Lucy’s Birth Story

It has been a whole year (cue the ugly tears) so I thought it was past time that I share Lucy’s Birth Story with you guys. Our journey to bringing our sweet girl into the world was a smooth one and I am thankful to share such a joyous moment of our lives with you all.

I went in for my 39 week check up with our doctor, Dr. Jonathon Snead with Alliance Women’s Healthcare. I was pretty sure he was going to tell me that I hadn’t made any progress and that our baby would come when he or she was ready. But, to my surprise, he said that I was 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. All signs said that baby was ready to make her way into the world!

I had read a million books on how to have a baby naturally and thought that I would be hell-bent on waiting for her to make her arrival in her own time. But, our Doctor surprised us when he said that he would be out of town the following week. Just like that, we scheduled an induction for her due date. lucy 3

We arrived at Texas Health Resources Harris Methodist at Alliance at 6:30 in the morning on August 30th. Within the first hour, Dr. Snead came in and broke my water and then I was hooked up to the Pitocin to start contractions. Considering how determined I was to have a natural childbirth, I couldn’t help but laugh when it came to my birth plan.

Pretty much everything that I had planned was out the window before we even got to the hard part. I tried to do natural labor. I did heavy breathing for almost 5 hours before I got on all fours and told our nurses (Marta + Katrina’s, aka legit angels on Earth) that it was time for the CRNA to bring me that sweet relief.  I had come in at a 3 and made it to a 6 before getting the epidural.

Shortly after I got the epidural, I could tell that something was wrong. But, to be honest, I felt great so I was kind of curious as to what could be happening. I could see the panic on Russell’s face. He said, “Ang, you are as white a ghost.” I could feel my breaths getting shorter and shorter but I felt so relaxed that I assured him everything was fine. The nurses were worried too.

They called the CRNA back in and as they monitored the baby’s progress, the nurse anesthetist administered ephedrine to speed  up my heart rate. I had to wear an oxygen mask for awhile but within minutes, I was back to feeling like me, me in labor but me nonetheless. The epidural was perfect once we calmed it down a bit. I could feel my legs and still knew when I was having contractions but I didn’t feel the pain anymore. We spent the next 2 hours watching Thor Ragnarok and filling out our Baby Book.

At around 2 PM, I started to feel my contractions coming on, really strong. I could feel intense pressure. Considering that both of my nurses had assured me that induced labor can last for days (though the average was 15 hours), I hadn’t even thought of the possibility that our baby would make her way into the world a mere hours after being induced. So, when Marta checked me and exclaimed that I was 10 cm and ready to go, I almost didn’t believe her. After all this waiting, these long 10 months, I felt a rush of panic like “Wait, like now? We’re going to have her now?” I texted our friends and family and said “It’s go time” but again, I was so very wrong.

lucy 3I assumed that when you reached 10 cm, it was time to starting pushing that little munchkin out. But, that was not the case. Our nurses called the doctor and he told them to have me sit in a chair for awhile and try to get some rest. So, from 2PM to 5PM, we sat and waited. We watched movies and prayed and I moved from side to side in anticipation all afternoon.

I could hear the machines beeping with every contraction and the monitor was letting us hear baby’s heartbeat. When 5 o clock on the dot hit, I knew right away that it was time. I told my nurses that they would need to get the doctor in our room or I was just going to do it on my own. I could feel the pressure, so intense, and Jumangi was playing in the background. Kevin Hart and Jack Black’s voices were drowning out the all the extra noise floating around the room. Marta checked me and said, “Yep, we’re ready. Baby is crowning!”

Dr. Snead showed up as if from out of nowhere  and it was officially go time. Russ stood by with his camera ready to go and a cup full of ice. At 5:01, I started pushing. At 5:08, our little girl was born. I literally could not believe it. I had no clue what the gender of our baby was. I am a planner and I knew that if I found out the sex, I would overexert myself trying to plan out all the little details. So, I chose not to find out. But, Russ did know. He had known for 5 months and never once did he spill the beans. In fact, he brought along a bag full of pink onesies and bows for Lucy and an “L” necklace for me.

I was so shocked when they told me it was a girl. My entire pregnancy I had thought she was a boy. I had called her Beau for months. I had packed all boy clothes in our Hospital Bag. Heck, I had spent the better part of August walking around Target buying boy clothes. I even brought a “Welcome to the World Robert Beauhannon” sign to the hospital and I was so very wrong. I was so surprised. I couldn’t stop crying and neither could our sweet girl.

