Welcome to the Hannah Carr Photography Blog! I'm so glad you're here! I'm Hannah, owner and photographer at Hannah Carr Photography and I specialize in capturing natural, raw, authentic moments for joyful and down-to-earth seniors, couples, and families.  This is a safe place where I share my internal thoughts about my work, personal life, and all things photography related. Take a look around and see what you can find! I don't bite and love to interact with my visitors - like a post, leave a comment, or share a post you find interesting!

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January 5, 2021

A Thanksgiving Blessing | Hallie’s Birth Story

I wasn’t supposed to have a baby in November. Actually, I wasn’t supposed to have a baby until near Christmas, but God had another plan. What I though would be another weekly appointment quickly turned into a 28 hour labor and the most joyful moment of my life. A whole month before her due date, Hallie was born and has been an absolute blessing ever since.

It has taken me about a month to write this blog post. When I wished to have a child, I didn’t know just how much I would be wrapped around their little finger. It is so easy to get caught up in the busy world, but having a child forces you to slow down and appreciate what you have and the people you have around you. Times like this makes me grateful for my photography career so that I can capture and reflect on all of these moments and the ones to come.

Below I have reflected on my day of induction and the birth of my daughter, Hallie Rose Carr. I hope this blog post helps someone out there who has to go through something similar.

It was Tuesday, November 24th. I woke up thinking it would be just another normal day. Boy I was wrong. I had gotten up earlier than normal to send my husband off to his veterinary school clinical rotation. He had to be there at 6AM that morning, so we were up around 4:30AM. I am usually an early riser; I am typically up around 7AM, but anything sooner than that gives me a headache, extreme sleepiness that lasts all day, and dry eyes. Once I had sent my husband on his way, I settled back into bed for another hour or two of sleep. My alarm went off at 8AM and I started in on my morning routine. The two extra hours of sleep did not help, by the way; my head was pounding and my eyes burned.

I just want to say that I had been doing photography full time since September, so my days had been pretty uneventful leading into the last few weeks of pregnancy. I stayed at home working on the business side of things, only leaving on Tuesdays to my appointments or to the grocery store. (hello pandemic for not allowing me to go anywhere else)
Anyways, I started my day with a long hot shower, blow dried my wet hair to an “almost acceptable” state, put on a loose v neck shirt and black stretchy maternity pants. I was good to go. Leading up to this week (36), I hadn’t documented my growing pregnant belly, but for some reason… I decided to do it that day. The pictures weren’t glamorous because 1) I’m not really into taking pictures of my self, especially with exposed skin, and 2) I wasn’t feeling well that morning. I may be a photographer, but I suck at taking pictures of myself and my daily life events. I just knew, though, that I would want the picture to reflect back on in the future. So I took the picture and even included it below. (Yikes!)

Well, as I said above, I don’t do well when I get up super early. Taking the extra hour of sleep that morning seemed like a good idea, but it put me behind in my routine. Normally when I sleep until 7, I shower, get ready, then cook a nice breakfast that fuels my body for my growing baby. Her favorite was 2 scrambled eggs (with cheese, of course!), a slice of toast, and some orange juice. This always had her moving at my appointments. Anyways, this time I felt very rushed and was still feeling a little sleep deprived or light headed. It was rough. I almost settled for a soft taco shell full of shredded cheese and ham slices (heated, of course!) but decided… no… I need to make sure I eat a good lasting breakfast. So I still made her favorite… I just had to inhale it within minutes instead of relaxing on the couch while eating it. (Yes, my family are couch eaters) Once I downed my food, I set off to my appointment.

It’s about a 25 minute drive to my OB’s office building and honestly, I still wasn’t feeling better. Even after listening to K-LOVE, I was still feeling pretty bad. I listen to this station daily and it usually calms my nerves and (hopefully) lowers my blood pressure while I’m driving. Anyways, my appointment lineup was ultrasound, NST, then regular appointment. Once to the building, I went into the ultrasound department where I got to see my baby girl smooshed up in my belly where she let out an occasional yawn.

