Gabriella Grace | One Month Lifestyle Newborn Portraits
We are so excited to introduce our new little assistant–Gabriella Grace. Gabriella was born on March 19th, 2019, at 11:23pm, after laboring for over 21 hours! You can read her entire birth story here! I can’t believe today she is one month old! This past month has flown by yet has been filled to the brim with so many memories! Here are a handful of my favorite photos from her past few newborn sessions!
Gabby is such a little sweetie! She is very expressive and gives the funniest faces. She will stare you down and act like she fully understands you. Her smile is the sweetest. She eats and sleeps so well! She loves her pacifiers and is always searching for it when she’s not feeding. The doctor said she was sucking on her finger when she was pulling her out! Gabby was always so calm and mellow in my tummy. I always felt she would be on the outside too, and she is! So far, she’s just like mommy.
Although she does have some of my physical features, I see Andrew in her so much more! Even though Andrew has the more recessive genes, he beat a handful of my dominant hispanic genes for sure! She has his eye shape, toes and long legs! She may have his green eyes, too, and I couldn’t be more excited about it! From me, we think she got my nose, ears, fingers, lips and, of course, my hair! Overall she is a pretty beautiful blend of both of us!
We are finally getting into a swing of things! We have overcome many challenges: jaundice, thrush and a tongue tie, to name a few. It feels great to be past them! We are still struggling with a few things but it’s getting better everyday! We’re just so grateful to have a healthy baby!
I am looking forward to feeling 100% again! Still having a decent amount of pain; I guess healing takes longer when you push for 5 hours and then have an emergency C-section. But I couldn’t be more grateful for this season of giving myself grace and soaking in every sweet moment. Thank you, to everyone who has been keeping us in your thoughts and prayers!
Those little toes!That sweet smile! Sweet little sleepyhead! When she is awake, she is so alert and observant! So grateful for our little miracle rainbow baby. Thank you, Jesus.
Gabriella’s Birth Story: A Story of God’s Amazing Grace
Gabriella‘s birth was nothing like we had envisioned or planned. It began in the early morning hours on Tuesday, March 19th. Contractions began right around 3 AM, and I continued to labor at home until around 8 AM. We went straight to my midwife’s office. Where she said I was about 5 cm dilated. The contractions were sporadic and anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes apart. I figured we would be admitted into the hospital, so we came prepared. My midwife gave me the option of returning home or being admitted; I chose to be admitted. She warned us that it would probably be a while since this was our first baby but she felt confident that we would have a baby today!
We arrived at the hospital at 9 AM and were admitted immediately. I was very excited, because we were given the room I was hoping for! It was room 254, and it was the best room, because it faces the water. In the morning, there’s a glorious view of the sunrise! My best friend, Brooke, had just given birth in this same room just three months prior. I was also very excited about the cute cup that I got to drink my ice water from during labor! It’s the little things…
Labor continued to progress throughout the day… slowly. By mid-afternoon, my midwife broke my water but nothing came out. At home, around 5 AM I thought my water had broken but when I was checked they said it hadn’t. But since nothing came out later on, I am convinced it happened at home!
Since “breaking my water” didn’t do anything, my midwife later suggested I start Pitocin to help things progress quicker. I was worried about losing my strength and stamina, so I agreed. Contractions quickly became more intense, and I began to dilate further.
By 5:30 PM, I was dilated to 9 1/2 cm, and I was finally able to push after being told I couldn’t for the past few hours. The need to push was truly real. But I never would’ve imagined that I would continue to push for the next 5 hours! It seemed like the door was revolving, with new nurses coming in and out. I felt like everyone on the floor was in my room helping.
To this day, I honestly don’t know how I did it. I had an incredible team surrounding me, and I don’t think I could have done it without them! My amazing midwife, who tried everything to help me to birth naturally; my mom, who was constantly making sure I had everything I needed; my best friend, motivating me with encouraging words and positive perspectives all while capturing memories for us; and my loving husband, my rock, not leaving my side, holding me and giving me the strength to push just one more time.
