I am an on-location, natural light photographer based in Dallas, Texas. My style is based on beautiful light, pastels, and intimate connections. My goal is to beautifully capture the most precious moments in your life in a way that you will cherish for many years to come. I can't wait to get to know you!
Everyone’s birth story is unique and beautiful. Every woman that delivers a baby is so strong regardless of which way they choose to do it. This is just MY experience with a natural delivery vs. my first delivery with an epidural.
I had not been feeling well on Tuesday, so I asked the hubby to work from home on Wednesday and he could accompany me to my 39-week appointment. On Wednesday morning, we went to the appointment to get checked, and Santi’s head was really low in the pelvis. I was 3cm dilated and the doctor said I could go into labor soon! We picked-up lunch on the way home and went about the rest of our day like normal.
At 10 pm that evening I went into active labor. It began with mild contractions, so my hubby and I decided to go on a walk around the neighborhood park. The contractions started getting stronger and closer together, so we headed back to the house. Once we were back home I got in the hot bathtub and labored there for about an hour. Afterwards I laid in bed for a little bit, but the contractions suddenly got way more intense. At that point, it had only been 2 hours since labor had started, so I felt like it was way too soon to go to the hospital (for comparison, with my first baby I labored for 12 hours at home before going to the hospital). It got to the point where I could no longer handle the pain, so I told the hubby we needed to head to the hospital to get an epidural right away.
The car ride felt like the longest 20 minutes of my life. I told myself I would just have to make it through 4 more contractions (I had them 5 mins apart) before we got to the hospital, and I could get the epidural. The pain was so extreme that I could no longer feel like I was in control.
As soon as we got to the hospital, I was wheeled-in to get checked out. They could tell I was in a lot of pain, so the nurses checked my cervix right away. Surprisingly, I was 9.5-10 cm dilated and the baby was ready to come out. The room quickly filled with nurses and I begged for an epidural, so they called-in the anesthesiologist. Unfortunately he advised against the epidural because it would take 30 minutes to prep and another 30 minutes for it to take effect. The midwife said the baby could come any minute, so there was no way I would have time to get it or even benefit from it. I asked if there were any other options for pain relief but there were none. They said I would just have to push through it and relief would come once the baby was out.
After a couple more extremely painful contractions my water broke, and I started feeling the urge to push. The pain was so intense that I seriously thought I was going to die. It was truly unimaginable. When another contraction came I was determined to push as hard as I could. It was the hardest push of my life. Everyone said the baby was almost out, so I took a deep breath and pushed one more time as hard as I could.
Santi was born at 1:48 am (3.5 hours of labor) at UT Southwestern in Dallas. As soon as he came out I felt relief that instant!!! I was handed my sweet baby, and it was honestly the best feeling in the world. I was so proud I was able to push him out, and now I had the literal fruit of my labor in my arms. Even though the pain was extreme, I would say that I have had an overall positive and peaceful feeling about my labor experience. I had no idea things could happen so quickly!
So far, the recovery has been 10000% better than with an epidural. I was able to get up and walk around almost instantly with minimal pain. I had less tearing this time and the lack of lingering epidural side effects is a huge plus.
If I were to have another baby, I would choose to get an epidural when the time comes. For me, the benefits of the epidural providing pain relief outweigh the benefits of having an easier and faster recovery. Of course, everyone’s experience is different, and some women love the natural experience. It is simply not my personal preference.
Now let’s talk about a Fresh 48 photo session! As a photographer, I was so excited to take professional photos of my baby at the hospital.
You’ve probably heard of childbirth and newborn photos, but have you heard of Fresh 48?
Fresh 48 refers to the first 48 hours after your baby is born. Usually, Fresh 48 photos are taken anywhere from 12-48 hours after birth.
So many photo-worthy moments come and go in the blink of an eye at the beginning of a new baby’s life: the labor experience, baby’s first breath, mamma and baby meeting, the moment dad lays eyes on baby, happy tears, newborn cuddles, sibling meetings, and more. It’s wonderful to be able to capture many of these “firsts” that you can then treasure for years to come.
Birth, Fresh 48, and Newborn photos are each special in their own way, so here’s my overview for your comparison:
Birth photos – These photos show you on the labor journey (the beautiful, intense hours leading up to that life-changing moment your baby arrives), delivery, and your baby’s first moments after birth. These photos usually are completely candid. This is such a vulnerable time for us mammas. Still, it really can be a special, unique time to document for you and your family.
Fresh 48 photos– As I noted above, these photos are taken within your baby’s first 2 days, generally at the hospital or wherever you’ve given birth. If you aren’t comfortable with having your photo taken during labor & delivery. In that case, these types of images are an excellent option. You can capture your just-hours-old baby after you’ve had a chance to rest and recuperate after birth. If you have older siblings, this can be the perfect opportunity to take photos of their first meeting with their younger brother or sister.
Newborn photos – Who hasn’t seen adorable newborn pictures on Instagram or online? Whether capturing candid moments of your little family at home with your newest addition, or sweet photos of your baby on their own, these photos are perfect for remembering your baby’s first weeks. . . how tiny they are, the cutest little baby feet, etc.
Ana Dufreche is an elite hybrid family and wedding photographer servicing the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. She aims to capture the most precious moments in people's lives and create a story for them to relive for years to come.