James is FOUR!

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Ohhh my gosh, y’all.

My sweet baby James turns FOUR years old today. I can’t believe how amazing its been to be his mama and watch him grow up into this incredible sour patch kid!

I am so blessed. He is my world! Happy 4th Birthday, baby boy! XO
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10 Weeks with Haley Brooke | Photo Overload

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It’s not at all hard to believe how fast time goes by, and I wish I could slow down time, so I’d be able to enjoy this stage longer.
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Keep that sweet newborn smell, the learning to smile and coo, the way they look and tininess.

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All of it.

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I love to documenting life, obviously.

And I’m so glad to be able to capture their life and all the different stages they go through. I want them to have photos and video footage/clips to watch when they are older, like I did.

It’s an amazing and special time.
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These past 10 weeks have been completely amazing.

I mean, talk about a roller coaster of emotions. I am enjoying every second with the newest addiction to the family.

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She IS perfect.

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She completes us.

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She is exactly what our family needed and is exactly where she belongs.

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XOXO, Julianne

 

Dealing with Postpartum Depression | Life

Some people might call me crazy roaming around my house trying to get my photography gear together, and also getting myself and my kids ready to take my own family photos at 6 days postpartum.

Me being a photographer, I know you are already asking yourself, why not just hire a photographer to do your family photos?

The truth? Postpartum depression. It can be harsh, and it’s hard to admit and talk about, especially when people ask, “How are you doing?” or saying, “Wow you look amazing, recovery must be going easy for you!” And you totally find yourself agreeing with them because you know that they don’t actually want to know the truth.

The decision to take a few of my own family photos after having my baby girl, instead of hiring a photographer. Is all because of postpartum depression. It sounds so silly right? But it’s definitely not. My feelings are valid. (Your feelings are valid.) And I believe that everyone should stop trying to make excuses about it not being a “big deal” or, making us, who suffer from it feel like we are just being “sensitive.”

I spent a lot of time planning our family/newborn photos, as you can imagine.  It went as far as even photoshopping outfits in photoshop to make sure they looked great and complemented each other, I searched long and hard to find a photographer that would be an amazing fit for us, and a style I was interested in. Plus, its fun being able to be in front of the camera and not have to worry about posing, editing and everything else that comes with the session.

To be able to fully relax.

But, in the end and at last minute I decided against it. I took my own photos. Because, my postpartum depression was telling me that I did not deserve it, nor should I spend the money when I can take them myself.

Postpartum recovery is hard enough as it is. And dealing with depression on top of that you can find yourself being pretty very cruel to yourself at times, mentally. (And unfortunately for some, physically.)

In today’s society people expect you to look like shit after giving birth, simple as that. If you look any kind of put together after giving birth, you must be freakin’ Goddess. You sure aren’t normal. How dare I have the energy to get dress and put makeup on when I just had a baby!

Am I supposed to continue to look like shit after giving birth? Am I supposed to forget the morning routine I’ve been used to for the past few years? All because I had a baby?

I just had a baby, yes. But that doesn’t mean I have to look like shit to fill the part.

This photo. It is the only photo I was able to capture of all four of us. Yes, I was able to get amazing photos of my husband with our babies, and he was able to get a few great photos of me with them. But, from getting up and down from the couch after taking 10 shots in a row and having my fingers crossed that at least ONE of those photos would be great, from being shortened of breath and getting frustrated, and giving up.

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But the truth is, just because I look “great and put together” doesn’t mean I am actually that.

And to today’s society: I AM a normal-average-woman, just like you.  Dealing with postpartum depression. Stop telling me what I am supposed to look like or not look like.

 

At 10 weeks postpartum, I am at the end of the tunnel and starting to finally feel like myself again. I am taking it day by day. And doing the best I can to enjoy life and watching Haley grow and James be the best big brother.

Moms with postpartum depression that are hiding behind a “well put together look”, you are NOT alone.

I am here for you.

XOXO, Julianne

 

 

Baby B arrived at 39 weeks 5 days.

On Sunday night, June 3, we headed to the hospital for our induction but on the way to there I noticed I was having contractions and started timing. They were around 6-8 minutes apart.

 

We got to the hospital at 7:40 pm. After filling out and signing all the paper work, we were admitted and finally got things rollin’ along. The nurse checked my cervix and I was 3 cm and still high up. She hooked up the heartbeat and contraction monitors to my belly. While another nurse came in and hooked up my IV port. OUCH!

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The nurse, Denise called my doctor to see what our next move was, to start induction then, or to wait. Since I was having consistent contractions on my own, she said she was not going to start Pitocin just yet, and that her and the doctor want to see what my contractions do and if they get closer together on their own.

At around 10 pm, she gave me half a pill (can’t remember what it was called) to help soften and ripen my cervix. We tried to get some sleep for the next three hours for the pill to do magic. Denise came in every hour to check on me.