I must’ve pushed hundreds of times and by the halfway point I was already hearing the words, “Just one more push! We see her head!” No one imagined she would be crowning for another 2 1/2 hours. With every push, I was praying that this would be the last one, but it never was. I wanted to experience the relief and joy of finally getting her out and holding her on my chest immediately, but that never happened.
After 4 hours of pushing, I was at my wits’ end, and I asked about using the suction tool to get her out, although my birth plan had specifically stated “No Suctioning”. I would come to regret the decision to use the tool, but at the time, it felt like the only option. At that point, my midwife called in her back-up OB/GYN, and she tried to use the tool, but that didn’t work. The second time, the tool popped off her head so strongly I thought her head had popped out! Instead, it left her with a large hematoma that would later contribute to jaundice and an extra 2 days in the hospital.
Shortly after, the doctor said, “All right, this is going to be the last push. If she doesn’t come out on this one, we have to do an emergency C-section.” I couldn’t help but cry, and yet, I gave it my all in that last push.
But all the effort wasn’t enough, and at 10:30 PM, they wheeled me into the operating room and placed a needle in my spine to numb me while I resisted the urge to push with every intense contraction. Once the medication kicked, in I was feeling so much better. A curtain was put in front of my face, and I knew on the other side of it, I was being sliced open. As I laid on the table, I prayed. I prayed I would make it through this. I prayed our baby girl would make it through this. I prayed. After a few minutes, Andrew was escorted in and seated by my head.
At 11:23 PM, on the 19th of March, 2019, Gabriella Grace entered this world! They immediately took her to the side table and made sure she was okay. As we waited for what felt like forever to hear her cry, they continued to work on her. Finally, we were told she was okay! She was able to breath on her own, but was unable to cry. 10 minutes after being born, we heard her first little cry. Praise the Lord!
We later found out I have an abnormally small pelvic bone that would have never allowed me to deliver naturally. I had pushed so hard for so long that she was actually jammed in my pelvic bone. During the cesarean, a doctor had to push her up from the bottom because she was stuck and couldn’t be pulled out from the top alone. Needless to say, she came out very cone-headed.
After I was back in my room, my midwife came to see me and told me Gabby also had a knot in her umbilical cord. Had she been born vaginally, she might not have made it.
I had a birth plan, but God had a different plan. My plan might not have allowed my daughter to live. But His plan made sure she would be here with us today.
Through the storm, we might not always understand why God is giving us what He is giving us. But after, once the storm has settled, He will show himself in the little things and reveal his bigger picture.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
My entire pregnancy was a huge challenge, and naturally, her birth was too. But today I get to snuggle a beautiful little baby girl, and in the end, that’s all we could ever ask for!
On February, 2nd 2019, my best friends and mom threw me the best baby shower ever! The baby shower was inspired by eucalyptus and lemon, two of my favorite things! The tones were light, bright and airy! Vintage details and whimsical touches brought this fresh theme together! They did such a beautiful job, and I’m so excited to share some highlights from the beautiful day!
Thank you so much to those who came to celebrate with us! Andrew and I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such a loving and supporting community of friends and family! We love you all so much!
These center pieces were my favorite!! They couldn’t keep me from helping out a bit! 😉Such a yummy brunch! My mom and sister! My best friends, Brooke and Emily! When you and your best friend are pregnant at the same time… Still overwhelmed by how many gifts we received! God is so good!
On March 2nd, 2019, Andrew and I finally got the chance to take our maternity portraits on Palm Beach! I was 36 weeks pregnant at the time and, aside from my swollen feet, it was still a great time to take our final maternity portraits! I was mainly thrilled that I still fit into this dress! It was the same one I wore for our 5-year anniversary portraits in Fort Myers when we were just 3 weeks pregnant but had no idea at the time! I thought it would be fun to take our last maternity photos in the same dress, this time on the east coast!
My sweet mom, Maritza, captured these photos for us, and they came out just great! My first photography teacher was my mom, and it’s such a blessing to still be in front of her camera! Thank you so much for these stunning photos, mom!
