Meeting their sweet new baby soon!

When I first met Amber, she was still pretty early on in her pregnancy and I was thrilled to be documenting her journey into motherhood. Soon, this sweet couple will meet their new baby and I couldn't be more excited for them!

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Happy Birthday Baby Eli | Beautiful Edinburg Women's Corner Birth

Birth Photography Edinburg, TX | Baby Eli

One year ago in May, I got the call to head over to the hospital. Baby Eli was on his way! My friend was induced that Thursday morning and she bravely took on her induction while fighting a case of appendicitis! Her husband stood by her side as she worked through each contraction. It was incredible to watch their connection! 

I'm so drawn to the way partners support each other through labor and delivery. It's such an incredible journey filled with many challenges but when I see that love and support in the room, my heart melts. The birth space can be so intimate... I am incredibly blessed to be able to stand back and capture all of these love stories unfolding. 

That afternoon, my friend was so focused on bringing little Elioenai earth side. I saw her husband pray with her, whisper to her, and support her through each wave. I still remember that day so clearly. Her dim room, her music playing, her dad coming by with his story about his last vacation. I remember the look on her mother's face when she finally brought little Eli earth side and the tears in her husband's eyes. 

There was so much love in that room and little Eli's birth will always be such a special day in my heart. 

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and now... it's been a year. Time has flown and this little guy is a ray of sunshine! He is surrounded by so much love from both friends and family... I am beyond blessed to be able to watch him grow.

~Norma Hess

Hospital Newborn Sessions | McAllen, Texas

I want to take a moment to talk a little bit about Fresh 48 sessions and why you should consider one for your next baby's birth. 

Those first few hours in the hospital/home/birth center are incredible. You have just met your sweet little one and there's so much oxytocin running through your body. Your baby is perfectly fresh, sleepy and new. 

Within the last couple of days, you have experienced one of life's most incredible highs. With time, so much of those busy days becomes blurry and details fade. Your baby will never look this way again. Ever. Isn't that incredible? Newborns change so fast in those first few weeks. 

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Happy Birthday Baby Louie!

Beautiful natural birth at Edinburg Women's Corner

Each and every birth story is so special to me. I'm humbled each and every time a mama invites me to capture this moment for them. Getting to witness baby's first breath is amazing to me and it's even more wonderful when I can share this moment with a close friend.  Amy is a dear friend of mine and I was beyond thrilled to be able to capture her birth story. I can hardly believe it's been a year!!! Where does the time go? As we celebrate Louie's 1st birthday, I bring you his birth story in Amy's words. 

"Louie’s Birth Story

It’s funny how perspective truly affects how we perceive events. As I look back on the days surrounding L3’s birth, there is a significant difference in how I felt in those moments and how I feel about that week now.  Last August, I was so ready to no longer be pregnant! But I wasn’t even due until August 21st so I wasn’t holding my breath that Baby L3 would do me any favors and arrive early. 

The week L3 was born was pretty busy; a lovely shower thrown by my in-laws and a visit from my sister and niece. We spent a lot of time spoiling our Madelin in preparation for her transition to Big Sister. On Tuesday the 16th we had a Surprise Baby Sprinkle for my “Pregnancy Buddy,” Jessica. I went to bed that night thinking, “I’m 39w2d, with Madie I was already having contractions for a day by this point, and still nothing.” I had to keep reminding myself that every baby is different and that we were on God and L3’s time, not mine. 

    I was awakened at 4 a.m. the next morning with early labor contractions, nothing very serious, but WE WERE FINALLY IN BUSINESS! I got out of bed, put my TENS unit on, and got back into bed to rest up for what I thought would be a long labor like his sister’s. We started our day at about 8 a.m., so far my contractions had been consistent, but still nothing serious. I told my husband, Louie, called into work, and then called my midwife, Anna, to let her know. We met with Anna later that morning and it seemed like my contractions had died down a bit, so we went about our day. 

