Archive for April, 2010

Sara’s Bridal Session

April 30, 2010

I love bridal sessions! They are so much fun and really allow for creativity in bridal when you don’t always have time to capture it all at the wedding.  Bridal sessions are a great way to get amazing images and of course we always have lots of fun! Especially with Sara, we had so many laughs..especially when I asked for a serious face. That is really just asking for full on laughter! Kind of like when you were a kid and your parents told you not to laugh… you couldn’t help it, and telling you not to, made it that much harder. Try it, seriously tell the person closest to you not to laugh & see what happens… go ahead, I’ll wait….. See! I told you! Its impossible not to laugh!

On to the photos, we spent a beautiful evening in the park & I will tell you I am the type of photographer who will do (almost) anything for the perfect photo. In this session, I actually used the headlights of a small SUV for some dramatic lighting! Sara is such a beautiful lady, outside & in!

garden bridal session

bridal portraits panama city

I love this one! It may be my favorite actually. This is the “give me your serious look” laugh…

panama city bridal portraits

panama city wedding photographyShe can totally stop traffic!

panama city wedding photographer

And the infamous SUV headlight shot…

panama city wedding photography

The Story of Sebastian

April 28, 2010

As you might notice, this is our brand new blog! I’m very excited to share it with the world. While it is a business blog, I couldn’t think of a better way to start posting than a post of a very personal celebration.  I hope you don’t mind reading a little about my family and how we have become the ‘us’ you see today.

It all started a little over 4 years ago. Ken (my husband in case you didn’t know 😉 & I had 2 precious little boys and we so excited to be adding another baby in the mix. After a totally normal pregnancy with our oldest and a very complicated pregnancy resulting in a 32 week delivery of our second son. We were nervous but felt good that it was just ‘one of those things’ and that this pregnancy was going to be just like the first. At 6 weeks along, we had a few complications, they seemed to reside and all was pretty normal for the most part. At 17 weeks we found out it was another boy who would be joining our ever-growing ball team and were so excited!

4d ultrasound

At 27 weeks that excitement turned to fear when at a Dr appointment we found out Sebastian was not growing as he should be. We were warned to get anything & everything in order and be ready at any time. That we most likely would have another premature baby.  This was crushing to us. Here we thought this was going to be a normal pregnancy. The kind where you get so pregnant that you are miserable, you go to the hospital and 2 days later you take your baby home. Yet here they were telling us, this was probably not going to happen.

Two days after the Dr appointment, I was admitted to Labor & Delivery with complications. Little did I know that I would stay there for 7.5 weeks! Ken & my mom brought my boys up every single day to visit and keep mommy sane! Thank goodness for amazing nurses who became like family, making friends with the food service folks & online mommy forums! Some of those mom’s remain some of my best friends!

After what seemed like forever of being in the hospital, with ultrasounds every other day to check on my baby boo, the decision was made that he was better off outside than in. So the date was set and the guesses were made on how big (or tiny) he would be. While this was the end of a long hospital stay for me, it was just the beginning for my tiny baby.

Sebastian Steven was born via c-section on April 28. He weighed a whooping 3lbs 15oz & was 17″  long. This was great compared to what we were prepared for, still tiny by normal standards for a 34 week baby. With IUGR babies, all the nutrients go to the most important first, the brain.  So he was all head and no butt. Though the Dr.’s assured us he would grow into the head and grow a backside!  He was strong & his lungs were mature enough that he was only on a c-pap the first few hours. He was able to eat by day 2.

He had to stay in the NICU for 2.5 weeks to get bigger & stronger and hold his body temperature. But I had to go home… the worst feeling I’ve ever had was to walk out of the hospital with no baby in my arms. Leaving him behind. Honestly, all I could do is cry & all I could think of is the mom’s who aren’t as lucky, the ones who don’t get to go back & visit their tiny angels for two feedings a day… or call in the middle of the night just to see how he is. That thought made me incredibly thankful for what I had. It made any task that might seem difficult so much easier to bare.

After 2.5 weeks Sebastian got to come home and was a typical newborn. He did everything he was supposed to and was thriving so well! At 6 months, we started to notice that his growth had begun to flatline on the charts. He had a few other things that caused us concern, so after seeing his pediatrician about it, we were sent to Pensacola’s Nemours Children’s Clinic to see some some specialists.

