Our first annual Halloween Mini Session Event!

Halloween Mini Sessions at the Naturally Newborn Studio in Orange County.

 

halloween is coming!

 

I have wanted to do Halloween mini sessions forever but needed it to feel like me. I finally found a set that matches my brand perfectly and I am so excited to share it with everyone!

The event will take place on Saturday, October 21st from 10am-1pm.
There are only TEN time slots available.
However, if we get enough interest, we may open more.

These sessions are a steal at only $99! Yep, you read that correctly.
These WILL sell out, so book quickly!

What's included:

10 minute mini session
2 high resolution digital images
Entry into our "Cutest Costume" contest on Facebook/Instagram
A Halloween Treat

The winner of the contest will receive a complimentary 8x10 printed portrait! To win, your baby's photo has to have the most likes by the close of the contest. The more friends you share with, the more "likes" you'll get! So share, share, share! We will post the photos on Friday the 27th and we will count votes until midnight on Halloween.

Important:

These sessions are for one baby/child. If you are bringing multiple children, please book at least 2 time slots.
Use the code "SAVE2" to save 10% when booking two or more time slots.

Are you a current Baby Plan member? From 1:30-2:30pm you are welcome to come in for a quick complimentary Halloween portrait of your baby!

Can't wait to see you all there!

xoxo,
Amber

Halloween Mini Session
99.00

Includes:

one 10 minute mini session for one baby

2 high resolution digital images

entry into the cutest costume contest

 

These mini sessions are best for babies 6 months (sitting up) to 2 years. However, babies of all ages are welcome.

Time:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Tears, smiles and everything in between.

My struggle with postpartum depression

*warning: I say shit a lot

 

I wasn't sure I would ever open up about my mental health struggles. I'm a very reserved person and I rarely let people get even a glimpse into the darker parts of my personality. Call it insecurities, shyness, introversion...whatever. I'm a pretty private person and I prefer to do my suffering alone. I was a teenager in the 90's-we perfected the art of the silent brood, before there was social media or even blogs to publicize everything that was going on in our heads.

As my son's first birthday approaches, there is a glaring reality facing me. I missed it. AGAIN. I missed my child's first year. Again. Dammit. I was gone. I mean, physically I was there. But mentally I checked out right around the 6 week mark. I remember because some really awful things happened to me right around that point and I had the wind knocked out of me. And it was like a switch. I just checked out. The clouds rolled in and I felt that familiar suffocating feeling I knew all too well.

I went into this pregnancy knowing this was a possibility. I had struggled with my firstborn, Rayne, 12 years ago. Spent months wishing I was dead. Visualizing driving off cliffs, jumping out of windows with her in my arms, crashing into walls....it's a dark, scary place. I never wanted to revisit it. I recovered. I got strong. I overcame and pushed past.

In the early stages of my pregnancy with Lennox, I was open with my husband about my struggles before. I was open with my midwife. I planned a birth that was the total opposite of my previous induced hospital birth. I thought maybe I'd bond more with my baby if I had him at home, in the water....where I could experience birth in a whole new way. I would insist on nursing him since I bottle fed his sister. I had frequent open conversations with my husband about warning signs, how to help me and how to support me. I thought I was taking all the steps towards having a happy healthy relationship with my baby.

I should have known it wasn't that easy.
I should have known that all the planning in the world can't stop the mind from doing what it's predisposed to do.

The main difference this time around was that I was the sole income provider for my family. I had to function. I had to run a business. And I couldn't. I honestly don't know how I did. I would go days and days without opening my computer. Scared of angry clients that have waited too long for their pictures. Inquiries that had gone unnoticed. Orders that hadn't been placed. It was too much for me. I was suffocating.

And then there's my friends. I knew what they were saying about me. I'm a flake. I always cancel. It's true. I even spent $900 on a photo conference and I didn't go. Because I could barely leave the house to go the 7 miles to my studio, much less hop on a plane and fly across the country. My anxiety was debilitating. I cancel plans all the time. Because my depression is triggered so easily. I can be having a fine day and suddenly I'm in a ball of tears for seemingly no reason.

I've been a shitty friend. I've been a shitty sister. I've been a shitty business owner. I've been a shitty mom and wife.
And it's a cycle. I'm shitty because I'm depressed. But then I get depressed because I realize how shitty I am being. And it repeats and repeats.

This illness turns me into a horrible version of myself.

Sigh.....

So here I am. My son turns one year old tomorrow. And I'm barely starting to feel the clouds lift. I'm starting to emerge from the shell that has been me for the last year.  And I'm sad. Sad to have missed so much while I was drowning.

That's the cruel thing about time. It keeps going even when you're frozen.

But I can move forward from here. And love him as much as I'm able to right now. And maybe it's not as much as all the other moms out there. I'm not baking him homemade gluten free, sugar free "made with love" cupcakes for his big day. I didn't Pinterest all the ways to throw the perfect first birthday bash. Shit, in all honesty....he's not even getting a birthday party.

But I will celebrate him. And I'll celebrate me. Because he's here. And I'm still here with him. I can't wait to get to know him. I know I have catching up to do. And I'm looking forward to it.

To everyone who has been patient with me this past year while I struggled...I'm so thankful for you.

 

xoxo,
Amber

www.thebirthartist.com

www.thebirthartist.com

Help! My hoo-ha is on fire!

how to make frozen postpartum soothing pads

tips from your Orange county doula

 

Hi mamas!

