Meet Hattie Leigh | Fresh 48 + Newborn | 2018

If you’ve been keeping up with me on social media, you may have noticed a sweet, new blessing has joined my little family! Hattie Leigh was born on July 4th at 5:56am. The last two weeks we have been adjusting, slowly, to life with two sweet babies under two years of age. So far it’s been a fun ride, stressful, yes, chaotic, absolutely, but so very worth it.

I wanted to take this time to tell my birth story with Hattie. This entry is honestly more for my memory since Hattie will more than likely be our last baby. So this is all bitter sweet to me. But, I promise there's nothing graphic mentioned. :) If you are uninterested in hearing it, just skip to the bottom to see all the cuteness I was able to photograph!

Late evening on Tuesday, July 3rd, I had finally decided to lay down and call it quits for the night. I had spent the evening bouncing on an exercise ball, dancing with EvaJean, and chasing her around the house. The last thing I did before going to sleep was rubbing down my ankles and feet with some Clary Sage essential oil, which is known to help progress labor (not induce, but progress). Since I was having contractions, I figured this little gem may help! (And quite frankly, I’m inclined to believe it helped!)

I finally fell fast asleep but around 1am I woke up during my nightly routine of going to the bathroom and drinking like a gallon of water. 😅 I didn’t feel normal, but tried to lay back down. My back was killing me! I got back up and tried to sit down on the couch all while texting my sisters. At this point, I was having decent contractions but I couldn’t tell where they started. I quietly woke Nic up and told him I was pretty sure we would be having a baby soon. He didn’t seem to stressed or convinced. Haha! He did however go ahead and pack our hospital bags into the car along with the car seat. I texted my midwife to get some advice on whether my contractions were real or not, because in my mind I was NEVER going to have this baby. I hopped in the shower and my contractions only worsened. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the timing on them, so I told Nic we could wait around a bit and figure out if this was the real deal or false labor like every night before.

Boy, was I ever wrong. In the midst of talking with my sister, Stephanie, who I had woken up, my water broke. At that moment, I knew I needed to head to McLeod Clarendon in Manning.

When I went into labor with EvaJean, I was in labor for close to 14 hours, so between Nic and I, we both figured we’d more than likely be in labor with Hattie roughly 6 hours or more. Again, were we wrong. We needed to drop EvaJean off with her sitter, Renee, in Summerton and still make it to the hospital. I am SO VERY THANKFUL for my friendship with Renee, she took so much stress off of my shoulders by taking EvaJean for the evening/morning. The entire ride to Renee’s and then the hospital, I had hardcore contractions. A few moments during our drive to McLeod, I honestly thought I was going to give birth in my truck. (Looking back now it’s so funny to me that I kept thinking that) We made it to the ER, Nic was grabbing our bags, and I told him I was going inside since I swore I was dying.

The woman at the registration desk asked if I needed a wheelchair, to which I responded “nah, I’m good. I can walk”, all while I doubled over and grabbed the edge of a table to ward off a heavy contraction. She proceeded to say “Uhm, nope, you definitely need a wheelchair. I can’t have you falling in this lobby.”, as Nic runs in and says to her “She didn’t want a wheelchair did she?” He knows my stubborn ways all too well. It also didn’t take much convincing to get me in the chair at that point, I could hardly walk. The entire time at the ER desk, while being asked what felt like a thousand and one questions, I thought for sure I was going to have that baby in the floor of the emergency department. It felt like we spent eternity answering questions and waiting on someone to whisk us up to the labor and delivery floor. Finally, two hospital employees came to take us to L&D. We made it to a room, where I realized my nurse was Brynne! I was so happy to see a familiar face. It definitely put me at ease. Coming in right behind her was my amazing midwife, Tom Chappell. {If you guys don’t already know Tom and Judy with McLeod’s Women’s Care, you’re missing out! They are an invaluable asset to the hospital/women’s care, in my opinion.}

The next 30 minutes to an hour are somewhat of a blur; I recall lots of pain, throwing up, signing waivers on epidurals and pain relievers, and hot water from the shower for my lower back. I finally made it back to the bed where we found out I was 3 centimeters dilated. I remember thinking to myself “oh good Lord in Heaven, only 3 centimeters?! I’m going to die if I have to go through hours more of labor like this!” I recalled how long labor was with EvaJean but how calm everything was, including my brain. This time around I was not calm, it all felt different and everything was happening so fast. I tried finding a comfortable position in the not so comfortable hospital bed. I ended up on my back and seeing my stomach do what looked like a wave of movement. I think something like “I feel like I need to push” came blaring out of my mouth and next thing I know Brynne is beside me on one side of the bed and Nic on the other. I then see the nursery nurse start bringing in the baby warming table (I think that's what it was) and lots of other things that gave me the impression that this baby was coming a lot sooner than I anticipated. I won’t get too graphic, but a few pushes in, I asked Tom if I was at least making any kind of progress/could we see her head? I needed reassurance that I wasn’t going to be in “that” much pain much longer. His simple response was “yes, you just need to push”. I didn’t quite expect to push maybe 2-3 more times and be holding my sweet Hattie girl. We literally were at the hospital for less than two hours before we met this precious little blessing. I seriously had an amazing team while delivering. During my stay, both Hattie and I had wonderful nurses. I tried my best not to aggravate them, and if I did, please accept this as my apology. These ladies were so kind to me, and I am positive I couldn't have asked for better care. 