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My husband slept like a baby. I kept having to get up to pee, or move positions to get comfortable again after my butt falls asleep and gets numb.

Denise came back in around 12, to check my cervix, which was only 4 cm but thinning out well. My contractions were staying pretty consistent but she wanted them to get closer together. So she started a small dose of Pitocin.

Again, she left the room and came back every hour to check on me. I continued to watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix, while my husband slept. I could feel my contractions starting to get a little more intense. I tried to sleep but I was anxious. I wanted to soak up and enjoy every moment/minute.

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When the nurse came back in at around 2 am, checked my cervix, it was at 4 cm. She also turn off pitocin since she felt I didn’t need  anymore. (2 hours worth) She then informed me that if I was interested in getting an epidural that I could go ahead and get it here soon as the anesthesia was on his way to the hospital to give another patient the epidural.  Otherwise, I would have to wait until 6 am when the other anesthesia was going to arrive.

After thinking about it for awhile I decided to go ahead and get the epidural, at 3:30 am the anesthetist came in. After that things really started to pick up.

My water broke on its own at 4:30 am and since Denise went on a little break to eat another nurse came in. I swear she had no idea what she was doing. Really, all she had to do was clean me up and change the pad, but she made me move over and then that made baby’s heart monitor unconnected. It took her almost 15 minutes to put the heartbeat monitor back on.

As soon as she left the room, my water was continuing to leak and it was so uncomfortable. I got my husband to call Denise’s line so that she would come to my rescue. LOL

She cleaned me up again and got me comfortable. when she checked my cervix I was at 5 cm, but I could feel pressure of the baby moving down. She then left to go grab something (I can’t remember what) but when she returned only 25 minutes later, she decided to check my cervix again, because I kept saying that it felt like I needed to push and I was at 8 cm – this was 5:27 am. Denise called my doctor to let her know it was happening soon and she started to get things ready – the room, she had other nurses and baby’s nurse getting things ready.

At 5:46 am I was at 9.5 cm, she called my doctor, again. It only took her about 8 minutes to get to the hospital. Once she got there she scrubbed up and it was time to push.

6:00 am, 10 cm, ready to push! (Our selfie right before)

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I started pushing, contractions after contractions. I was exhausted. My dr finally told me that she was going to use the suction cup to help out on the next push, she was able to help pull baby’s head out further and noticed that the cord was slightly wrapped around baby’s head, she got it untangled and baby came right on out at 6:19 am.

It was an amazing moment, I felt like I was in a daze and that everything was going in slow motion. All I could think about was that I was about to meet my son or daughter, we were finally going to know.

After what seemed like minutes (but was only seconds), Denise finally asked my husband, “Daddy, are you going to announce? What is baby B?’

I looked at my husband and he was speechless and put his head in his elbow that was leaning against the bed.  He then looked up at me and said, “It’s a GIRL!” We then both cried, or at least I remember crying like a big baby. A little girl, I have a DAUGHTER!!!

DJ was able to cut the umbilical cord this time around.

Anyhow, this is our birth story and I will those memories from that night forever.

BEST. SURPRISE. EVER.

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It’s a girl!!!
Haley Brooke Busselman
June 4, 2018 at 6:19 am
8 pounds 10 ounches
21 1/2 inches long

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At around 8:00 am, we were moved to recovery room.Visiting hours at 9 am.  We waited for big brother to come meet his little sister ❤

He talked about wanting a little sister the entire pregnancy, and he was finally about to meet her!

He is smitten with joy that he got a little SISTER!

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She is absolutely AMAZING and completes our family.

She is P E R F E C T!!!

XOXO, Julianne

39 Week Self-Portraits + Chalkboard Bump Update

Life has been so amazing since baby number two arrived.

BUT before I update any further, (since I am a month and a half behind on posting–SO SORRY for those who follow me and have been waiting. Let me finish out with my 39 week bump update.

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I took a black and white silhouette with my bump 38 weeks, but I updated it because I wanted my son included and here is that shot — which I think is MUCH BETTER! ❤

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Also, here is my last few chalkboard bump photos fro 33 weeks – 39 weeks! ENJOY!

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XOXO, Julianne

38 Week Silhouette Baby Bump!

This pose/photo was the last on my must-have self portraits list.

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I took a photo just like this when I was 38-39 weeks pregnant with James, so it was a must have with B as well.

Although, looking at it I may even take another but with James included somehow. Either kissing baby bump, looking up at me, or even sitting on top of my stomach.

….or maybe I’ll do all three. 😛

 

This mama is feeling great, other than the uncomfortableness of baby being sooo low and the pinched sciatica nerve and lower back pain. I know I will miss this bump and carrying B, so I am soaking it up these next 10 days as much as I can.

Pregnancy is amazing. What the female body can do still amazes me today.

We are so close now…. 10 days or less!

XOXO, Julianne