Why your Midwife is Not your Doula

Why your Midwife is Not your Doula

You are so excited! You are pregnant and you know you want an experience different from all the stories you've heard growing up. You want a midwife. That is awesome. Knowing what kind of care provider you feel most comfortable with is undeniably the best thing going into birth for the first or fourth time.

And you find a midwife! It may be a group or a single home birth midwife, but it's likely a woman and you spend hour after hour of prenatal visits asking questions, forming bonds, having your needs met and considered and you are positive you will have the birth you desire.  

And then you are there in labor, at home, or at a birth center or hospital and you are with your partner and you find that labor is a little different than you had imagined. You need stuff: hands on you and lots of water, maybe food and encouragement and changing positions and you have been up for so so long and you are tired and your partner is worried and where is this baby anyway? And where is your midwife? Isn't she suppose to be here with you doing all.the.things? Is she with someone else? You sort feel abandoned or a little betrayed? Jealous even, of the mom she may be with who is having her baby while you breath hard through yet one more contraction.

Here's the thing. A midwife is not a doula. She is not a magical fairy who will give you all the things while still making sure she is alert enough to take your vitals and make sure your placenta is normal and healthy and not retained so you hemorrhage postpartum. She cannot stay with you for 36 hours and do that well. 

She is a not doula. A doula is the one who will listen to all your fears and maybe I'm in labor calls and why am I not in labor complaints. She will guide you through your birth story. She will hold your hand and wipe your brow and remember to make you go to the bathroom and drink enough water and sleep and sift your belly and make you twist and turn until you look at her with tears in your eyes and she will tell you it's almost time and that your baby will come soon

She will drop everything at any hour to come to you. She will spend days with you.

She will hold your leg, wipe your bottom, fan you without ceasing. She will look after your husband so that he does not pass out from either fatigue or fear. She will reassure him that you are ok and help him feel as if he is helping you. 

She will hold your face in her hands and be there. You will know that her whole spirit is with you in that moment.

Your midwife will make sure your newborn has developed properly, that all the reflexes and heart rates and things are in their place. That your baby is breathing. That you are stabilized and ready to spend your postpartum weeks snuggling your baby and healing without complication. She will do follow up exams and make sure your vagina looks just as lovely as it always did. She will make sure any tests are done on your baby and get you the proper referrals. 

Your midwife and your doula are a team. They communicate with each other and you to make sure you have your dream birth. You can have one without the other, but why would you want to?



Happy Anniversary to Us!

Happy Anniversary to Us!


In 2012 I photographed my first birth. I knew it was something bigger than I had imagined and at the end of 2013 I started JCP. Since then, I’ve documented over 60 births. I’m so, so grateful for the work I get to do. It is more than work, it is my calling, and for that I am blessed. I realized as I am booking early fall births already that I want to celebrate and do something a little different. I’m going to raffle off my largest, most complete birth package. I’m only offering 100 tickets so there is a very high chance you can win since there will be no limit on the amount of tickets you can purchase. Now what’s also different is that every ticket you buy is a credit towards ANY JCP session, package, or products. So there are no losers in this! If you were planning on booking a birth session or any other session you get the credit, BUT you may also get an amazing package or session for as little as $25. You do not have to want birth photography to purchase tickets, so now is your chance for a family video session for a huge discount. 

So to be clear you could buy 20 tickets which would pay for a half of your birth photography and that gives you a 20% chance at winning. Or you could win with the mere price of a pizza dinner out!

Birth& Video Packages can be found here

Family & Video Session can be found here

So if you are expecting {estimated due dates can be no earlier than June 1st, 2017} or thinking of becoming pregnant or want a family session and also know someone who would love this as a gift if you won then do it! Celebrate with me and document your story! 

All credit purchases toward JCP sessions will have a 1 year expiration date {June 1st, 2018}. The draw will be April 17th, 2017. Tickets go on sale now and I will be available to answer any question on April 1st at the Upstate Birth & Baby Expo Come out and see me!



How to love your body after birth

How to love your body after birth

We are submerged in messages about our bodies. How to feed them better, make them more beautiful, exercise, clothing, surgery, etc. It's all about change. It's all about some day you will love your body if you just do this. This is really about how to love your body, but I think after children is when women who otherwise felt okay about their bodies start to feel inadequate and it is precisely at this time when they are the most amazing! They have just grown and are feeding a human!

I have three daughters. Three! They all have different bodies. They are all beautiful and yes, I am their Mama, so that's a given in my book. But truly they are, because everything is beautiful. And if it's not beautiful, it's interesting or emotional or has a story. That's my favorite, it has a story. It belongs to something or someone and there are words and layers of life there. 

Since I started photographing birth I've wanted to offer postpartum sessions, motherhood "boudoir". It's not been the right time for one reason or another, but so much has happened in my life in the past year and I've been working on my own journey towards body acceptance, that I think it's time.

I don't want to dress you up. I don't want to add props or lots of makeup. Those types of boudoir shots are wonderful and I know several amazing photographers who do them if that's what you are looking for.

I want you in your own skin. 

I want to play with the light and I want you to bring the things that make you feel sexy and beautiful. I want to hear your story and how you feel about your body and I want you to love it just a little more when we are done.

In college, I was an English major and lucky enough to know and work with lots of writers. My friend Stephen is a wonderful poet and offered a few signed copies of one of his books, my favorite. It includes this beautiful poem that inspires how I want a mother to feel after she sees the photographs from her session. I want to offer a complimentary session and a signed copy of his book. This isn't a contest. Everyone will get a discount on a session if they choose to book one.

But I want to hear your stories, why you want to be photographed and how you feel about you body, your journey. No one but me will read these and I will choose based on pure subjective emotion. I don't want you to include your name in case I know you. Make one up. Just your email or phone number so I can contact you if you are chosen. If you follow me, you will know I'm pretty private with my clients and about 1% of what I photograph ends up on here or on FB. This session is for you and those you choose to share it with. It's for me and the art I hope to create of motherhood, feminism and how God's hands only creates perfect beauty.

You can apply for a session here.