umpqua hot springs & toketee falls

Last fall we went back to one of our favorite Oregon treasures, this time with Ivy! These are a few photos we snapped from Umpqua hot springs and Toketee falls hike. Soaking in a pool on a cool fall day above the river never feels like real life…until a naked guy gets in the pool with you. Haha! I dont mind the nakedness actually, but if you decide to go, just know there will be nudies. Both hikes to the hot springs and waterfall are fairly short and easy, Ivy hiked the whole way herself. I’ve never been really excited about hiking unless its to a swimming hole, but getting to see these same places again, with Ivy, somehow makes them full of magic. Every stump, bug, stick, mossy tree is enchanting and full of imagination. The world is new, slower and richer through her.

This summer we invested in a bell tent for all our adventures in the years to come. We have been spending so much on airbnbs every year and now that we have two little ladies we thought it would be fun to start camping again…but fancier. Billy’s a little embarrassed about my glamping plans…”how many rugs do you need!” & “my dad is going to be so ashamed of me” are just a couple things he’s joked about, but he’s actually super into it. I haven’t gone full Tom Haverford with a big screen TV or a Roomba, so it’s not that bad( if you know the parks and rec glamping reference.) We have a couple trips planned for this summer & Im so excited for all the ones to come, making memories with our little ladies!

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Nora’s birth story

The second time around. Still so many questions as to how labor would progress, but so confident in my body & my purpose..will it go faster than last time, will I throw up with every contraction, will they take her away again… and still…miraculous in every way, that our bodies can create, birth, sustain, life. She is here and I am forever in awe and so thankful that I get to be a part of this.

photos of me at 33 weeks by Billy 🙂

I was 38 weeks again, just like Ivy’s birth. The whole day before I had contractions five minutes apart. They hurt, but more like a bad period cramp. I went to a birthday party and could go about normally without having to stop what I was doing or breath through them. I slept through the night fine and these contractions continued all morning, about 20 seconds long every 5 minutes or so. I went on a walk to visit my flower friend and then me and Ivy went and bought rose bushes. Roses for our Nora to come home to. At the store I started having to pause what I was doing and close my eyes during the contractions, focusing on them and breathing. We went home and labored all day, smelling roses. Ivy was home with us the whole time and Billy helped entertain her whenever I was having a contraction so I could lay down, bounce on a yoga ball or lean against the wall, focusing. I visualized a lot this time. That I was opening with each contraction, walking through fields of flowers or floating on a wave.

I put Ivy to sleep around 6pm for the night, laying next to her by some miracle as I labored! She went right to sleep though and then I hopped in the tub. Having the sprayer with hot water right on my belly during a contraction almost completely took the pain away. The contractions were about 45 seconds now and getting closer than five minutes apart so we called Billy’s dad to come sleep over here while we went to the hospital.

He got here at 8pm and we left. I was starting to feel nauseous, but was SO thankful I hadn’t been throwing up with every contraction like I had with my last birth.

We got to the maternity ward as I was having another contraction, hanging my arms around Billy’s shoulders and waving my hips back and forth…he smelt like cheese. He just had to have that grilled cheese before we left. The nurse opened the doors to let us in and I threw up all over the carpet. They immediately checked me and I was at 8cm! The sweetest words to my ears!

The nurse brought me to a room and let me stand while she monitored the baby. I couldn’t sit down during contractions. Hanging onto Billy, my water broke during a contraction. After that the contractions were right on top of each other…and the phlebotomist guy walks in to take my blood! So he’s trying to draw blood while I’m dry heaving and contracting. He quickly draws his viles and right when he’s finished I have a contraction that feels like I need to push. The nurse tells me to get on the bed quickly. Pretty sure I scarred the phlebotomist guy a little because he saw the whole thing, it happened that fast.

I turn around, taking off my gown and crawling, hands and knees onto the bed as I have another contraction. I can feel her head coming out and I try to control it because she’s coming out so fast and I wanted to be able to stretch with her head.  Two contractions happen, my uterus has over taken me, pushing her out on my hands and knees as Billy helped hold me up. It was so intense, so quick. I couldn’t turn onto my back as they wanted, it was completely animalistic & amazing. The nurse lowered her onto the bed and handed her to me. Nora was born at 8:50pm She felt so tiny, 6lbs 8oz! She was so beautiful. We let the cord turn white before clamping so she could get all her blood and we just got to cuddle and nurse her for almost three hours before they had to take her to Medford’s Nicu.

Having that time together before she left made such a difference on my mama heart. I felt like I could just leap off the table after this birth and I did. They let me leave at midnight since there weren’t any complications and I went home to be with Ivy and sleep a little. I was worried she would wake up to an empty house in the dark and be afraid. Billy went to medford and stayed up all night in the Nicu…again. But they had a room for us the next day and I got to spend the night with Nora and then we came home! We only needed to be there two nights to monitor her electrolytes and everything was great.