All the books I read said that skin to skin contact would calm the baby and that giving birth would be this magical experience of bonding. Our sweet little girl literally wouldn’t stop crying. She had all of us on edge. I kept waiting for that peaceful moment but she was not having it. The book did have one thing right though…I was so in love with that little girl from the first moment they laid her on my chest. Even with all the screaming,  I had never seen anything more beautiful. Her nose was squished, her hair was blacker than night and her fingers were made for one day tickling the ivories. She was nothing I could of expected and in a wonderfully weird way, that was peace I sought.

On August 30th, 2018 at 5:08 PM, we welcomed our daughter, Rebecca Loucille, into the world. Weighing in at 7 pounds even and 19 1/4 inches long, Lucy made us a Family of 3.  Her name is derived from the Bible, Rebekah being a pillar of strength for her family and Loucille was a play on both of our Grandmother’s middle name, “Lou”.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit about our sweet baby and her entrance into the world. If you are expecting and have questions or simply just want someone to talk to, please feel free to reach out! I would love to be able to offer advice or answer any questions you might have about this next big adventure.

Huge thank you to our Fresh 48 Photographer for capturing Lucy’s first day in the world! Photo Credit: Stefanie Rose Photography

Laurel Highlands Portrait Session |Norah Lucia |

Hands down, one of my favorite sessions, to date! Jaime of Lonigro Photography and her sweet husband, Tony, welcomed a baby girl this spring and because Jaime has been one of my biggest cheerleaders, constantly encouraging and influencing me to chase my dreams, I just knew that I had to gift this sweet couple their first family portrait session. In years past, Jaime has collaborated with me on a few shoots and I couldn’t think of a proper way to thank her so pictures with their new little love seemed like a good way to show my appreciation for all her hard work.

Ya’ll Meet Norah Lucia Lonigro! This gorgeous little babe made her way into the world 2 weeks early with a full head of hair and the prettiest blue eyes you ever did see.  Weighing in at 7 lbs 7 oz, this little angel made her way earthside on April 27th and changed the Lonigros’ hearts forever.

Just shy of her 1 month, Tony, Jaime and little Nori met me at Keystone State Park for a quick photo shoot near the beach area. Unlike our fall minis where everything was vibrant with oranges and reds, the spring in southwestern PA had to offer bright greens and pretty posies as a backdrop for this family session. Though it was midday and the humidity was about to spike, this crew made the most of our short time together.

Because Jaime is in the portrait photography business, she knows how to get the most from a session and trusted me when I directed them to a plethora of locations around the property. These guys are outdoorsy to say the least. In fact, I am kind of hoping we all get to vacation sometime together because we dream alike and love the wild outdoors! Plus, I have a feeling that Lucy and Norah would have a blast together!

Norah slept the entire shoot. Not even once did she give me a glimpse of her baby blues but she peacefully dreamt in the warm weather and both new Mom and Dad were thankful for a little quiet time! That newborn life can be rough but these guys seem to have such a graceful grasp on the hustle that comes with having a third wheel! Jaime looked stunning, rocking that new Mama glow, the most perfect color red dress and her hair was beyond on point. In fact, I had a hard time believing that she hadn’t been to a salon that morning because let me tell you, I did not look that good when Lucy was 4 weeks old. Tony is one lucky guy!

We ended the shoot by letting little miss Nori don an adorable gray turban bow and it was insanely cute. I am just so proud and so happy for this little family. I’ve known Tony since he was a kid playing midget football for my dad. He even brought photo evidence along. Seeing these two become parents and following their journey to parenthood has been nothing short of beautiful. I am so happy for the these guys and I wish you all the most congratulations. Soak it all in because it flys by fast! Kiss Norah for me and let her know that I am already dreaming up play dates!

Laurel Highlands Newborn Session | Meet Eliza |

Meet the newest member of the Tetkoski Crew, Eliza! This gang is no stranger to the blog. You might remember them from their first daughter’s (Ellie) Newborn Session or their Family Session with their sweet cousins while they were visiting in Texas. I was so happy to hear that their brand new addition arrived shortly before my arrival in Pennsylvania and that we would get a chance to meet this brand spanking new Family of 4!

At Day 15, Eliza is adjusting well. Like any second child, she is adapting to her new surroundings and all the hugs from her big sister. I arrived at the Tetkoski home and Ellie made sure to introduce me to her new baby and to show me that they would indeed be wearing matching dresses for their first photo shoot as a Family of 4.