We feel so blessed to be in the final stretch of this pregnancy! There were so many days I prayed to reach this point, growing a healthy, full-term baby. It’s surreal still somedays that we are almost there! We’re thanking God daily for the biggest blessing soon to arrive!
I am currently 37 weeks pregnant (38 tomorrow!!) and am now considered full-term! I can’t believe we are in the final weeks! There have been many times this pregnancy has gone by extremely slowly, but it’s crazy to think I can potentially be holding my baby girl in a few weeks! We are beyond excited, and we truly cannot wait for this new season to begin!
Overall, I am doing great! Baby is healthy and growing! Aside from swollen feet, heartburn, nausea and random pains, I’m feeling good. Sleep hasn’t been easy lately, but my energy has finally increased, and nesting is in full swing!
Aside from a few house projects still left to finish, we are pretty much ready for baby! Her sweet bed is setup right next to my side of the bed, and I just can’t wait to see her in it! Her clothes are washed, the hospital bag is pretty much packed, and the meal prepping has begun! We’re feeling good about where we are at, and if she were to come any day now, I would be good with it.
Maternity leave is about to start! We will be taking a break from portrait sessions from mid-March until the end of May. We will be back to documenting weddings in the late Summer. Emailing will be limited over the next few months, but I plan to still check emails when possible. We are looking forward to this season of getting to know our new little one and have some quality time to recover. Thank you in advance for understanding!
Since this gorgeous pink tree in Worth Avenue was in full bloom, we decided to start with a few shots there! So glad we did! I love the luck I’ve had finding pink trees for my maternity sessions! 🙂 Then we headed to the North end of Palm Beach for some simple sunset beach maternity portraits!
While we were taking these photos a couple approached us to congratulate us on our marriage! They asked, if we had just got married and I immediately said “Nope! Been married for quite a while now” as I smiles and tried to show off my bump even more! They then realized the bump and congratulated us on that!
I’m still shocked at how many people are surprised when I say I’m pregnant! Still till this day I’ve only been openly noticed as pregnant three times.
The details the brought these 36-Week Maternity Portraits on Palm Beach together:
It’s Christmastime, my favorite time of the year!! This year is extra special to us because so many blessings have been poured into our lives this year! In just fifteen short weeks, we will be welcoming our first child into our new home! Ever since we tied the knot over five years ago, we have been working hard to buy our first home! It’s surreal to finally own a home and to be welcoming our little bundle of joy in just three months!
Our Home Story
We had been hoping to buy a home of our own for years! After we finally had our down payment, we just weren’t finding what we were looking for. The top things on our (my) list were: three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, and lots of natural light. If we found a townhome, we didn’t want anyone above us and parking spaces nearby. To some, our list sounded crazy, but after living the downtown apartment life, we were so ready for a comfort that was HOME! Well, we had almost given up, and I stopped my daily ritual of online house hunting. With only about two months left on our lease, our hope was nearly gone.
But God was about to answer our prayers in an epic way! First, let me take you back to the beginning. It was early June, and we had been pre-qualified for a few months. We tried to find a home and had been trying to conceive for a while, too, with no luck on either end. Our amazing realtor, Bea Hernandez, kept sending us listings, but I knew what I wanted and just wasn’t seeing it.
On Saturday, June 30th, while with family in Miami, we received a call that my paternal grandfather had passed away. It was a hard time, and, needless to say, it put all our planning on the back-burner. Earlier that week, I had also been convinced I was pregnant but later found out I had an ovarian cyst that messed with my hormones. It was painful, and since I had never experienced this before, I was wondering what was wrong.
We had the funeral early the next week. It was emotionally hard, and I was in physical pain, too. Wednesday, I went in for an ultrasound, and they told me it was an ovarian cyst that ruptured. My midwife advised my to continue taking my prenatal vitamins that I had been taking for years, but she also told me I could Evening Primrose oil and Pregnitude; I also took Maca root. I just decide to try everything and hope for the best! With everything with my grandfather and the house hunt, we honestly stopped thinking about getting pregnant.
