Archive for the 'Pregnancy' Category

Overwhelmed New Parent is soothed by First Weeks

First Weeks was the best thing I did for myself and my family during those first new-baby months. I know how hard it is for new moms to get out of the house, especially with baby in tow. Still, Ann Keppler is the author of >Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn, and an amazing resource for those within driving distance of Seattle. Working from the Community Birth and Family Center, Ann is able to manage a room of new parents with crying infants and encourage insightful sharing between all of us. Supporting our parenting experiences and answering our many questions, Ann is an incredibly gifted speaker and host. If you somehow manage to get to First Weeks, you won’t be sorry. Even if you can’t manage it, drag yourself. Help is on the horizon.

Who thought the first weeks would be so difficult? I had no idea!

Seattle Pregnancy Photography. It’s been a Round

So many times I’m asked if the Art of Pregnancy Photography is a new thing. While relatively so, I’ve been working with pregnant women and their families for nearly 18 years. Perhaps Seattle is on the cutting edge, but I think what’s new is our comfort with documenting and then publicly sharing this once private, almost forbidden form.
Since Annie Leibowitz made natural the sharing of Demi Moore’s beautiful, pregnant AND voluptuous form, I’ve seen an enormous increase in sessions per year. Above all reasons to photograph, I feel most honored and humbled when chosen to capture this fleeting, often emotional, miraculous evolution.

da0140rt8x10.jpg

060906_06_8x10.jpg

050824_076rt8x10.jpg

060210_11x11.jpg

da0037_rtsq.jpg

da0042_8x10bw.jpg

061025_0004_8x10-copy.jpg

_mg_3707_5x7.jpg

There Once Was a Crazy New Mom, Who Now Sees the Bright Light of Dawn

The search for child care for Ellie escalated a long cycle of chaos that had engulfed my life since pre-conception. (More later on fertility issues.)

When Ellie was merely 6 weeks old, my do-it-all former Studio Manager, Francie, left JKP and is now traveling the world. I had planned to take maternity leave for one month, and 3 more months with a highly-reduced shooting schedule. Ahh, the best laid plans.

Covering shoots for two people and caring for current and potential clients was only the beginning. I also spent time writing new employee ads, posting them, interviewing, all while pumping breast milk (while talking on the phone to clients! “What’s that sound”). Twice per day Kathy brought Ellie to the studio, or Tim brought Elle to longer shoots for breast feeding.

Meanwhile I was in the midst of going 90% digital, (I can’t give up my Hasselblad!) and being forced to find a new photo lab. I was climbing the steep digital and PhotoShop learning curve and researching new processes, products and labs, when I made the crazy but inevitable decision to buy new gear and computers. I usually find new gear exploration fun and exciting. But this time, sleep deprivation and craving to spend more time with Ellie exacerbated my stressed system resulting in– you guessed it: an abstract painting of utter CHAOS!

Thank goodness for First Weeks. In addition to the soothing environment, I found our babysitter, Kathy, when her sister-in-law brought her to a First Weeks meeting. (More on First Weeks and Ann Keepler to come). I saw Kathy across the room, read her body language and thankfully trusted my first instincts (though I did check references!). Kathy helped me spot the bright light of dawn, and provided a welcomed sense of calm. She’s been with us ever since July of ’04.

You’re the best, Kathy!

Ballard Health Club for Friends, Fitness and Pregnancy

Fresh back from my 6:30 am workout, I feel relaxed and satisfied. Each morning I walk into Ballard Health Club bleary eyed but happy to be there. Wonderful personal and professional relationships are made easily here where most people are comfortably dressed, quick to make eye-contact, give a nod, a hello or a smile. I could talk about the facility, but it’s really the people that make it so comfortable and unique.

Yoga is a highlight at Ballard Health Club. I love Tracy Hodgeman and Heather Rudin for stamina building, and thoughtful personalized input. Both use soothing voices and music. They’re about to go on their annual Yoga Retreat in Mexico.

Kerry DeMartini hosts a relaxing, smooth class. I took her class until I was 9 months pregnant. While I took Tracy’s Power Yoga until 8 months pregnant, I should have stopped sooner. Power Yoga used more upper body power than I had while carrying my extra pregnancy pounds. After 7.5 months I left this challenging class fatigued.

Even in late pregnancy, Kerry is awesome. It’s easy to feel special in Kerry’s class because she gives alternatives to anyone who might need them.

If you make the 6:30 am yoga class, say hello.