Morning lovelies, and welcome back to the blog. I am glad you are here and taking a moment out of your busy life to read about me and my busy life. 😊 Today I am excited to share with you the one of a kind experience Keenan and I had with our birthing photographer, Kristina Nichol.
When Keenan and I got pregnant in November 2019, I knew that I would be giving birth in Canada without my family. This was hard for me to swallow, but just part of our reality. What I didn’t know was that COVID would come about and prevent me from even seeing my family while pregnant, and it would completely prohibit my family from flying up to meet my sweet new born baby.
Plus, I was supposed to go home to North Carolina for a baby shower when I was around five months pregnant. My mom was going to take maternity pictures for me, and we had all the looks and locations planned out. When COVID began in March, I was still hopeful that it would be over by April, and that I could still go home for these celebrations.
But as we all know, things didn’t end up that way. Even though Keenan’s family lives in Calgary, I was do devastated and almost jealous that my own family couldn’t be here to celebrate with us. In fact, I think I still grieve over this loss of an experience as my family means the absolute world to me. I knew that I had to do something to take back some control of my life and celebrate this pregnancy in some way. So this is when I began looking for a photographer for maternity pictures in Calgary. I researched many different photographers in the area and came across Kristina.
One of the things Kristina advertised on her website was birthing photography, which I had never heard of before. I instantly was intrigued, and reached out to her for more information. I also creeped as much of her website and social media as I possibly could, and quickly realized that I was in love with her style of photography. I even phoned my mom to get her photographer approval. Lol!
Then without even really asking Keenan, I put a deposit down for Kristina to photograph the birth of our baby. I just knew this was something I wanted and needed to have. There was no discussing it for me. Keenan was a bit hesitant at first, but once he realized how much this meant to me, that it was my way of sharing the experience with my parents who I so badly longed to have with me during this time but couldn’t, he agreed.
So I met with Kristina in person for a coffee one day just to chat and get a feel for who she was. After all, she was going to be apart of a very intimate moment for me. Thankfully, I absolutely adored her and I couldn’t wait for her to document this experience for us. We went over all the specifics of what was important to me for her to document. She also asked if I wanted her to photograph the actual delivery of the baby, buuuttttt that was an easy “no, thank you” for me. I was good not having Kristina edit my who-ha on her computer screen. Lol!
Since you never really know when you are going to go into labor, Kristina was on stand by for a few weeks around my due date. My contractions started on the evening of July 30th, and Keenan and I went to the hospital around 2 or 3am the morning of the 31st (you can read more about Andee’s birthing story here). I waited to see what the doctor said before notifying Kristina. We were sent home around 7am, and told to come back later. I reached out to Kristina at this time (since it was more of a reasonable hour), and told her I would be in touch once we went back to the hospital.
I wasn’t admitted to a room until around 2:00pm, and that’s when Kristina joined us. She stayed around to document everything from the monitors connected to me to the notes written on the whiteboard in my room to the scenery outside the window. But since my contractions slowed down a bit, Kristina went home for dinner with her family and a quick power nap. I think COVID kind of made this difficult for her, too, because in the past she would have just hung out in the hospital cafeteria. But with all the restrictions in place, she wasn’t allowed to do that. So home she went. But she did keep her phone on her just in case things progressed.
Kristina arrived back to our room later that night and I started pushing just after midnight on August 1st. To be honest, I didn’t even know she was there during this time. And even after Andee was born, it felt like it was just Keenan, me and our sweet baby. Kristina documented all of this perfectly for us. She got all of the tender and sweet moments shared between Keenan and me, and the first moments of our sweet baby girl’s life.
It was an experience I would do time and time again because the feeling I have when I look at the photos are something I can never replace. They are one of my most cherished possessions.
Then, my mom being 1) a mama, 2) a grandmama and 3) a photographer herself knew that Keenan and I would value have photographs taken at our house two weeks after Andee was born. So my mom contacted Kristina to set this up, and I am so glad she did.
Kristina was able to document Andee’s nursery and her with our dog. She got pictures of Keenan and me holding her and loving on each other. It was so special to have this extra moment documented because I love seeing how little Andee was then. It’s also unique to have these pictures of her in the house she came home to.
As I said, I greatly value this experience we got to share with Kristina. Her gentleness and kindness was felt the entire time, and Keenan and I both felt extremely comfortable around her. I would pay any amount of money (well… within reason… lol) to have this experience with future children of ours, and I would 10 out of 10 (and then some) recommend Kristina to anyone looking for a similar experience.
And wouldn’t we be so lucky to have won a FREE photo shoot with Kristina right at Andee’s first birthday. Ohhh, how the universe works sometimes. 🙂 Keep your eyes peeled for more of these pictures to drop in a post soon! Kristina – we cannot thank you enough! Happy day y’all!