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Welcome to my Blog

Hi, I'm Julie ... artist, photographer, potter, etc. I am so happy you are here! I consider this blog my creative journal where I can share my recent work, ideas and dreams, and lots of little details about my life. Please make yourself at home. Whether you are a bride-to-be, a photographer, or just a visitor, I hope you will find inspiration here and even become a friend.

My Life :: Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!

Well, there is a really good reason why I haven't blogged in six weeks.  In case you missed it ... I HAD A BABY!  I have been sharing tons of photos on facebook ... maybe some of you out there aren't on facebook ... but really I just want to paste pictures of my amazing girl all over the world.  I also want to share a little about my birth story ... so it's time for a serious baby blog post.  Get ready for the best thing you've ever seen ...


Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

This is Eleanor Jane. 
She was born on July 18th at 5:52pm.  Weighing in at 7lbs, 8oz and measuring 19.5 in. 
She was (and still is) practically perfect in every possible way.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

I am really proud that I had her naturally ... without any drugs or medical interventions.  It was our plan all along to do it that way but I had some doubts about whether it would actually happen naturally.  You just never know. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

There are a million and one ways to skin a cat and to have a baby.  And everyone seems to have really strong opinions about what is the best way.  Every woman has to do what is best for her baby and her body and ultimately having a healthy baby in the end is the most important thing. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

So I don't tout that I did it naturally to condemn other birth methods.  I'm just proud.  We spent a lot of time preparing and when it came down to it on the actual day there were moments that I was scared and ready to give up. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

I have to say that the only reason I was able to get through natural child birth was because I had an amazing team of people surrounding me, supporting, and comforting me. 
Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

First of all ... Nick was incredible.  You've never seen a man move so quickly and so efficiently when it was time to load up the car and head to the hospital.  Throughout the whole process he was there ... sometimes encouraging me, sometimes holding me, sometimes massaging me with lavender oil (mmmm), and sometimes just quietly keeping steady by my side. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts PhotographyJulie Six.  Whether you plan to do it naturally or not ... having a doula is the way to go.  We actually attended a six-week childbirth preparation class led by Julie called Hypnobabies.   Through the program I learned to use hypnotic techniques, imagery, and relaxation to eliminate pain and fear from my birthing experience.  I know it sounds kooky ... but it WORKED!!!  I could go on and on about my hypnobabies experience because it completely changed the game for me.  I could not have done it naturally without this technique!  If you'd like to know more about Hypnobabies please let me know ... I'd love to share more!


Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

So other than just teaching our childbirth class Julie actually came to our home that morning and stayed with me the entire day until after Eleanor was born.  I don't know if I can fully describe how precious her support was for me.  She was consistently with me through every contraction and every transition ... comforting me and reminding me how to use my hypnobabies techniques.  She was also an incredible source of encouragement for Nick ... who at times would look up at her wondering if what was happening was normal.  He said she would just nod and smile and give him the assurance that everything was okay.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts PhotographyWomanKind Midwives.   She provided my prenatal care from the very beginning and served as an incredible source of information and support.  She was completely on board for the type of birth experience we wanted to have and she did everything to make it happen for us.  She was professional or course but there was also something so motherly and nurturing about Melissa ... that ironically and appropraitely made me feel very safe.  She was wonderful.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography
Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

Originally we really considered doing a home birth.  But since our Midwife Melissa only delivers at Saint Joe East and we loved her so much we decided we would do it there.  As expected the process of getting admitted and settled in the hospital was a pain in the tuckus.  Since we had gone two weeks prior to fill out all the registration paperwork, it was incredibly frustrating that they had lost some of it including copies of my drivers license and insurance.  So while we messed around at the front desk I kept my head down focusing on relaxing through the pressure waves that were coming every two-three minutes. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography
Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

We had prepared a list of requests that we had surrounding our hopes and plans for an easy, comfortable birth.  With a few lame exceptions, the staff at Saint Joe East were pretty accommodating and respectful of our wishes.  We were given the only room that had a birthing tub which I was so happy about.  I spent most of the time in the tub and Nick even got in with me.  Another part of the hypnobabies method is that your perception of time will change and every hour will feel like 20 minutes.  This truly happened for me.  Time passed so quickly.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

To others I might have seemed to have myself together but on the inside my mind was whirling with doubts and fears mixed with affirmations.  A part of me felt assured and understood that my body was made to do this - that was the part of me that payed attention in birth class.  But another part of me was scared and tired and ready to give up.  Thank God Julie and Nick were there to hold me up literally and figuratively.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography
I wish I had a telescope to guide this ship tonight
and a break of light bursting through the sand heavy sky
How do I get to you now?
I guess I'll have to learn how to swim
so I won't drown

I wish I had a little hope to help me feel alright
and a happy inside running through the sand heavy mind
how do I get to you now,
guess I'll have to learn how to breathe and work it out

and I'll float the waves of rolling tides
I'll set my pace by my time
and I'll get to you, I'll get to you
I'll get to you, my love.

