Crystal Lee 


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Emily Rey’s Birth Story & Star Wars Themed Newborn Session

Jul 22, 2019

This is undoubtedly the most personal post I’ve ever written. The past few months have been such an intense rollercoaster and never in a million years did I anticipate such a dramatic finale. Today I am proud to share with you my baby girls first studio portraits along with her incredible (and unexpected) birth story.

Some of you may already know that this pregnancy hit a rough turn at our 20 week ultrasound when we were told there was a pretty significant chance that our baby could come as early as 24 weeks. This meant hormone pills, a ton of extra ultrasounds and being required to stay off of my feet “as much as possible.” I spent the entire month of June in bed or on the couch because walking and even sitting up for too long became painful. We spent every day that month preparing for her to come “any day now.”

Well… our little “high risk of preterm” baby earned her rebel status first by deciding that she was going to hang tight and go beyond full term.

Here is Emily’s first “official” portrait in the hospital at just 1 day old. I had no idea when I bought this hat that it would be so appropriate in describing her! #tinyrebel 

Our birth story begins on July 8th. We were scheduled for an induction that morning at 40 weeks, 2 days. But again, Emily chose to defy authority…

At 12:11am I tracked the first contraction in my pregnancy app. At 12:26 I was on contraction #5, which I dubbed “the never-ending contraction.” Fortunately my wonderful mother-in-law was in town and staying with us. She immediately called 911 and my wonderful husband stayed close to me. My water broke in loud, movie-style fashion and after 2 pushes Emily was safe in her Daddy’s hands at approximately 12:35am. Following the directions of the 911 operator, my 6 year old daughter Maddie got towels to wrap up the baby and my Hubby tied off the umbilical cord with a shoelace. (From his brand new sneakers… sorry, Babe!) The ambulance arrived 5 minutes later. 

Maddie was the calmest out of everyone and she really stepped up when things got crazy. She gave the 911 operator our address and got towels to help keep her baby sister warm. (When Emily was placed on my chest Maddie’s first words were “Can I pet her now?”) Six years old and this girl jumped into action like she was a grown adult. We’re so proud of her! And I guess now we don’t have to have any more talks about how babies are born. 😂

I’m still in awe as I sit here now reliving our experience. Literally everything we said would happen with this pregnancy and delivery went the opposite way.

  • Preterm baby? Make that full term plus 2.
  • Want an epidural? Nope, Emily decided we’re going all natural. (She also clearly thought I needed a new comforter set.)
  • Daytime delivery so that we have somewhere for Maddie to be? Nope, we’re delivering in the middle of the night with the 6 year old as a witness. (Thank goodness Grandma got an earlier flight than planned!)
  • Breastfeeding? Nah, we’re gonna make that so difficult that they make you stay an extra day in the hospital.
  • Daddy wasn’t even planning on cutting the umbilical cord, so naturally he ended up delivering the baby on his own. (Like a freaking rockstar! #besthusbandever)

I also have to take a minute and give a shoutout to the Myrtle Beach Fire Department and Horry County Fire Rescue. There aren’t words to describe how amazing the men were that showed up to my home in the middle of the night to help us with what was the most humbling experience of our lives. Thank you so much for taking such good care of me and my new baby. I’d also like to thank the 911 operator, who I later found out is a Myrtle Beach local, for being so patient and helpful in directing us over the phone. I understand that not all spontaneous home births have such a happy ending and we are beyond thankful for the team of people that were there to support us.

Sweet Emily is just perfect. Coming into the world at 7 pounds, 15 ounces and 19 3/4 inches, she’s fit right into our little family like she was always meant to be here. Someday Maddie will get to tell her little sister the story of how she was right there to help when she was born. At the hospital she held Emily proudly and said “We get to be sisters forever.”

Emily’s middle name is Rey so her sets were created to match her pink, grey and teal Star Wars themed nursery. (With a Harry Potter set just for me, of course!)

Without further ado, here are some of my favorite images!

Thank you so much for taking the time today to read our story. And thank you to all of my amazing clients for your patience and understanding over the past few months! I’m enjoying all of the baby snuggles I can get while I’m on maternity leave, and you can expect me back in the studio in mid-August.

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