While Mama fed Eliza, Daddy, Ellie and I headed out to their big and bright backyard for a few shots of Daddy with his firstborn. They have the most incredible backyard and loads of beautiful landscaping so this location would be a breeze for a backdrop.

One thing I love about coming home for Spring Minis in the Laurel Highlands is just how green everything is and their gorgeous backyard was no exception. Daddy kept joking that we were shooting in front of the weeds but I told him to just trust me. And, I am glad he did because this green against Daddy’s blue shirt, Mama’s glow and her ginger hair mixed in with two adorable babes made for some magical images!

Like any firstborn, Ellie sure does love her baby sister but she might be having a little trouble adjusting to sharing Mama with her new bestie. As we ran around the yard, I made sure to capture a few of Mama with her baby girl to allow Ellie some one on one time with her #1 Mama. They picked dandelions and blew wishes into the wind. Ellie was over the moon!

And, of course we had to get a few of Jesse with his sweet little love, Eliza. She seemed so very comfortable lying in Daddy’s arms. She kept smiling in her sleep and when she grabbed onto his finger, I was more than happy to capture such a sweet image of this baby doll and her Dad.

Because we had captured Ellie’s Newborn Portraits at their home as well, I made sure to recreate a few of the photos from that session. Above, that’s Carly’s Spring baby, Eliza, on the left and her Fall baby, Ellie, on the right. How sweet is that???

The humidity was getting the best of all of us and we decided so head indoors to Eliza could have the spotlight for a bit. At 15 days young, this sweet baby girl didn’t make a peep throughout her session. She just laid on her favorite blanket and gazed at the natural light streaming through their back door. It was the perfect spot to capture those blue eyes and keep little missy nice and warm! We captured her toes and her “guns” and even a few sweet moments with her big sister.

I have always said that my favorite part of this job is watching these little beans grow up and seeing this family expand brings my heart so much joy. Congratulations to the Tetkoski’s on their bundle of joy! I hope to see you guys for play dates soon!!

 

If you would like to book your unique Lifestyle Newborn Session or even a Fresh 48 contact Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I love capturing those first raw and real moments for families that reflect the miracle that is bringing a new baby home!

 

 

DFW Newborn Session: Meet Bridger Easton

Get ready to meet the most handsome baby boy! At just 30 days young, this tiny but mighty brute of a baby showed up with his Mama and Grandma for his Newborn Session and I can honestly say that I have never seen a one month old who was so active for his session. Ya’ll meet Mr. Personality, Bridger Easton!

You all might remember having seen his Mama’s Maternity Session at Grapevine Lake here on the blog. She was the goddess rocking the flower crown of delphiniums and flaunting her budding bump. If you missed it, check it out here. Seriously, one of my all time favorite Maternity Sessions. Amanda was poised and ready to meet her little man. Little did she know though, her baby boy would want to cook for a few more weeks!

Weighing in 7 pounds, 7 ounces, Bridger Easton made his way into the world during the wee hours of April 4th, 2019. He was born with a big and bold love for his Mama, the most handsome pout and a light dusting of brown hair.

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Grandma, Mom and Bridger arrived for little man’s Newborn Session on Day 30 and I can happily say, he rocked it. Donning a few simple outfits, we posed this little guy in a garden and in doors with a casual background. This session was all about focusing on Bridger’s perfect little details. I made sure to document everything from his toes to his nose and all the smirks in between.

As usual, these guys were a dream to work with. Mama made sure to come prepared and we had no hiccups with his session. Seeing that I love to capture the lifestyle inspired shots, or candid moments, I made sure to have Amanda jump in for a few photos with her little man. Thanks again to this sweet family. I look forward to seeing your little guy grow!

“Above all, love each other deeply.” Peter 4:8

If you would like to book your unique Newborn Portrait Session, inquire with Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I would love to chat about your bundle of joy and help capture those raw and reflective first moments as a family! Don’t forget that we also offer Fresh 48 Sessions here in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex!

DFW Newborn Session: Meet Eleanor

Y’all this little girl is about to steal all your hearts. Meet Eleanor Kate Hamilton! Born on March 15th, I had the great pleasure of meeting this sweet baby girl on Day 11 for her first photo shoot. I am beyond thrilled to share a first look at Brenna and Jeff’s little peanut!

This particular set of photos was my favorite because this family just rocked it. Brenna has the brightest smile on her face and Dad, Jeff, cannot take his eyes off of their first born beauty. They all just seem so relaxed, right at home with their new baby!