In mid-July, we went to Fort Myers for our annual family reunion with my dad’s side of the family. This was a special year because this was the first year we would be there without my grandfather with us. He was the reason my dad’s family held this one family vacation every year since the 80’s! We enjoyed ourselves and our time with family. I had a cocktail by the pool, got sunburn, and a bird pooped in my freshly-done hair just hours before our 5-year anniversary portraits! It was a memorable trip!
When we were on our way home, I felt different, and I suddenly thought to myself, “Oh! What if?” It was still pretty early to know for sure, but the next morning I took a test anyways. Hopeful that it was not just another blank test, I peeked with excitement. And I saw the faintest pink line!! I showed Andrew immediately, and we were both hopefully but cautious with our emotions. We waited a few more days, and I took another test. This time the pink line popped right up!! We were overjoyed and elated!!
God answered our number one prayer, and we couldn’t ask for anything else! A week later, just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, we got an email from our realtor. As soon as I opened it, I knew the home was perfect! I told Andrew about it excitedly, and we scheduled a time to see it that same day! It immediately felt like home! We love it, and my mom even snapped a photo of us in front of it!
We put in an offer the next day and hoped for the best. I tried to not get my hopes up, because I knew the previous homes in the development sold within a few days, and our chances of getting it were slim. Eagerly, we waited hear back. A few days later, they asked for our highest and final offer. We placed it and prayed for the best. Bea later told us out of the five offers they received, they were only considering our offer! WHAT!?! We were thrilled!
A few days later, we received the call. They officially accepted our offer! We scheduled the closing just a month later, and on August 31st, we signed the papers and closed on our first home! Just 21 days before our lease was up–the perfect amount of time to paint our new place and move in! I’m still in awe of how perfect the timing was!
God’s Timing is Perfect.
It was perfect timing, because it was God’s timing. He knew one of my deepest desires was to own a home before we had a baby. Even though we were okay to have them in a different order, God had an awesome plan in store that was even better than we could even imagine. We moved in shortly after the painting was done. Even though this was our fourth move in five years, it was the hardest, yet sweetest move because I was pregnant! Morning sickness and packing isn’t the most ideal combo, but it was do-able! But only because of my momma, who helped me pack and brought me chicken biscuits, because that was the only thing I could eat that I could keep down!
The month of August was spent packing, planning and thanking God so much! In the middle of the month, we went in for our first appointment and ultrasound! We saw our baby, and the heartbeat flickered on the screen! It was just the best! We felt, and still feel, beyond blessed! God opened every door the moment we stopped and didn’t push things. His timing is perfect, and even though waiting and having a miscarriage was very hard, I wouldn’t want it any other way. We are stronger and more grateful now because of everything we went through. God’s plan is always so much better than we can imagine.
As we step into this Christmas season, we just can’t help but feel overwhelmed by His blessings on our lives this year. Just two years ago at this very time, we were going through a very painful miscarriage at the 12-week mark. It was the most traumatic and painful season of our lives, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But if it wasn’t for that season, we wouldn’t have the strength, perspective, and gratitude we have today. It’s humbling to see how much God can change in such a short amount of time!
Today, we look at this season of life and thank God daily. This Christmas is such a blessing and a gift. It’s been the best few months of our lives, and we know after our little one is born, things will forever be different! We truly can’t wait to meet her!
Our Home at Christmas Time
Here are a few shots of our house now at Christmastime! We went for a cozy cabin feel. I love the warmth our rustic Christmas home decor brings. Pops of red, cozy plaids, and lots of green brought this feel together! We hope you enjoy our Christmas home tour! From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas!
All Merry and Bright! I just love the vaulted ceilings and skylights in our place! So much natural light! My first homemade real Christmas wreath!
Hutchinson Island Maternity Couple Portraits at the House of Refuge
While on Hutchinson Island with the Carter’s for their family maternity portraits, my friend, Brooke, took some photos of us! I was almost 22 weeks pregnant during this session! The day was cloudy and dreamy. My dress flowed in the breeze and seemed to match the color of the ocean perfectly!
