emerson . birth day

amanda called some time after 8 pm to tell me that her water broke. i called my in-laws to have them hold down the fort while the kids slept and david was at rehearsal. it took a while for them to get her admitted and once they did amanda was already in a significant amount of pain. what proceeded after that has always been a nightmare of mine. around 5cm amanda requested an epidural. the anesthesiologist was with another patient at the time so the nurse gave her something to help take the edge off while she waited for the good stuff. then, all of a sudden the baby dropped further and it was time. i suppose if your labor is fast enough you don’t have any choice in the matter and you just do it. amanda was such a trooper and did a really great job despite the fact that her labor didn’t go the same as her first one. with rooney she was induced and had a much, much longer labor. this time, it took just over four hours from the time her water broke until emerson was born. here’s her birth story in pictures. i’m so very thankful to have been a part of her birth. it’s always hard, especially when it’s a friend, to see them in so much pain and not be able to help. and not only that, but to be taking pictures of them in pain. putting the video together and hearing her in pain brought tears to my eyes as if i was there all over again. in the end it’s all so worth it.

this is a picture of me and amanda’s sister waiting in the hall while amanda was being admitted.

ahhhh, baby wrinkles!

i think i left the hospital around 3am. it was so quiet outside and peaceful. the lights were shining through the tree branches and it just looked so beautiful. during the day walnut creek is very busy with cars and people walking everywhere. it was a little strange driving home and seeing the city’s streets empty. 

emerson birth day from Stephanie Morgan on Vimeo.

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happy sixth

today my baby boy turns six. i’m feeling happy and sad at the same time. happy because i love watching him grow up. yet, sad because i miss the baby in him. for mother’s day when mason was in preschool he gave me a paper that said i like mommy because she reads to me. so i thought i would do the same for him.

i like mason because……

he loves to help

he loves to read

he still wants mommy to put him to bed most nights

he loves to build things

he is competitive (everything is a race to him. his teacher thinks this may be motivating him in school to keep up)

he loves his sister and dog

he is sensitive and thoughtful

he is a hard worker

i really could go on and on.

i can’t imagine my life without this special boy in it and i’m so very thankful that God chose to give him to us. happy sixth birthday buddy.

pictures above taken with canon eos-3. below with the canon 6d.

when mason was 19 months old we had our pictures taken by angie warren. i thought i would try to re-create that picture to show how much he’s grown.

okay, someone please pass the tissues now.

update: i posted on my Facebook about mason’s iep so i thought i would share the update here since some of you have asked how it went. basically, it went as expected. since mason is now six he will no longer receive direct services through the school district. all they will provide are indirect services in the form of consultations and links to resources, etc. if we decide to enroll mason in public school, they will give him 30 minutes each week to be in a group of kids his age with the speech therapist to work on pragmatic communication skills. things like saying hi and bye or asking for something he needs or wants. this 30 minutes is not enough to sway our decision because we have seen so many benefits of him attending Golden Hills Christian School. i did manage to get them to continue direct services through May since at the beginning of the school year there was some misinformation and he didn’t start speech with them until the end of september. these additional sessions will make up for that time he missed that he should have received. all in all, i think the meeting was positive for him. i’m glad to know that his articulation has improved so much that she doesn’t see a need in continuing that part of therapy and i think we can work on the pragmatic part at home, with his teacher, and with his private speech therapist. his speech has come a long way and we can now understand most of what he says. i find that the longer his thoughts are the more jumbled his words come out and then he becomes pretty hard to understand. the kindergarten classes did chapel today at school and mason had a ton of lines to read! he did a great job though in front of all those people. you wouldn’t think he’d do it considering how shy he can be one on one. and of course david and i had to hide in the sound booth so he wouldn’t see us. if he sees us he gets nervous and freezes up.

aside from speech he’s doing great in school. he does have to do stretches for a month to see if it improves the flexibility in his calf muscles to help his toe walking. if his flexibility doesn’t improve, he will have to wear a brace for a few months. i’m hopeful that it won’t get to that point and if it does that’s okay. him wearing braces or even toe walking is by far the least of my concern.

as for edie…..we had her neurology check up a couple weeks ago and her head hasn’t grown really in three months which is a concern, although her dr. is pleased with her developmental progress. we go back in May to see if her head has grown anymore. if it hasn’t then she’ll have to go for an mri. she’s quite the little character though! her speech is starting to emerge and she has a handful of words: cheese, outside, hi, socks, baby. those are the ones we hear consistently anyways.

i think that’s it! thank you from the bottom of our hearts for praying for us and our kids. it truly means so much to us.