I'll float the waves of rolling tides
I'll set my pace by my time
and I'll get to you, I'll get to you
I'll get to you, my love

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

I actually had in mind to give birth in the tub ... but as things unfolded it worked out differently.  I wanted a break out of the water and during that transition baby girl shifted down and it was go time. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

I pushed for about an hour.  I had imagined and hoped that I would be one of those amazing women who gracefully give birth in silence.  That wasn't the case for me (or anyone ever ... I think) but who's suprised?  I've always been pretty vocal so I guess it wasn't a big shocker that I wasn't silent ... to put it lightly.  Julie was close by in my ear reminding me to keep my tones low and my muscles loose.  Practicing this made a huge difference in how I felt the pain.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

I won't say that the whole experience was painless by any means.  But the pain was bearable and it was brief.  And it was worth it.   It was worth every bit of it. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

Eleanor came into the world with soft cries and wide open eyes.  She stayed awake for about four hours gazing at us, learning to eat, and taking total possession of our hearts.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography
Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography



Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

So six weeks later I wish I had some kind of profound thing to say about parenthood ... but all I can tell you is that I am just a mess.  I am a mess of emotions and responsibilities.  Trying to balance life these days feels nearly impossible.  I find myself frustrated and a little lost.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

At the same time I am learning how to love all over again as if I never really understood love to begin with.  Where have I been all my life?  This teeny tiny person has changed everything.  And I know that for every bit of difficulty there are equal parts of grace and patience getting laid like bricks into the masonry of my being.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

I am now elected into the ever-exclusive club of motherhood ... like a big hall of fame I feel inept to be categorized with the greats like my own mom, my friend Jamie, Teresa, Mary, etc.  Am I really a mother?  I still kinda feel like the same little selfish, immature me.  But I am not the same.  I am different. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

There is so much about it all that I just didn't get before I experienced it.  In my six weeks of experience I would qualify being a mother to being a protector ... gentle like an angel watching over and fierce like a lion in the wild.  All instincts are on cue at all times.  It's like my sense of hearing just keyed up ten thousand volts.  From across the room I can hear her breath.  Somehow I just know things I could never have never been taught:  this cry means hunger ... that look means stomach ache ... or she just needs to be held.  How do I know?  This is motherhood.  Magical, inexplicable motherhood.  I'm pretty sure that I have eyes growing in the back of my head at this very minute. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

All priorities have shifted down and now Eleanor tops the list unquestionably and unapologetically.  Finding balance between baby life, wife life, and business life is a challenge that I think I will be navigating for the rest of my life.  Be patient with me as I work to define my roles over the next year or two. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

Another element of beauty I am discovering in the process is the sweetness of watching my husband become a father.  As anyone who knows him would expect ... Nick is a natural in his own unique way:  Not stressing over her cries ... discussing mathematical theories ... already taking her on trips to Lowes.  It is so invaluable to have him as a partner amid this journey.  When I need help (over and over again) he steps in without complaining every time.  As if he hadn't already proven himself as the most supportive and loveable man I've ever known ... here he goes getting better and better.  He is constantly by my side through the sleepless nights, the emotional break downs (hers and mine), and the countless poopy diapers.

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

Having Eleanor in my life has expanded my capacity to love.  Not just because I love her like I've never really loved anything or anyone else.  But because of her I am loving Nick in new ways.  I am also understanding the love of my mom in ways I never did before.  I feel so small and sorry for how much I haven't appreciated my mom enough. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

And of course then there is the love of God.  I guess we all know him more as a "father" but now I am convinced he is a mother too.  He must be. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

I am overwhelmed by his outpouring of love on me especially now.  He has filled my cup in many ways ... first by just trusting me with this specific tiny person.  That he believes in me enough to let me take care of her for her life time ... that is a love I don't deserve. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

Second, he provides me with a grace that I don't deserve.  As I get easily frustrated and tired he is continuously renewing my strength and patience.  He is filling my heart with joy at small things ... like Eleanor's smile (which I've only seen a few times at this stage), bubbles on her toes, her funny coos and snorts.  She makes me melt in a million little ways.   