I am currently 25 weeks and feeling the best I have felt in a while! My energy still isn’t in full force, but I’m feeling our little girl move every day! She is growing so fast! She is already a pound and a half and measuring around 13 inches! I also finally popped around 24 week! Up until then, it wasn’t all that obvious that I was pregnant.
I’m so excited to meet our little one face to face! I’m also constantly reminding myself to enjoy the season and these last three months! With my two best friends also pregnant, there is just so much joy all around! Excitement is an understatement! 🙂
The details that brought these Hutchinson Island Maternity Couple Portraits together:
Hutchinson Island Family Maternity Portraits at The House of Refuge
It’s the Carter family! Every year we have the pleasure of capturing our dear friends’ family Christmas portraits! This year, it was extra special because our sweet godson, CJ, is at such a fun giggly age, and it’s his last year of being an only child! With his little brother due in just over a month, we also turned this year’s session into a maternity session at our favorite beach! We came back to the House of Refuge on Hutchinson Island, where we captured Brooke’s maternity portraits when she was pregnant with CJ!
Their family maternity portraits turned out stunning this year! It also helped that CJ was in a terrific mood, and we were able to get every last giggle out of him! They wore a classic and crisp white for their first look. They seemed to just pop out of the serene, coastal backdrop.
We had such a great afternoon with our friends as we captured these sweet memories! I love that we do this every year! Looking back over the years, so many things have changed, but we’re glad one thing has remained—our friendship. Now we are actually neighbors, too, and have two new little ones joining us next Christmas! I’m just so excited to see what’s in store for next year!
I called his name and he looked back directly at me! Oh, my heart! And the giggles began… Brooke Carter, aka the most STUNNING pregnant woman EVER! Just so many favorites right off the bat!Sweet snuggle with daddy, mid-session as mommy got her close up. Oh, that sweet smile!
Moments with momma! Till next year friends!
The details that brought these Hutchinson Island Family Maternity Portraits together:
20-Week Maternity Portraits at Mounts Botanical Garden
20-Week Pregnancy Update:
Baby Bolin is a…
We couldn’t be more thrilled to announce baby Bolin is a GIRL!! We found out at 19 weeks and it was just the best news! I felt like Christmas came early! I may have jumped up and thrown my arms in the air when the ultrasound technician announced it! We announced it to family and friends a few days later. I cannot believe I am halfway through this pregnancy already! Today I am 21 weeks and it’s just crazy how quickly this pregnancy is going by!
This mid-pregnancy session wasn’t planned, but when we found out we were having a girl, and I saw a pink-flowered tree, I knew a quick session just had to happen! I also had the perfect dress just sitting in my closet, so it felt meant to be! 🙂 I had seen this pink-flowered Silk Floss Tree outside of Mounts Botanical Garden in West Palm Beach, Florida while driving by a few times. I had never seen this tree in full bloom before, and it was truly breathtaking.
My first thought was, “If I have a girl, I want get some photos captured with that tree!” So when we found out we were having a girl later that week, I immediately called my mom and told her about the tree. She has also loved photography since she was a girl and instilled my passion for it when I was in grade school. So she was just as excited about it! We ended up making an afternoon of it and explored the whole botanical garden, since it had been years since we both had been there!
We explored the entire garden, capturing photos of all the exotic flowers and plants while capturing a few portraits, too! At the end, we captured photos with the pink tree just as the sun was about to set! The light was golden, and the tree was backlit with gorgeous color! It was the perfect lighting and the tree’s flowers seemed to pop off the tree.
My mom, Maritza Guerra, did such an amazing job with these photos! I couldn’t be more thrilled with how they came out! Here are my favorites! I somehow got my favorites down to forty-something, we took over a thousand photos on my camera alone! I guess you could say we were a little shutter-happy! 😉
I LOVED this spot! It felt like a little piece of Italy. Those gorgeous Olive trees! Then it was time for the main event! Look at this PINK tree! In bloom just in time for our little girl! When the golden light started coming through, it was pure magic.