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baby neil . brentwood newborn photographer

a few weeks ago i had the pleasure of photographing baby neil and his family. i can’t tell you how fortunate i am to have met such wonderful and sweet people throughout my photography journey. this family was no exception. I loved getting to know them during the time i was in their home documenting their new addition.

i’ll be posting another birth and newborn session in the next couple weeks as well as introducing something special i’ve been working on!

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ember ellerie

not only did i have the privilege of photographing ember’s entrance into this world, i also had the privilege of photographing her in her first home. i adore this family and i can’t wait to watch ember grow.

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ember . happy birth day

i got a text from whitney around 4am telling me that she thought today would be the day she would go into labor. i waited a few hours, then got ready and took the kids to my mom’s house. once i got the update from her that she was heading to the hospital, i left. that was around 9am. about an hour later i received another text saying that she was all checked in and dilated to an 8. not that big of a deal, except that i was still over an hour away from the hospital! they live in fresno, which is roughly 2.5 hours away from me. i thought for SURE i was going to get another text when i was 10 minutes away saying they had already had their baby. thankfully, her labor stalled and i made it! i’m so glad too because i was going to be so disappointed if i’d missed it. once i parked i ran with all my gear, monopod and all, into the hospital where i found her family. from there her dad escorted me to her room while i tried to catch my breath. whitney did such a great job (and rj too!) and it was such an honor for me to be able to document this unforgettable day for them. and if that wasn’t enough, i got to go back down again to take her newborn pictures. those will be blogged soon! on Christmas, i posted a picture and offered a $5 gift card to Starbucks to the person who correctly guessed where it was taken. that is still up for grabs! so the first person to guess right gets a free coffee from me. (it’s the very last picture in this post of Glory to God in the Highest). and no, it was not in fresno. or clovis.

okay. SO, i’m still working on my video skills. i have a LONG way to go! it is so different from photography and i should have used a slower shutter speed, but it’s challenging for me to go back and forth between an acceptable shutter speed for video and one that’s acceptable for photography. with that said, i just bought a new camera. now i’ll be able to designate one for video and the other for photography. and i apologize for the flickering that you can see in some of it. i think it’s from having too high a shutter speed combined with florescent lights or the video playing in the background. regardless, it was a good lesson and i enjoy playing around with it. hopefully i’ll continue to get better at it. all in all, i still think it’s a sweet reminder of what the day was like. i originally had a different song picked out for the video. it was slower and more dramatic, but after being there that day and knowing whitney and rj, it just didn’t feel right so i changed it to something more upbeat and happy. for those of you who know whitney, i’m sure you’d agree this was a better choice.

emberbirth from Stephanie Morgan on Vimeo.

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for unto us a child is born

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:6-14

Merry Christmas!


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amanda . baby bump

here’s amanda’s cute little baby bump! amanda always finds the cutest things to wear for her maternity sessions. i wish i looked half as good as her when i was pregnant! i shot some film, but sadly they didn’t turn out how i’d anticipated. thankfully they were salvageable as black and white photos. i think there’s one black and white image that’s not film. window light is my absolute favorite kind of light to shoot in and i love how soft and romantic these turned out.

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my beautiful friend recently had her third baby. a baby boy. her oldest son is mason’s age and her daughter was born on the exact same day as edie. and then apparently i missed the boat this time around! i asked her if i could come and practice shooting film on him and told her that i was ONLY shooting film and that nothing may come out at all. i was pretty confident at least some would come out though and i was right. jessica is so sweet and such a great mom and i look up to her so much. after i took some photos of gabriel i made her get in front of my camera. and i’m so glad i did because she’s absolutely stunning. i know most of us don’t like being in front of the camera, especially right after giving birth! but, i think it’s SO important and i know our kids some day will see those images and cherish them.

mix of canon eos 3 and pentax 645, mostly pentax

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