Amber here, your Naturally Newborn doula. ❤️

I wanted to talk about a topic that you likely know all too well: the aftermath of a vaginal birth. And the uh....discomfort most of us experience. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

After having a vaginal delivery, it is pretty likely you will be in some amount of discomfort, especially if you have had vaginal stitching or tearing (good times!). You will likely be swollen and sore as well. You can ease this discomfort by making your own frozen pads at home to use during the postpartum recovery period. You can make a batch of these and put them in the freezer so they are ready to go when you arrive home from the hospital. It's simple day's task that you will appreciate a millions times over after you'd had your baby.

 

Things you will need:

 

  • Maxi pads of your choice. Natracare is a great choice and easy to purchase on Amazon.

 

  • Aloe Vera Gel (Trader Joe's has a great one!)

 

  • Witch Hazel (I used Target's brand, but any will do. Here is a great option)

 

  • Spray Bottle (If you don't want to use plastic, Amazon has some great glass bottle options.)

 

  • Essential Oils of your choice-lavender/frankincense (You probably have an essential oils rep in your friends list!)

 

  • Foil or Plastic wrap (any brand will do)


 

-Start out by filling your spray bottle with witch hazel and then add in 5-10 drops of your essential oils. Lavender is great for soothing the skin and swelling, frankincense is great for skin healing and reducing scarring. I would suggest using the oils prior to making the pads to ensure you do not have a sensitivity to them. Start out with a smaller amount of each oil until you know you can tolerate them well.

Next, lay out your pads, unwrapped.

With clean hands spread some aloe gel on top of each pad. Then you will want to spray a good amount of your witch hazel and oil mixture onto the surface. It should be wet, but not soaked because you will want them to be absorbent enough to use them for postpartum bleeding. Wrap each pad in plastic or foil to keep them clean. Another tip I like it is to place each pad in a bowl while freezing so that they are shaped better to fit your body.

As a bonus, you can use the remaining spray bottle, or make an extra to have on hand. Use this spray during bathroom trips or in between for added soothing. Spray directly on the perineum area.


Your Doula,

Amber Gunnet

 

New Vintage Brick Wall Studio Set!

New vintage studio set in Orange County!

Perfect for boudoir, babies and more.

 

Hey everyone! Just wanted to write a quick blog post to introduce you all to our latest set in our Orange County studio. As many of you know, we've had an all white bedroom set for years now. As I've noticed more and more photographers adopt this style, I've wanted to recreate my space with something different and unique. After quite a few hours and lots of Home Goods shopping trips, we're ready to unveil our new set just in time for this year's Motherhood Event. Woohoo!

Here's a peek into the various options for this set:

Vintage style sofa. Perfect for boudoir, maternity and mommy and me.

Vintage style sofa. Perfect for boudoir, maternity and mommy and me.

Classic bedroom set with a vintage/urban flair. Perfect for maternity, babies, boudoir and more.

Classic bedroom set with a vintage/urban flair. Perfect for maternity, babies, boudoir and more.

Vintage Nursery set with real antique crib! Perfect for maternity, babies and mommy and me!

Vintage Nursery set with real antique crib! Perfect for maternity, babies and mommy and me!

We are soooooo excited to start shooting in this new set! We absolutely love it. We'd love to start shooting all types of sessions in it.

...and just to entice you, here's a very limited time special:

Hope to see you in the studio real soon!

xoxo

2017 Motherhood Event

Orange County Motherhood Photo Event

 

It's that time of year again ♥️

Our past Motherhood Events have been so popular, so of course we are going to bring it back for 2017! This year we are opening more indoor time slots so that we can accommodate even more mamas in our schedule!

If this is your first time participating, or even if this is your third time, here's a quick rundown:


Date:
April 8th
for indoor sessions
April 15th for outdoor sessions

 

Cost:
$600 for indoor
$750 for outdoor

 

What's included:
Professional Hair and Make-up
Wardrobe and Styling
At least 10 high resolution digital images

 

Perfect for:
Mommy and Baby(s)
Nursing Photos
Grandma and Grandbaby(s)
New Pregnancy with Baby(s)*

*please notify us if you are pregnant, so we can arrange maternity wardrobe ♥️


Here's a sneak peek into last year's successful Motherhood Event:

How the day works:

First, you will arrive for your scheduled appointment time and enjoy some hors d'oeuvres and beverages. Our talented make-up artist, Veronica, will welcome you back into our Mother's Room for some pampering while your little one(s) enjoy our Children's Suite. Our resident doula, Amber, will keep a close eye and make sure every baby/child is happy and content.

Please note: If your little one suffers from stranger anxiety or has trouble being away from mama, it's best to bring a friend or relative that can calm and reassure your sweet baby. After all, we want this to be a fun event with as few tears as possible.

After you've had your hair and make-up done, we will spend approx 20-30 minutes going over wardrobe options for you and your little one(s). We have an extensive collection of wardrobe options for mamas and babies up to 18 months. We also carry a large line of girl's dresses up to size 8.

Your photo session will take approximately 30 minutes and will consist of mostly candid shots of you interacting with your baby(s). You will be given direction, but we really want to capture the essence of your unique relationship with your child(ren).

 

What's new for 2017:

Motherhood Videos!
We are so excited to introduce your very own Motherhood Video as an add-on to your session this year. As much as we love photos around here, there is just something magical about capturing your relationship on video.

The best part? It only costs $150 to add on to your Motherhood Session! Make a note at checkout of this is something you'd like to add-on and we'll take care of it.
Take a look at a sample video here:

Ready to book your session?
Reserve your session time below.