The details that brought these 20-week maternity portraits together:
Autumn Pregnancy Announcement | Baby Bolin Arriving March 2019
Fall is in the air, and we have big news to share! In the Spring of 2019, we will be welcoming a new addition to our team! Our third little shooter is estimated to be joining us around March 29th, 2019! We are beyond excited to be welcoming our first little one! Fun fact: the due date is the day before our 6th wedding anniversary! We did not plan this! I am currently 18 weeks and we will be finding out the gender next week!! WE CANNOT WAIT!
As some of you know, this little one will be our rainbow baby. We shared on the blog back in 2017 the reason we finally took our dream trip to Italy. We had miscarried our first baby in December of 2016 and decided it was time to get away on a dream adventure! It was the best thing we could have done! After one of the roughest seasons of our lives, this was the sweetest time. We are still so grateful we took that time for us. Now we have a new adventure in sight, and we know this one will be the best yet!
This pregnancy hasn’t been easy. Aside from being extremely sick at the beginning, and a bit still, we have had to work through fears and emotions that seem to sneak in from time to time. The one thing that has helped us feel at peace is Jesus. We have been praying for this little one since before conception. Nightly prayers have been our strength!
Having a baby after a miscarriage definitely steals away the innocence and some of the joy. At the beginning, I remember feeling guilty for not feeling as excited as I felt I should be. It was hard. There are so many unknowns and fears. Like the time my midwife couldn’t find the heartbeat for over 10 minutes. Or when the ultrasound technician took way too long staring at the screen and not saying, “Everything looks good,” right away. During both moments, I felt so fearful. But I knew God had this little one in his hands from the beginning. Andrew and I made it a point at the beginning that we would be excited and joyful for this blessing, no matter how much time we had with him or her. That simple change in mindset helped us feel at peace.
It’s been a wonderful yet crazy season. A lot happened all at once. We found our first home just a week after we found out we were pregnant! We closed on our home just a month later! Even though this was our fourth move in the past five years, it was the hardest because I was pregnant. We are still unpacking and fixing up our new home, but we could not feel any more blessed for what the Lord has done. God is good, even when times are crazy and uncertain. And His timing is always perfect.
We announced our pregnancy on social media a few weeks ago and wanted to announce it on the blog sooner, but life is really busy these days! We are also in our business’s busiest time of the year! Through all the craziness, the Lord is so faithful. He is probably just preparing us for our new normal pace of life! 😉
We know things will be different, but we cannot wait! We ask that you keep us in your prayers! Our hope is that this little one feels and knows the love of Jesus! Thank you for supporting us and being a part of our family! Here are our favorite photos from our Autumn pregnancy announcement photo-shoot! A special thank you to my dear friend, Brooke Carter, for capturing these maternity photos for us!
Our sweet friends and now neighbors, the Carters came over to our home to capture these for us! These were taken in our back yard!! I’m loving the lighting and trees in my own yard! These were taken just before I was 15 weeks when I had just popped! We just cannot wait to welcome our little pumpkin home.
We have never been so grateful to own a business that allows us the flexibly we sometimes need in life! We will still be capturing weddings and portraits like normal, but we will be taking some time off for Maternity leave. Maternity leave for weddings will be from mid-February until June. Portrait sessions will most likely be from early March till mid May. Inquiries are always welcomed and can be submitted through our Contact tab!
On July 5th, 2018, Andrew and I had the honor of working with the gorgeous Strong Family. We captured their Palm Beach family vacation portraits while they were visiting the area from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their session took place on a cloudy summer day in South Florida but their sweet smiles shined so bright. We had such a wonderful time meeting and working with them all! Can’t wait to share their gorgeous Summer family vacation portraits!
Just the kiddos!
Isn’t she a doll!?Those eyes and those curls! We ended their session with a few photos for just mom and dad!
Strong Family, it was such a pleasure working with you all! We hope you enjoy these memories for many years to come! If you are ever in South Florida again, we would love to work with you! 🙂