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

We love bath time, morning walks, evening walks, napping together.   I love sleeping with her in my arms.  I can see glimpses of family members in her features and expressions ... and that is amazing like she has a part of all of us in her.  I love her gaze ... her tiny hand gripping my finger (she is so strong) ... I find joy just watching her blink.   

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

And I think these simple joys just cancel out everything about motherhood that is too hard.  The feelings of inadequacy, the extreme exhaustion, the lack of time for simple things, the loss of independence ... New parents don't talk much about these difficulties.  They are too busy bragging about their baby's small accomplishments.  Because hearing your baby giggle for the first time just over-shadows it all. 

Baby Eleanor ... Six weeks later!, Julie Roberts Photography

If you've read this far ... thank you.  Thanks for your time and interest in this amazing and important time in my life.  I don't know for sure when I'll blog again.  Its taken my three days to get this one posted!  But know that I am here ... trucking along ... baby in tow.  I have several weddings and shoots coming up and several from earlier this summer that I still want to share.  It's all coming.  But for now ... Daddy should be home soon and it's time for our evening walk. 
 

What do you think? Leave me some feedback!

Your Name
Jul 18, 2014Karen
One Word BEAUTIFUL.............
Oct 29, 2012Kristen Calhoun
Amazing! Thanks for sharing! You have a perfect lil girl in your hands! I'm a also a red head :) I'm glad there is one more in this world ;)
Sep 6, 2012Deb Huffaker
You are one of the most precious people I've ever known. I had tears in my eyes by the end when you talked about our heavenly Father. Love you, sweet Julie!
Aug 30, 2012Terri waters
Julie. What a beautiful baby. I loved looking at your photos. Looks like she is going to be a red head like her mom.
Aug 30, 2012Emily Huff
Such a beautiful birth story! I have to agree with the part about havin a baby truly makes you understand God's love. I think I cried everyday for the first six weeks due to the overwelming feeling of God's love and grace he poured over me with having a baby! You made me cry again reading this post! Love this and I'll be praying for you as you navigate this new world.
Aug 30, 2012Susie
What a beautiful story. It brings back many memories of when I became a mother over 40 years ago. Enjoy every moment because it is over before you know it.
Aug 29, 2012Leah
Beautiful post...beautiful baby girl! Congrats to you and your husband...what a lovely family you have:)
Aug 29, 2012April Kelley
What a beautiful story!! Thank you for sharing it with us!! I am so happy for you!! Eleanor is so beautiful!! Loved all your photos!!!
Aug 29, 2012Mandy E.
Julie this is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing, its so amazing to see you blossom from a wife into a mommy! I loved your sweet words and lovely definition of motherhood - gives us young wives without children something to look forward to. Beautiful.... Amazing and we can't wait to read more about your journey with the pretty little Eleanor
Aug 29, 2012Kayla F
Absolutely the most precious post I've ever read. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful family, your beautiful story and your beautiful images! Can't wait to hear more about baby Eleanor!
Aug 29, 2012Emily Moseley
Congrats Julie! Beautiful!!!
Aug 29, 2012Sarah Broyles
Absolutely beautiful...not just the phots but the story as well. Thanks for sharing! Love you and our beautiful family! :-)
Aug 29, 2012Katy V
Julie, LOVED reading and seeing the pictures! Thank you for sharing! Still waiting on baby V....should be any day now! :)
Aug 29, 2012Debbie England
Julie, this is so beautiful...and so is baby Eleanor! Congratulations!
Aug 29, 2012Melanie Watson
Amazing Julie!!!! Your birth sounds a lot like the one we are planning. I finished my hypnobabies training back in July and am so thankful for it. Truly an awesome child birth course and I feel so confident having a natural pain free birth. I loved reading your birth story and it just makes me more excited for my little Camden to arrive in a couple months. Eleanor is gorgeous and surely a blessing to have in your lives. I'm so excited and happy for you and Nick and your new little family. Sending love and joyous blessings to all three of you.
Aug 29, 2012Becca Davis
Thank you so much for sharing. This is beautiful - as is your family!
Aug 29, 2012Jennifer M. :)
Besutiful, my friend, on so many levels! Love your creative expressiveness and motherly musings!
 

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