a day in the life | the albrecht family

I got to spend an amazing day with a beautiful family. Here's a bit of our day, and below some of their story: 

Last fall, Dominick, the oldest of 4 kids, was busy playing football. It's what he did when he wasn't busy with wrestling season. But then he wasn't feeling the greatest. Doctors thought it was mono for a while, but after he wasn't getting better, more tests were run.  

Dominick was soon diagnosed with T cell A.L.L. (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). 

The great news is that Dominick is responding to treatment.  Because leukemia is in your blood they treat it very aggressively with chemo therapy and try to get remission after 30 days. Dominick made it at 90 days. They determine this with bone marrow biopsies. They, then, continue weekly chemos (sometimes multiple chemos) for 9 mths to a year. This includes intrathecal chemo (spinal taps and spinal injections) to treat his brain and spinal fluid, even though he was lucky and currently does not have the cancer there, they still treat it.

After the first year of front-line, he then starts long term maintenance. This is 2 1/2 years of monthly IV and IT chemo therapy and daily pill chemo at home. Dominick's treatment end date is scheduled for 1-12-2020. 

Dominick is considered intermediate risk due to his higher age and slow remission. His team has told us a cure rate of 80% and a relapse rate of 20%.


His mom, Elizabeth said it best when she stated, "Those are good odds! However, think about having a birthday party for your child and 9 friends, knowing that 2 of those children won't be attending for the next years birthday party......"

So please, watch this video and keep the Albrecht family -- especially Dominick in your thoughts. 

If you feel moved to do so, and are able, a donation to St. Baldrick's Foundation is an incredible way to lend support. Elizabeth taught me that, "Our government only allocates 4% of cancer funds/research to pediatric cancers. This is why most children are taking chemotherapy drugs meant for adults. Many children die of complications from treatment, not the cancer itself. We need different therapies made for pediatric patients!" 

This is an additionally tragic aspect of childhood cancer that I had no idea about, and makes my hands feel much less tied when diagnoses like Dominick's are given. 

 




 

augustine | a birth story | St. Paul Birth Photographer + Videographer

A story of a beautiful birth at Willow Birth Center

Sometimes, I am hired for families who know that this is their last pregnancy. This is their last time through this wild, intense, beautiful journey. And what a privilege that is.

Especially, for families who haven't had professional birth photography before, they know how much of the experience of birth, for the birthing person, is internal. They know that they enter a birth blur and often have very little recollection from active labor to when baby is placed atop their chest -- and sometimes for a bit after that. 

Seeing their birth journey replayed for them shows so many new aspects and interactions that they hadn't noticed while their mind and body worked so tirelessly to bring forth new life. 

They are able to reminisce about the words they spoke upon meeting their baby, how that wee babe's cries sounded on day one, all the sights, and sounds, and movements, that are so easily lost to the whirlwind of a new baby. 

This beautiful family birthed their third child with the midwives at Willow Birth Center, supported by doula, Landon, of Have Heart Doula Services -- an incredible family surrounded by exceptional care givers. 

St. Paul Birth Photographer + Videographer

Evelyn | Minneapolis Home Birth | Twin Cities Birth Photography & Films

Twenty-eight years ago, I was woken up by a midwife who took my hand and brought me into my parents' bedroom, where my mom lay reclined on my father, working hard to bring my new sibling Earthside. 

At three years old, I stood by my mother's side, caressing her cheek and wiping her brow, telling her that she could do it and that everything was going to be alright. 

And I watched the incredible woman before me bring forth the life she created in her belly. They asked if I wanted to cut the cord, and I did, with the midwives help (which I resented a little bit, 'cause I was a big girl). 

These memories are some of my earliest, most vivid, and certainly most treasured. And then, late last year, that same sister, no longer tiny and squishy, but now all grown up, and equally beautiful announced her pregnancy and asked me to document the birth day of this baby. 

So a little over a month ago, I had the incredible honor to stand again at the side of a woman I cherish and reassure her that she could do this and that all would be okay. My little sister, reclining on her husband, brought forth new life -- with my own mother, as midwife, there to catch baby -- and I was there to capture it all. 

A woman birthing, now catching.

A baby born, now birthing.

And me, standing near, holding witness to the immense strength, the incredible love, the loops that life draws. 

Glimpse of a Day in the Life | St. Paul Storytelling Photographer

I recently got to spend part of a day with three generations of a beautiful family as they typically do on Saturday mornings in the spring: browsing the St. Paul Farmers' Market and then strolling down to the river. I love being a storytelling photographer to capture the real moments, the everyday beautiful moments, the catches of time that preserve a bit of what life is like for your family today. Here's a sneak peek of our time together.

St. Paul Storytelling Photographer, St. Paul Farmers Market. 

Welcome Fitzgerald | Twin Cities Birth Photographer

Most people announce baby with just a picture. For this family, I created a mini-video for them to share with family and friends announcing the arrival of their newest little one. This beautiful family met their babe after a long labor. Strong, gorgeous, and so so so much love. Birth stories like this are why I love being a Twin Cities birth photographer. 

Twin Cities Birth Photographer. Woodwinds Hospital, Woodbury, MN. 

the Nickell family | a day in the life

 

 

Our children grow so quickly. Their little bodies grow faster than the piles of laundry, their tiny voices chatter with such frequency that we don't always hear the preciousness of their words. This is what video helps to capture, the movements, the sounds, the moments. 

This sweet family welcomed a new baby not too many weeks ago and asked me to come document what a day in their life feels like. Waking up, tub time, games and stories, I had such a wonderful day capturing the moments between these beautiful people.