Dominic's Newborn Session by Lauren Jolly Photography

I am THRILLED to be sharing Dom's newborn by my good friend Lauren Jolly Photography with you today! Lauren and I met through a local photography group when Alex and I moved to Winston about a year ago and she quickly became a wonderful friend! Lauren and her husband Vaughan and their sweet son Finn attend Emmanuel now and it has been such a joy to get to know Lauren and her family. Lauren is a very talented newborn/birth film photographer and I was overjoyed to have her capture such a special time in our lives! Here are some of my favorites:

Dominic's Nursery Reveal

I had SO much fun putting Dom's nursery together! Seriously, it is probably the most put together room in our house right now. :) I created this board on Pinterest as I brainstormed ideas. My goal was a gender-neutral nursery and so I went with a gray color scheme with pops of blue and turquoise. I really wanted a gender neutral nursery that I can use again, Lord willing, when we have more children.

My goal was to get this photographed before Dom arrived but he came a little earlier than expected so I just got the chance to take pictures. :) I ended up taking them while wearing Dom on me in the Solly Baby Wrap because he currently insists on being held 24/7. #newbornlife :) Scroll through the whole post to see pictures and you'll find sources for everything at the end!

Sources: 
Bible Verse Signs: Joyfully Said Signs; Animal Wall Prints: Homegoods; White Dresser & Blue Nightstand: Vintage; Crib: Given to us and painted with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint; Mobile: Target; Pillows: Homegoods & IKEA; Stuffed Animal in Crib: Pottery Barn Kids; Crib Sheet: Target; Rug: Rugs USA; Pouf & fur rug: Homegoods; Glider: Craigslist (originally purchased from Wayfair); Shelf: IKEA; Letterboard: Amazon; Shoes: Target; Changing Pad Cover: Target; Storage Bin: Target; Curtain rods: Target; Curtains: Target; Sheep book ends: Amazon; Bookshelves: IKEA

Dominic Fisher DiPrima's Birth Story

Dominic's birth story: 

It's hard to believe I'm already sharing Dom's birth story! He wasn't due until October 27th so I fully expected to still be pregnant with him at this point (my mom was two weeks late with me and I just assumed my baby would come late too!). I love reading birth stories and so I wanted to share Dom's story for those of you who are interested!

Towards the end of my pregnancy, Dom was measuring small and, more specifically, his abdomen was in the third percentile. The abdomen being so small in comparison to the rest of his body can be a sign that the baby is no longer getting all the nutrients he needs from the placenta. My doctor thought he was likely just a small baby because I'm so small, but he felt like it would be safest to induce me early at 38 weeks in case there was any problem with the placenta. I was pretty disappointed because I really wanted to go into labor naturally and I've heard a lot of stories about how being induced early can be a very long process because your body isn't ready for labor yet and it can be a lot more painful because you're given picotin which causes sudden and strong contractions to hit you instead of the natural build up of contractions you get in normal labor. Even my doctor told me to be prepared that it would likely be at least a 24 hour process. I was also disappointed because I knew I'd be confined to the hospital bed since they would have to monitor me continuously instead of walking around, getting on the exercise ball, etc. like I had planned to do to work through contractions. But I knew that God was in control and ultimately, I wanted whatever the doctors thought would be best for Dominic!

One of the nice things about being induced was that we had a week's notice! Granted, I had NOT expected Dom to come 2 weeks early so the week before I was going to be induced was definitely a major crunch time to try and finish things out with my job and get everything prepared for him to arrive. The night before I was going to be induced, Alex and I went out to dinner and had Pad Thai (which seemed like a fitting meal to have before the birth of our son since we also had Thai food on our first date together!). I woke up on Monday morning, 10/16, nervous and SUPER excited to meet our baby boy! Alex made me a hearty breakfast of pumpkin waffles and bacon and we finished packing our things to head to the hospital. After we got to the hospital we waited around for a few hours and finally around 1:30pm that day they gave me a drug called cytotec to begin the inducement. Because I was only 1cm dilated they couldn't start picotin until I dilated further. The doctor told me they'd give me doses of cytotec every 4 hours and that it could be 12 hours before I started having any contractions. My friend Andrea and my sister-in-law Sam and Erin all planned to be at the delivery with Alex and so I told all of them that they should hold off coming and likely nothing would be happening until late Monday night or Tuesday.