Sebastian was put through a battery of tests including excruciating amounts of blood draws as well as MRI’s & other things. He remained such a trooper and such a little ball of joy! It is amazing the spirit this precious child had through all of it!

At about 17 months, Sebastian was just starting to pull up and taking small steps holding on to furniture. This was a great step forward! Little did I know how important this little picture of Sebastian standing on the sand would be…

Around this time, the Doctors became concerned about the way his voice sounded , with what little sound he did make, which wasn’t much. They scheduled a triple airway scope to take a look at what might be going on. After having to reschedule several times due to illness, we made the trip to Pensacola yet again. He went through the surgical procedure and seemed totally normal. He had been put under general anesthesia but it shouldn’t have been a concern. Doctors did not see anything of concern in his airway.

So home we went and after a day or two, he still had not resumed using his legs… at all. He wouldn’t bear weight on them, wouldn’t scoot in his funny little way, nothing. His legs were not working… This precious baby who had been through so much, yet was starting to walk, suddenly couldn’t use his legs at all. SOMETHING was WRONG!

This was now the weekend so I called the on call pediatrician who told me to take him to the ER. The ER doctor practically blew me off. Ran a blood test and said he didn’t know why he wasn’t using his legs (apparently he also did not care to find out.) told me to go see the pedi on Monday. Monday morning we went to the pedi who immediately called the neuro who said to get to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital to be admitted NOW. After being addmitted they ran more tests, gave possibilites of what it *might* be. Ran blood tests, lumbar punctures and lastly a muscle biopsy which forced him to be put under general anesthesia yet again.

They still could not tell me what was wrong. By the end of that hospital stay he had started to bear weight again and we were sent to UAB in Birmingham for testing with a metabolic specialist. Vials & vials of blood were drawn for testing. There had to be a reason all of this was happening. There was something inside his tiny body that was not working like it should. In the photo below, you can see how tiny he was at almost two, next to his daddy’s hand…

Results came back from UAB that he may have something called GA1, which is a very rare metabolic disorder where the body cannot process protein. While this might have been an answer it was certainly not one we wanted to hear. While we awaited firm results for a diagnosis, Sebastian was placed on a diet of no more than 12g of protein per day. I don’t know how many of you look at the protein count in your food but this was basically nothing. The only thing he could eat freely was candy, just what you want your baby to eat, right? Boy did we have to get creative with foods! It is almost impossible to find foods a 2 year old can eat without protein!

Along with this diet we were also informed that if he had a fever of 101 or higher, threw up more than once or acted out of the ordinary he was to immediately be taken to the hospital and be put on certain IV meds. Needless to say he saw the inside of a hospital far too often. Usually resulting in a stay of at least a few days each time. During all of this time there were a multitude of people praying for Sebastian. People we knew, people we knew only online, even people we didn’t know. I can never express how thankful we are for the prayers that went forth on our behalf. We eventually got the test results back which indicated he in fact did NOT have GA1! This was wonderful news, though to this day we have no idea what caused all of this to happen to him.

Somewhere between all of that, prayers were heard and those prayers were answered. Our amazing little child was healed from whatever it was that was afflicting his body and he got better! His social & motor skills kicked in, he actually made a bump in the growth charts and he started walking!  I don’t question why or how, I just accept these amazing gifts that our Lord has given us and cherish them every second of every day.

And today, our miracle turns 4.  He is an amazingly intelligent blonde-haired, blue-eyed firecracker of a boy. He makes us laugh and keeps me amazed when he learns to write a new letter right along with his big brothers or when he refuses to put his shirt on because he is “being ‘da ‘credible Hulk!”  He loves to be loved on and his favorite thing besides Spider-man is his best friend, Velvet, my mom’s Italian greyhound.

We are so blessed and thankful, not only to have him in our lives but for everything that has been done for him and for us along the way.

If you made it through the post, thank you for joining in our little celebration of our baby boy & I would love it if you would leave him a birthday wish in the comments section!

I would also like to ask, if you are a praying person, to please remember the Red family in your prayers. They are a fellow homeschooling family we have come in contact with through The Homeschoolers Friend group. They are expecting their 6th child and due to pregnancy complications, the mom has been admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, for the duration of the pregnancy. Please remember this family in your prayers!

Old Blog

April 27, 2010

All sessions prior to April are located on our old blog. Feel free to take a look back through our older work!

Click here to visit the old blog!