Louie and I enjoyed a quiet lunch and then went home to relax and prep Madie for what was to come. We made a quick trip to HEB to stock the fridge; at this point it was about 6 p.m. and I felt like my contractions were picking up. Walking began to get difficult, but having had a long first labor I still wasn’t convinced. We made it home by 7 p.m. and my contractions were lasting close to a minute, but still 8+ minutes apart, so we tried to eat and called my in laws to let them know they’d need to come pick up Madie soon. I sat in the living room on my yoga ball, breathing through contractions and told my Mom and Louie that I’d like to make it to at least 10 p.m. before we head to the hospital. Come 9 p.m. things are really progressing, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle the car ride if we waited any longer, so I told Louie it was time to leave! He called his parents to change plans for Madie’s pick up and Norma, our birth photographer to meet us at the hospital.

The whole hospital thing was new to us, since Madelin was born at home, and we probably took way too much stuff, but I was determined to make the best of it. Checking in was a frustrating process, but also a nice distraction from my contractions. Louie had gone to get things from the car and was not allowed to come back into the room until it was done. Thank God my mom was there to help me changed and settled in. Seeing my contractions on the monitor was a strange experience, I could see that things were picking up quickly and I was so ready to meet our son. Finally at 11 p.m. Louie returned with Norma just as Anna came in to check on me. Anna had to run into an emergency C- Section, but assured me she’d be right back and that L3 would be here very soon. I really didn’t believe her. I was convinced that my labor would last much longer. My contractions felt pretty intense, I was having to pause and was unable to talk during. There were even pretty close together, at this point, but I still didn’t think things were truly happening, because in between I felt fine. I was walking around and joking, until I wasn’t, ask Louie and my Mom. One second I was happy, and then a contraction would come and don’t you dare joke! 

Around midnight, I remember Anna telling the staff to get everything ready and in my head I was thinking, “Yea right, we are going to be here forever.” Shortly after that, Anna told me that if it felt right to go ahead and start pushing during my contractions. I guess I was just in denial, but my memories from Madie’s delivery really had me thinking that I wasn’t there yet. I know, I know, “Every baby is different,” I say it all the time, but in the back of my mind I expected to be in significant pain for a long time before my baby arrived.

While my contractions did hurt, I wasn’t hurting in the normal sense. After trying several positions, Anna suggested I get on the bed on my hands and knees, I hesitated, but I trusted her completely, so why not. Immediately things felt easier.

After a few contractions my water broke and I got this crazy, intense urge to push. From there everything moved so quickly. I remember feeling like I had to get this baby out and then Anna told me to stop pushing, I pretty much yelled at her, “NOW? I can’t,” but I was able to and then she told me to push again and his head was out!  Then one more push and HE WAS HERE! 

I couldn’t believe it! He was so perfect with his huge pink cheeks and the same little nose as Madie. Instantly, we were enamored with this amazing little creature we had created and everything else disappeared. L3’s umbilical cord was short so I couldn’t quite hold him right away, as soon as it stopped pulsating Louie cut it and I finally got to hold him. I could have stared at him forever.

Then I handed him to Louie and my mom. Of course I was ogling him this whole time, dying to hold him again. Although, I wasn’t at home, my birthing experience was much better than I had expected. Between my mom, hubby, Anna, and the supportive hospital staff, I was in great hands. I felt empowered and was treated with respect. They helped me to trust my body and bring my son earthside in a peaceful and loving environment. My Birth Photographer was also amazing! Thank you so much, Norma, for being there for us!"

Thank you for sharing your story with us Amy! Your words took me back to that beautiful August day. I am truly humbled to have been present on such a special day for your beautiful family.

Happy 1st birthday Louie! 

If you are interested in having your birth story captured, reach out! I'd love to chat. 

~Norma Hess

Birth Photography McAllen, TX | Birth of Castiel

Castiel's Birth story I'd like to start by touching on due dates. Can we make it a due month from now on? I think as a pregnant momma that would cause less of a headache. On July 18th 2016, at 40 weeks and 4 days I started having irregular contractions. 

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