Sam decided to just be there from the beginning so after I got the cytotec Alex, Sam, and I played a few rounds of Skip Bo to keep my mind off the waiting! I started getting contractions within an hour or two of getting the drug but I figured they were probably not anything to get excited about and that I'd be experiencing those for a long time before I dilated much. By the time 5:30pm rolled around and it was time to get my second dose, the contractions had picked up a lot and they were still bearable but they were feeling a lot more intense then I was expecting for that early on. I asked the doctor to check me and I was SO nervous he was going to say I had barely progressed at all. To my shock, he said that I was already at a 3.5 or 4!!!! My plan was to make it at least to 3 or 4 before getting the epidural because I knew once they gave me Pictotin the contractions would get really intense. Well to my surprise again, the doctor said the cytotec basically induced me into "natural" labor and I wouldn't even need the Picotin. I guess Dom was ready to come out and meet us and he just needed a little boost! I was still managing the contractions but I decided to go ahead and order the epidural since I knew it would take some time to get to me. Boy am I glad I did because in the 30 minutes before the anesthesiologist got to my room, my contractions got much worse and it was so hard not being able to move around at all! Those were the most intense 30 minutes of labor when I experienced the most pain. 

I was SO happy when the anesthesiologist got there and the epidural was no big deal! It took less than 10 minutes and I only felt a small amount of pressure. After getting the epidural, I felt amazing! I couldn't believe that it took the pain away and yet I still had some feeling in my feet and could feel pressure. After a few minutes, I started feeling a lot of pain again on my left side. I thought "Oh no, it didn't take on my left side and I'm going to feel everything!" The anesthesiologist told me to tell them if I started feeling pain so we called them back in and they added another dose of medicine to my epidural and then I felt great! The doctor checked me again and Alex said (half jokingly because I'd only been in labor about 5 hours), "Alright doctor, tell us she's at a 6!" My doctor turned around and said, "How does a 7 sound?!....now an 8!" I could NOT believe it. Shortly after that, I thought I started feeling some pressure and the urge to push. We called the nurse in and had her check me again and she said I was at a 10!!!! She said the doctor had actually left the hospital for 15 minutes to grab dinner so she said I'd have to hold it or they'd find someone else to deliver me. Um...what?! I think they were just all shocked HOW quickly Dom was ready to come out. So I literally laid there for 20 minutes trying not to push. I kept telling my friend Andrea that I was afraid he was just going to come out (I kept thinking of all those stories you hear of women delivering in cars, etc.). Once the doctor got there I started pushing. That was an incredible experience knowing that with each push, I was getting one step closer to meeting my baby! I pushed with each contraction for about 15 minutes and then Dom's head came out and the rest of his body quickly followed! He arrived at 8:45pm on 10/16/17! I wish I could say my first thought was happy but my immediate first thought was, "he's so small and purple...is he ok?!?!" They had to take right away (not out of the room just over to the side) to check him because he was so small. Thankfully he was fine and they gave him right back to me. I started crying and couldn't believe this beautiful baby boy was mine!!!

I got to hold him for about an hour and then they weighed him and told me he was 5lbs 2oz and 19" long. That was also a surprise because I was expecting him to be at least 5.5 or 6lbs because at my last ultrasound they had told me he was 5.5lbs. Labor honestly was an amazing experience and one I'll cherish forever! I know God definitely blessed me with an easy labor and I am so thankful! I'm still in awe of how God's intricate design for bringing life into the world and that I carried this beautiful baby inside of me for 9 months!

Dominic's Name Meaning:

We decided to name our son Dominic Fisher DiPrima. We like Dominic because of how Italian it is and that it goes well with DiPrima. We also like the nicknames you get from it like "Dom" and "Nico." "Dominic" also has a great meaning, it is a Latin name that means "Belonging to God." Dom's middle name is "Fisher" after Alex's mentor and long-time pastor, Pastor Fisher. Pastor Fisher married Alex's parents, he married us, he's been Alex's pastor most of his life, and he has poured his life into Alex's and been a huge part of the man and pastor Alex is today. We couldn't think of a better namesake than Pastor Fisher and I pray that Dom grows up to become a godly man like him.

Thankfully Sam took some pictures of the birth on my camera and she did an AMAZING job! I think she may have a future in birth photography! Here's a few of my favorites ( and stay tuned for more posts soon on Dom's nursery and his newborn pictures):

Downtown Greensboro | Amanda & Kemp's Engagement Pictures | A Greensboro, NC Wedding Photographer

I had a blast with Amanda and Kemp during their session! We met at Fisher Park and then made our way downtown Greensboro and got pictures in the lovely garden behind their friend's brewery. Amanda is very sweet and Kemp kept us laughing the whole time! They both work at Elon but met on "Coffee Meets Bagel" (hence the coffee and bagel pictures during their session). Here's a few of my favorites from their session:

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Elkin Creek Vineyard | Julia & Tony's Engagement Session | A Winston-Salem, NC Wedding Photographer

Julia and Tony wanted to take their engagement pictures at a vineyard because they got engaged at a vineyard. There a lots of lovely vineyards around Winston-Salem and we had a great time at Elkin Creek (tip for my future couples: vineyards are a great option for engagement pictures!). I love when my couples choose a location that is meaningful to them! We actually took these pictures the day before hurricane Irma hit so we fit them in just in time. :) I had so much fun getting to know Julia and Tony during their session and I can't wait for their July wedding at the lovely Merrimon-Wynne house!

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