promptly leaves town to be gone for the bulk of two weeks while he trains for his new job.. leaving me alone with Analeigh.. and the fact that I will be having a miscarriage in that time kinda freaks me out.. mainly because I don’t know how bad it will be or how long it will last… or WHEN it will start.

I texted Angy, the midwife, last night saying maybe the d&c isn’t a bad idea…. and she told me to sleep on it and that it was completely up to me.. I have a standing appointment if I want it with her cooperating physician or I can go to my own choice of OB. OR i can do nothing and wait it out.. getting the blood draw for the hormone levels..

So I prayed, asked around and slept on it.. and woke up feeling like this is not my decision to make.

In so many ways, I am against trying to be the boss on my own life. I prefer God just take control and be the one who makes these things happen in his own time.. decision making isn’t my strong point and never had been.. and so far it has worked out pretty great..

So.. I still haven’t come to a final decision because I feel like logic vs. faith are battling it out in my mind.. and I can’t be sure which one will prevail when it is all said and done.

I have prayed that if I don’t do the D&C that God will have mercy and allow the miscarriage to happen at a time when I am not, say, talking to brides at the bridal show… and I have faith that He has heard my requests..

 

And I guess that’s really all I can do at this point..

 

 

3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you.
Psalm 56:4

 

xoxo,

 

allie

 

p.s. Disney on Ice was a blast, even though Ana spent her time making us run her to the bathroom and back, up 40+ steps. FOUR potty breaks in under 2 hours.. haha sometimes having a potty trained two year old sucks! But she screamed and clapped and then after about 3/4th of the show said…. take me home. haha I love a woman who knows what she wants. p.s. i have been waiting for an excuse to wear this obnoxiously yellow dress! perfect.

 

 

 

this is just a cute pic from this morning… she’s her mother…oh no.

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a day removed…

Well here I am, a day removed from the ultrasound and news that there was no embryo growing inside me… ever. Even though I was so sick and felt so entirely pregnant.

Thanking God for my midwife, Angy Nixon who has been so available and helpful in helping me seek answers as to why the symptoms and the trust was there but the baby wasn’t. You just don’t get this kind of fast response and personal care anywhere but with a small midwife practice, like Scenic Drive Midwives.

Grateful for the internet, where I posted what happened, because I figured I am not alone and so many women out there are not talking about it… I don’t live my life in a closet and since the news of being pregnant was already out… the news that I am no longer needed to make its way too, for several reasons.. and what better way than immediately and without hesitation.

So many people sent nice messages, dropped off gifts on our porch and generally just loved on us in our time of sadness. It brought more tears to my eyes but they were good, healthy, get this off my chest tears.

Also thankful that we have a network of friends of all trades, and someone skilled in that field, saw our ultrasound photo on my blogpost and told us that they think it could be something less serious than a molar pregnancy. Which is relieving to me..

Today we meet with Angy and will have a blood draw done to test the hormone levels and get a clearer picture of what is going on and what the next step truly needs to be. D&C or no D&C.. and what the plan is moving forward for finalizing this pregnancy.

I am leaning now toward believing it could be just a blighted ovum and if so, the whole “could lead to cancerous cells” thing is a lot less evident and scary. So, we’re praying for that.

We really did enjoy our anniversary last night, and the pool was just a load of fun for us and our little girl, Analeigh. Then Hubs and I went to Outback and I had the first Filet of my life. I ate SO much food and had two delicious wallaby darneds to celebrate 5 years. (yumo drink.)

 

 

This morning we woke up at the hotel to a bunch of friends announcing on facebook that they were going to Disney on Ice today.. and I remembered that Ana’s cousin had tickets… so after pulling up some videos (and watching them all about 4 times each, mesmerized) I bought tickets too! So after our appointment, we are going to see Disney on Ice. I can’t wait to see Ana’s face light up!!!

xoxo,

 

allie

 

 

Blessing Oshin - February 24, 2013 - 2:15 pm

Oh my Allie. I am so sorry. I didnt see anything on facebook regarding this. Hope you are doing okay. You are in my prayers.

