Mine : The one where we had a baby

On March 30, 2000, Jason and I drove to work together and then went to the hospital at 6 that night for check in. Our little one was 10 days past his due date, getting bigger every day and we were scheduled for an induction the following morning. My doctor wanted me there overnight to be ready first thing. He said he wanted to do 'one last ultrasound' before he started the process.

Jack had been breech, turned manually and then turned back on his own. My doctor wanted to check his position once more before labor started.

What followed were the second longest 5 minutes of my life. Mostly silence, punctuated by an occasional 'hmmm' or similar sounds. Jason and I started saying one-off joking comments out of nervousness.

'Not cooperating, is he?' and so on. 

They were all met with an index finger and nothing more.  He didn't look up or stop his maneuvers across my very pregnant belly.  We stopped and listened for any sign. For anything.

He put the wand down and said, 'I'll be right back.'  He came back in with another doctor shortly, only to begin the longest 5 minutes of my life, which sounded just like the second longest, except the hmmm's were replaced with
'you're right' 

Doctor 2 left, and my doctor explained that Jack's position was too dangerous for labor.  Too dangerous, period.  He was in a neck down position, with his neck craned toward his back.  He drew us a picture that we have in his baby book.  It looks like Montgomery Burns doing a back flip, which made us laugh in a very tense moment.  He told me they were going to prep the OR for a C Section to take him right then and to make any calls we needed to.   

We took a moment to absorb what he said.  The version to turn our baby had been nothing short of horrible, and more intervention was the last thing I wanted.  There were no alternatives, though.

We called my parents and Jason's parents, and they took me into the OR.  I can only describe the instant shift from sheer panic to peaceful acceptance as a gift from God.  My disaster rehearsal is always on, so imagine what was running through my head right then. That type of noticeable change has happened just twice since, both times right before surgery when I was just about to lose it.

The nurses brought Jason in after I was prepped, and then we had our boy at 11:29pm!!  All along, my doctor had said that he was a good size, right on target, etc in regard to how big he was.  The first thing he said when he saw Jack, before 'it's a boy,' 'he's okay' or anything else, was 'Whoa!  I was wrong on that one!'  I knew just what he meant when he lifted Jack over the curtain and said 'Hi, Mom!'  He was big!  

And not breathing. 

They started working on him, and he was fine within a few minutes, but it felt even longer, so much longer, than the silent ultrasound minutes.

After we heard him cry, the OR just erupted.  Claps, laughter, bets on how much he weighed and more.  My anesthesiologist nailed it - 9 lbs 12 oz.  And 21 inches long.  My doctor worked on me, while Jason held his son in the hall.

When we were all in the recovery room together, we were just in shock.
That he was here.
He was safe.
How fast he came.
I mean, we had several months to prepare, but we expected many more hours of labor as one last 'here, we go.'

We called both parents and my sister, who was due with my nephew within hours, and then just stared at Jack and each other. We looked at fingers, toes, long legs and his little baby belly.  I didn't even feed him, which I very much regret, but we were really just in awe. He was here.  And he was ours.

That was 13 years ago.  T.H.I.R.T.E.E.N.  My baby, my sweet love is a teenager!

And he still sleeps with his head tilted back a bit when he's really tired. 

The Bowles Bunch : Cornelius Family Photographer : Candy Howard

This is a shoot from several years ago that I had fun tweaking a bit.
I've always loved it, so it was great to see these faces again.
And this is still one of my favorite all time pup shots.....

Thank you again, Jen! I miss you! 

Baby Chace : 11 days : Mooresville Lake Norman Newborn Photographer : Candy Howard

Remember my beautiful Valentine momma to be?
Well, her little sweetheart is here!
Meet Chace...

Thank you!  Thank you!

Mine : PJ's and Chess

My boys have taken to playing chess again, and this time - with each other.
Oh, happy day!
It has been every day for a while, and it makes my heart happy to watch them.
And, yes.  Those are Duke PJ pants on my youngest.  Go Devils!

Rocco : 11 Days New : Cornelius, NC Newborn Baby Photographer : Candy Howard

I was honored to shoot this little man's newborn session. Rocco is Natural Beginnings Birth Center's 100th baby! His lovely mother welcomed me into their home for a peek into this beautiful boy's world. Watching them together . . . Rocco reaching for his mom . . . Shana smiling at her son . . . quiet moments together . . . took me back to when my own boys were that small. What wonderful days they have ahead.

Congratulations, Shana! I am just thrilled for you!

Terrifically Two : Stanley NC Child Photographer

Little K is two!  She is as cute as ever and, like most two year olds, was on the move for our shoot! 
Thanks so much, Suzanne and Kevin!