During our roughly 4 day stay, I was able to take some Fresh 48 photos of Hattie. I love that I was able to capture some of her first sweet days. While in the hospital, Hattie had to stay under billi lights due to her being very jaundice, so you’ll see a few of those photos as well documented below. She absolutely hated the eye mask they require the little ones to wear while under the lights. It was definitely hard to see her lay under those lights and not hold her as much as possible. We have definitely made up for it since we’ve been home though! And I’m glad to report that after many heel sticks, her levels finally leveled out!

 

I was also able to do a mini newborn session at home with her; she is the best model! She slept the whole time and I was able to photograph her while EvaJean napped! That in itself shows just how great she was because EvaJean only naps for maybe 30-45 minutes. The little floral outfit is what Hattie came home in, I didn't get any photos of us leaving the hospital, sadly, so I wanted to incorporate it, even though it is super big on her! Both of my girls were tee tiny and their clothes swallowed them up! haha! 

EvaJean is taking on the role as big sister pretty well. She absolutely loves giving Hattie kisses on the head and trying to share her pap pap with her constantly. She also enjoys pushing the bassinet around and climbing up the side to watch her sleep, which is both scary and creepy, if Hattie only knew! I’m looking forward to watching my beautiful girls grow up with one another and prayerfully they have a strong relationship as well.

I’m enjoying this season in our lives as I know this time is fleeting and I know soon my little ones won’t be so little anymore. So for now, I’m soaking in all the late nights, the wet kisses, dirty diapers (times two!), sticky, gross fingers, and saying “no” a million times a day. I would not trade any of this chaos for the world! I’m so thankful to live the life I have and I owe it all to the Lord. What I did to deserve these blessings is beyond me, but I am ever so thankful. ❤️

 

Take a look at Hattie’s Fresh 48 photos and a few from my quick newborn session below. ❤️

The Daughertys | New Adventures | 2018

I’ve been attempting to write this blog entry for some time now, and the time is finally here! If you’ve been following my personal Facebook or Instagram, you know that my little family is expecting a new addition any day now!

With that comes a ton of changes, and much needed maternity leave to snuggle my precious baby girls. I’ll probably watch a ton of Netflix and catch up on some of my photography/business education courses, in between caring for a toddler and newborn. Here is now where I will ask for a ton of prayers to help me transition to a mom of 2 under 2. 😅 and for Nic’s sanity as a girl dad. Haha!  We are thrilled though and can’t wait to see how our family grows and changes.

Before heading on leave officially, I met up with my friend, Kaitlin Beckwith of Captured by Kaitlin Rose Photography, to have my maternity portraits taken. We captured these sweet moments in Beaufort, South Carolina, my hometown. I’m so thankful for these portraits and a glimpse of just the three of us before Hattie Leigh makes her grand entrance.

It was a humid day, and EvaJean was her sassy little self, not wanting anything to do with her momma since daddy was with us. She’s definitely a daddy’s girl, so maybe Hattie Leigh will be her momma’s sidekick.

Since EvaJean wanted to stick by her daddy’s side during our photos with Kaitlin, I had my friend, Jessie take a few of EvaJean and I around one of the local farms in Summerton. EvaJean had other plans, so these are mostly fun candid images, but precious nonetheless.

I’m so thankful for both Kaitlin and Jessie taking the time to help me remember these moments with my first little slice of heaven and capturing these last few weeks of maternity with Hattie Leigh. 

For my clients, I’m going to try to keep up with blog posts and keeping you guys informed on all things business related. I’m hoping to be back in the full swing of things by Septmeber. I’m finishing up the last few things I have in my queue and will be sending those out soon! In the meantime, I will be responding to emails and messages as best and quick as possible, but please bare with me as this new adventure is going to take some getting use to. I’m so thankful for all my wonderful clients and I promise I won’t be gone too long! Stay tuned for new blog entries to include EvaJean and Hattie Leigh! 

❤️ Love, Leah 

 

The photos below were taken by Jessie Shipp, and are a clear representation of mine and EvaJean's relationship when naps are not taken and snacks are much needed. She was a wild child this day and these candid images crack me up! Especially the last set during her meltdown. I like to blame these meltdowns on family members (you know who you are. Haha!) that wished my kids to be 1000x as bad as I was when I was EvaJean’s age. 😅

Meet Eli | Cake Smash | First Birthday | 2018

Today is such an exciting day! Today we celebrate this little fella and his first birthday! Eli is my best friend's, Kristin, little cup of sugar. Eli is roughly 4 months younger than EvaJean, and we hope that they will be lifelong friends! Right now they just  tolerate one another! haha!

Today, Eli officially turns one, and I have been so blessed to watch him grow this year. It is so hard to believe that a whole year has past! I remember the day he was born and finally meeting him in the hospital. The saying "Babies don't keep" is so true! It goes by so fast! He is such a sweet, handsome baby boy and I am so excited to see him and EvaJean pal around and grow up together. Eli wasn't so sure about his photo session, but we eventually made our way outside, with his daddy, Evan, and he lit up like the sunshine. We now know that he prefers outside portraits for sure! We can't wait to celebrate his birthday this afternoon at the lake!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELI!!! WE LOVE YOUUUUU! 

Leave Eli some happy birthday love below and check out his cake smash session portraits!