Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Latest Photo/Auntie Expedition

Last Tuesday, April 6th, I had the privilege of photographing the birth of my sister Becky's final baby.

Since Becky'd had two c-sections already, they automatically scheduled her for a third c-section with this last baby. Knowing she could have only one person in the operating room with her, and knowing this would be the last birth experience for her, she invited me to accompany her and photograph the event. Her husband Zen had already seen two gory c-sections and was totally fine to step aside on this one!

It was so awesome! Especially my outfit:

The whole time I kept thinking, "Man, I wish I could photograph my own baby's birth!" Fortunately, I've trained Dan pretty well over the years and he has done a great job photographing the births of our children.

Samuel Zachary Allred was born at 7:39am. He was 8lbs 4oz and 20.5 inches long.

Becky got to give him a brief kiss before they took him to the nursery and finished sewing up his mommy.

The hospital was newly remodeled and had a great nursery. Only the parents were supposed to be in the nursery, but I just acted like I was supposed to be there and no one kicked me out. Maybe the scrubs gave me some aura of legitimacy. The anesthesiologist was totally amused by me and kept saying, "She looks like she's from Time Magazine!" as I clicked away in the operating room. I took over 350 pictures in the first two hours of Sam's life!

It was so fun getting pictures of all the little details.

Little Dude needs some nail clippers!

This is one of my favorite pictures, Becky and Zen admiring their Little Man:

While Becky loved on her baby in the recovery room, Zen made all the "baby news" phone calls.

Becky's three oldest children never really cared for binkies, but when Emma came along the Allred family discovered the joy of the binky and what a great self-soother it is. Sam was indoctrinated right away and he loves his binky (that is, when his sister isn't mooching it!).

Sam looked so cute in the hand-knitted hat that was donated to the hospital. You can see where he got after his face with those claws of his!

Here's the complete Allred Crew, now a family of seven (note Emma's double binkies):

Dani (12) is absolutely enamored with her baby brother. Connor (4) even stopped playing with the hospital bed and playing hide-n-go-seek in the closet long enough to admire "Baby Sammy".

I was uber amused by Gil (15) sharing his mp3 player with Sam."Don't freak out Mom, the volume is at one. See? He likes it!"

There was a full-on white out the day Sam was born, complete with 40mph Wyoming winds. I-80 was closed until about 5:30pm, so I decided to wait until the next morning to make the 2 hour drive home.

It was so cool having a sleepover with my sister in the hospital room! There was even a pretty comfortable couch to sleep on (I like a firm bed). Staying overnight allowed me to do a little photo shoot of Sam on Wednesday morning. Mom was a great assistant, holding up a sheet for more reflected light.

I had a heck of a time getting a picture of Sam without his hand in his mouth. The whole time he was like, "Feed me, Seymour!"

Being with Becky at Sam's birth was such a tender experience. I loved being able to document all of his first moments. I loved watching  Becky and Sam doze throughout the day. I loved the quiet peacefulness as we all slept through the night. It reminded me of times when we were kids cuddled up together on Christmas Eve or having a sleepover just because. To see Becky and I as teenagers you would have never guessed we'd turn out to be best friends like we have. But we are thick as thieves now and whenever we have a problem or some exciting news or just feel like blabbing, we usually call each other before anyone else.

I love you, Bec!