I had the great pleasure of meeting this little lady’s Mama a few years ago through a mutual friend and way back then, I photographed her sweet pup, who now is long gone but still very much in Brenna’s heart. In fact, in the years since that shoot, Brenna has added a new pup to the family, Piper and this big sister is just smitten with the Hamilton Family’s new addition!

Weighing in at a solid 8 pounds, this little chunk was born with a full head of hair and what appears to be the prettiest blue eyes. So far, Mom and Dad say that her favorite thing to do is eat! Oh, and sleep! What a life!

Brenna and Jeff (and the new Grandma who was there to help) totally trusted my vision and invited me into their home to capture this lifestyle inspired newborn session. We kept it sweet and simple. I made sure to include lots of Mama loving on her baby girl and a ton from the perspective of little Ella in Daddy’s hands, as well as a few of Piper checking out her new roommate.

We had gorgeous light throughout the entire session and I love that each room in their house flooded with natural light in the afternoon. We managed to time feedings and shoot time perfectly. Not one tear was shed though we didn’t really give her a chance. If Eleanor looked even the bit sad, either Mom, Grandma, Dad or I would pick her up and give her hugs before she had a chance to get upset.

We ended the session by letting Eleanor just chill in her crib in her new nursery. Layered in pink lace ruffles and white bow, Eleanor Kate proved that she is in fact “more precious than rubies” and for that, I am thankful. Not only that this job allows me the pleasure of meeting and documenting such sweet baby’s first days in the world but that I know the joy their presence brings each family, especially the Hamiltons!

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For information on how to book an in home newborn session or a Fresh 48 Session, message me, Angelina, at therustienailhead@gmail.com and we can discuss package details, due dates and dreamy baby poses.

PA Holiday Portrait Session: The Powder Mill Village

This sweet family is back on the blog and I could not be happier about it. They recently welcomed a baby girl and I was so excited to get a glimpse at their new addition!

For the third year in a row, I had the opportunity to shoot their session right in their backyard. These guys live in a cozy little corner of the Powder Mill Village area and I just love shooting  at this location. Each year, they surprise me with a different backdrop and each year, it just gets more beautiful. I can totally see why they chose to set up camp in the mountains!

Their eldest baby girl has grown so much and watching her grow over the years is one of the best parts of my job. Somehow, she gets more adorable year after year. This time, I got to see her in a brand new role, big sister! She was definitely a fan of her mini-me!

In the past, we have shot at night time and ended up with some amazingly moody winter shots (check out that session here) but this time, we chose to shoot in the morning and we got a completely different look and feel for their session. It was vibrant and bright and simply gorgeous out!

Their first request of the day blew me away. Their neighbor, a close friend, had recently passed away and they wanted to get photos taken on his front porch with a teddy bear that was made from one of his flannel shirts. I could have cried it was so sweet. And the house was the absolute perfect place to start our shoot. It was a small, white cottage tucked away in a quaint corner of the village.

We spent the better part of the morning walking around their property before taking off for the Powder Mill Village Nature Reserve. As usual, this sweet family blew me away with their appreciation for Mother Nature! I am thinking play dates for their sweet girls and our little Lucy ASAP!

Laurel Highlands Portrait Session: Emily + Baby Liam

GUESS WHAT!?!?!?! My best friend recently welcomed the sweetest, most handsome little baby boy into the world and I finally got the chance to meet him and photograph this little nugget!! Meet Liam Henschel, aka Baby Norris’ best friend for life!

We  met at Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to shoot this little guy’s photos and it was super special too! Mommy and Daddy were married here and had their Maternity Photos taken here in the fall so I was glad that we had the chance to take this images in the same location.

Little Liam made his way into the world on March 26th and stole all our hearts with his squishy mug and sweet facial expressions! The first photo Mommy sent us was this little guy holding his hands like he was praying and we all about died over how cute it was.

I am especially excited about this little guy coming into the world because I just know that my soon-to-be little love and Liam are going to be besties just like his Mama and I have been all these years. In fact, his Mama and I got engaged within 3 days of each other, got married within 6 weeks of each other and now are having babies 6 months apart and I am just too giddy about it.

Liam, you are so lucky little dude. Your Mama prayed for so long to meet you and now that you are here, she is going to shower you with all her love and affection so get used to it. I also have big plans for loving on you every time I come home so be prepared little man!

Emmy, thanks again for letting me capture this special time in your life and for letting me be an Auntie to your baby boy! I cannot wait for our babes to become best friends!!