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week ten – that’s all folks…

Well today is my 5 year wedding anniversary… and the only available appointment they had for ultrasound until next week..

So we went to have the ultrasound done, in the very same room we had Ana’s first ultrasound done. For some reason, i was panicing in the waiting room, but when we got back to the ultrasound room, my heart went calm. I think knowing that is the place we first saw Miss Ana gave me hope and peace.

So, here we go… gel on the belly… and I ask “Am I gonna be able to see?!” because obviously I have already obsessed and know exactly what normal looks like at 10 weeks because I google searched it the night before.. and she tells me I can see after she does her part… BOO! ok…

So she starts scanning and there is no excitement, there no moment of “OMG theres our baby” from Tim, who can see the screen.

I know pretty quickly this isn’t going well, but I pray and try to stay positive. She scans my ovaries for a long time, which seems incredible unnecessary at this point. JUST TELL ME WHATS GOING ON, or SHOW ME THE SCREEN.. SOMETHING! ahhh… She tells me that shes turning on the sound, but it is my heartbeat I am hearing, and I know this because the baby’s heart rate would be faster… (yea, I know too much for my own good sometimes)

then she says they need to go try the vaginal ultrasound.. which is what they did with Ana when I had the Subchrionic Hematoma… and as soon as they leave the room I tell Tim… “I am not dumb, there is no heartbeat… WHAT DID YOU SEE?!” and he says he didn’t know what he was looking at, which tells me there was not an obvious baby in there, because at 10 weeks, its pretty obvious when there is! I tell him, please snap a photo of the screen because I dont think they are going to show me anything. So he does. Bless his heart.

As I am laying there having the most awkward ultrasound of my life, the emotions take over and tears well up. I don’t want to cry, but I need to cry.. so I cry.

Sure enough, I sit up.. the tech leaves the room again, I know she is going to get a doctor so they can tell me the obvious. I am not pregnant any more.

Doctor Strobel comes in and very cordially let’s us know that there is no embryo on the scan and that he is very sorry to have to tell us that. I can’t speak, but thats just because I dont want to ugly cry more than I am already, so Tim thanks him and reassures him that it’s ok.

And it is.

Even if I am angry.

Even if I am sad.

Even if I am pissed off because I have been SO entirely sick the last month, and there isn’t even an embryo, and as far as I can tell, there never was.

It makes no sense to me, but I am already texting Angy, my fantastic midwife to tell her what they said, because I feel like she will have some kind of sensical reason for why I have felt so pregnant and so sick.

I won’t know for sure until tomorrow, but she thinks due to my symptoms and the lack of an embryo, that I have had a Molar Pregnancy… she delves out a plan of action for follow up and making sure that I will be okay… and I google..

 

Molar pregnancies are rare, and happen when there is a chromosomal problem. Usually when a egg that does not carry a proper number of chromosomes is fertilized, and cannot grow into an embryo, but instead becomes a mass of grape looking cysts… FUN.

I find comfort in the fact that it seems mine was a FULL molar pregnancy and that there was probably never an embryo. I don’t know why but that makes it seem way less real to me and I like that.

As we go forward, if the hormone levels don’t tank and go completely down, I will have to have a D&C (and honestly, I might have one to be safe) because if molar tissue is left in my uterus, it can lead to an invasive mole that requires chemotherapy. Um, no thanks, get out of my uterus. and if left untreated can be cancerous. Heck NO.

So that’s that.

I will never forget my 5 year wedding anniversary.

In better news, I booked us a hotel room with a indoor pool and I am taking Analeigh swimming.. then she is spending the night with her cousins and aunt and uncle so Tim and I can just rest and chill, and go to a restaurant and eat everything in sight. And possibly become just a touch intoxicated to celebrate five years of “OMG we made it!!! and I STILL LOVE YOU”

To every thing there is a season, even if my seasons tend to overlap and get all jumbled up… we have faith that everything happens for a reason and it wasn’t our time.