I’ve received a lot of questions about Nora and what was happening. She was born with the same skin condition as Ivy- Self Healing Ichthyosis. We knew there was a 25% chance of it happening again because we both have the recessive gene for it, but I truly believed it wouldn’t this time. When she came out I knew she had it right away, but I wasn’t sad like I thought I’d be. She was just too beautiful and I was so happy to have her in my arms. We know pretty much everything about this condition so the fear and worry that surrounded us that week in the nicu last time with Ivy, wasn’t there this time. Nora is doing so well. She is healthy and beautiful, just absolutely perfect!

It’s never easy having to walk out of the hospital with out your baby in your arms, to go home and spend the night with out them. It’s just messed up and it was hard for me watching her leave and hard for me to accept that I had to leave my baby again when I wanted more than anything to be able to stay together and take her home. Those hours together before she had to go really helped and then me and Ivy went to see her early that next morning & now I never have to leave her side. We are all together, so very happy and Ivy is the best sister, better than I could have ever hoped. Im in heaven, loving my two girls and soaking in this precious time. There is no time like these days right here and Im holding on to every second.

Thank you everyone for all your love, support and prayers. They truly mean so much.

xo

 

heather and her girls | rose & belle clothing | grants pass motherhood photography

Motherhood has become something so meaningful to me. Photographing the relationships, real moments, life, is what I want to do every day. These days we have getting to be with our children while they are little is our greatest treasure and it’s an honor to be a part of it in this small but lasting way with photographs. Heather is my good friend who has two beautiful girls. We spent about 30 minutes chasing them around with my 8 month belly. I could have photographed these girls all day in their Rose & Belle outfits, but a photoshoot can only last so long with toddlers. Heather’s new line will be releasing Monday 5/28. You can follow her shop updates on her instagram

To book a motherhood session email me at lauranelsonphotography@gmail.com

the making of a portrait | grants pass, oregon photography

Two years ago after having Ivy and only doing a wedding here and there I decided to step away from photographing weddings and fall completely into being a mama. It has been two years of peace away from the feelings of failure. Feeling like I failed because I could no longer travel for all the weddings, failure because I could only book one or two jobs here in my small town. It’s the best decision I could have made for myself, but I’ve missed photography at times, the process of shooting film and lives so much. Not enough to run the race against all the local photographers, but enough to say that I want to photograph people again. It’s a part of me and something I’ll never stop. Film has captivated me since the beginning, when I first started weddings almost 10 years ago and it will always be something that gives my heart life. Something I’ve really learned about myself and my happiness in this time of life is that creating is a big part of me, my joy and without it I have really hard days. Simply creating the simplest thing, like making a wreath or photographing my own child, pottery classes & anything with flowers…all these things heal me and give so much in return. All this to say I want to do more of what I love. I’m not really feeling big weddings yet, even though I love them so. I am open and longing to photograph life again…intimate maternity & motherhood photos, lifestyle shoots in your home with your littles, creatives doing what they love. In the last three years I’ve gotten to photograph more brands, florists, makers, mothers and it’s been wonderful. These are the things that bring me joy to capture. So if you happen to see this and you happen to love what I do, then let’s make magic happen.

p.s. I don’t live anywhere near Portland, but if I did I’d be rich!

Portrait sessions

$425

All shot on film with digital files

Includes 4.5×6 prints

email me to book, lauranelsonphotography@gmail.com

craftsman before and after | part 2

This laundry room off the kitchen we found out was originally a porch. They didn’t have indoor laundry back then, so when we took down the sheetrock in here we found siding and could see where there had originally been windows that wrapped all the way around. I wish I could go back in time and see this home during it’s first days!

We kept the siding and painted it Glidden Queen Anne’s Lace, picked solely because of it’s name.

We added wood french doors and stained them dark to match the original woodwork. Billy built an entry bench and added board and batten to the bathroom. We painted the bathroom Glidden skipping stone grey, which has made it’s way throughout the whole house in little ways and the exterior color of the tudor!

I love how much light the doors let in and being able to see outside from the kitchen is really beautiful and makes the space feel bigger.

I didn’t snap one, but I wish you could see a closer photo of the marble basketweave tile in the bath. Im obsessed!

Before…

After!

Billy refinished the original cast iron tub using Rustoleum tub refinishing kit and it turned out so beautiful! I will forever love the marble basketweave tile and how it feels timeless, like its always belonged in this old home. We found the dresser at an antique store and turned it into the vanity with a sink from ebay and faucet fixtures from amazon.