 

 

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

 

 

xoxo,

 

allie

 

 

krystal - February 22, 2013 - 8:35 pm

As I read this I knew I wanted to write something to you. As I cried along with you as I am sure you did as you wrote this. I was there, in your shoes, felt the same thing, but at the same time I just wanted to offer you some comfort.

I am truly sorry. I had a very similar situation and all along you have this idea of a baby in your head and how different your life is going to be.

My prayers are with you.

<3

Lindsey - February 22, 2013 - 8:50 pm

Allie – I am so sorry. I know that only time and God will heal the pain but I wanted to let you know how terribly sorry I am that you and your family are in pain- but I am praying for you.
lindsey

Tallahassee Wedding Photogapher - February 22, 2013 - 8:53 pm

Sending you lots of love and some BIG hugs!!! -Ashley

Chrissy - February 22, 2013 - 9:01 pm

Allie, my heart breaks for you and Tim. I remember staring at the US screen and knowing yet waiting…. If you need an ear or a sounding board, I’m here.

Tomi Barrett - February 22, 2013 - 9:06 pm

My deepest sympathy to you both! We had a similar situation happen to us! It is painful regardless of how far along u r! I send lots of prayers and hugs!

Natalia - February 22, 2013 - 9:07 pm

I love you my friend, it all will be alright in time, trust in your faith and have comfort in the awesomeness that is that curly haired child of yours. I will see you soon!

Jessica - February 22, 2013 - 9:27 pm

Allie you are such a rock star. It’s ok to be sad but I hope you know you are an amazing mother to Ana and can have perfectly normal pregnancies in the future. Glad you and Tim get some time together, 5 yrs is reason to celebrate no matter what!

Matt Morrison - February 22, 2013 - 9:43 pm

It hurts to read the commentary on how it went today. I remember being in a similar room, and the anxious feelings you get. What I can’t imagine is how you and Tim’s hearts felt as the obvious was being narrated to you. So, for that you will have much prayer support tonight from the Morrison clan. We love you guys. Find rest and comfort tonight in your wonderful man, your amazing daughter, and most importantly your loving God.

MaGaggle - February 22, 2013 - 10:59 pm

Allie,
You do not know me, I do not know you! But together we are sisters in Christ. Our LORD will provide all our needs, our love for each other will get us through until HE returns one day. You are loved, brave and anointed! To be able to write about this so eloquently when we all know you must be hurting, deeply, tenderly and thoroughly! Know that there are a lot of us out here loving and virtually hugging you!
May GOD’S peace envelope you and your husband. May you have many more children and be a blessing to each of them!

Your sister in Christ!
Marilee

Dawn - February 23, 2013 - 1:01 am

Dear Allie,

I am so very sorry for your loss.

I pray that God will surround you with His love, comfort, and peace.

Michelle Fullerton - February 23, 2013 - 2:53 am

So very sorry for your loss. God will heal the hurt – keep holding onto His strength!!
Love & prayers to you, Tim & Annaleigh.

Judy - February 23, 2013 - 5:08 am

Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life with us! I cried just reading it as I know you must have done while writing it. God is the ultimate Healer, and I pray He will bring you and Tim peace through this emotional time!

Bobbie - February 23, 2013 - 7:47 pm

allie… i bawled!! as i am sure anyone else that feels your heart in these words…i am so sorry and so inspired at the same time. Trust, Love, Hope and Prayers

A year removed.. » - January 23, 2014 - 9:13 pm

[...] If you have followed this blog, that was pretty much the only thing I blogged here. A year ago, I told the story of our second pregnancy and subsequent loss at 13 weeks pregnant. I haven’t had a lot to say since [...]

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