Side story: I had tested positive for Covid-19 when I was 24 weeks pregnant, so they had weekly ultrasounds scheduled ever since week 30 to monitor her growth. They had no idea how Covid-19 affected unborn babies, so they wanted to make sure nothing crazy would happen.

As per usual, she met all of her checkpoints that they looked for each week. At 32 and 36 weeks, they do measurements so I also got a guestimate of her weight: she was guessed to be 5lbs 15oz.

After the ultrasound, I went to my Non Stress Test and everything was great. Now it was time for my OB appointment. Once I got into the waiting room across the hall, I was struck with an intense tiredness. My head had an intense pressure and I just wanted to go home. They called me back and did the routine measurements for weight and blood pressure. My BP was pretty high. It was like 146/101 if I recall correctly. Once I spoke to the doctor, she decided to send me across the street to the labor and delivery ward of the hospital for further monitoring. She said they would monitor me for another hour and if my BP doesn’t lower itself, they would admit me and we’d be meeting our baby girl that day.

I was slightly worried about having Hallie early, but nothing good comes from fretting over something you cannot control. So, remaining as calm as I could manage, I went over to Labor and Delivery and checked myself in.

An hour had passed and my OB came in to inform me that my BP hadn’t dropped and the bloodwork they took in L+D came back with elevated liver enzymes. Great…. Preeclampsia signs. She then said “congratulations, you’re having a baby tomorrow!” It was about noon and they scheduled to induce me at 2pm.

My husband was at his clinical rotation, so I texted him. Well actually I had sent him a snap chat message before coming to L+D and he had yet to see it. We normally communicate via snap chat because it is quicker and, well, WiFi! Anyways, I decided to send a real text so he could at least see the context.

A couple of minutes later, I get a frantic phone call from him. He is legit freaking out and I just keep telling him it’s okay. He had been working on a bull at the hospital and hadn’t been able to read his messages. He was a little upset I hadn’t called beforehand, but honestly I did it to keep myself calm. I didn’t want a lot of frantic worries when I didn’t know if there was anything to worry about just yet. After speaking to the doctor and him, we decided it was best if he went home to pack our hospital bag because Procrastinator Penelope over here didn’t do it yet thinking she had another week or two before this all was to happen.

Just a little after 2PM, we were finally together and settled in for the laboring of our daughter…. which took from 2pm on Tuesday to 6:41pm on Wednesday. It was the longest time of my life. Because I was admitted for preeclampsia, they had me hooked up to Magnesium Oxide to prevent any seizures I may endure. Let me tell you, I HATED that stuff. It made me feel like a million degrees and drunk as hell. Excuse my language there, but it truly was awful. After 28 hours in labor, I ended up having a cesarean birth due to not being able to progress past 5cm. Honestly, I was ready to be done with labor and was all for the C-section. And if I could have done it earlier, I would. I also recommend the epidural! It helped me get through the long labor by making the contractions nothing but annoying dull aches.

So around 6:15pm, they came in to let us know I wasn’t progressing and that the baby’s head was already swollen from the pressure of trying to come through my pelvis at 5cm. My husband had been on phone tree duty and had just enough time to tell my parents we were going into surgery when they came to get me. Fast forward just a few minutes, at 6:41PM, I heard our baby’s first cry. That is the most rewarding sound ever! Theres so much emotion that overtakes you. You had worked so hard and endured so much pain to be rewarded with such a wonderful blessing.

Going into our birth, the NICU pediatrician talked to us. With Hallie being a 36 week old baby, a late pre-term baby, there was a chance her lungs would still have fluid in them and she would need a few days in the NICU. Those precious cries meant she didn’t have to!

Honestly, all of this didn’t go as I had imagined in my head… but it was all worth it. God definitely had something to do with it. As they were pulling Hal out of me, they said the umbilical cord was wrapped three times around her little neck. There was no way she was going to come out vaginally. It was a miracle that I happened to have high BP that day and a miracle that they decided to do a cesarean birth when they did.

So at 6:41pm on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 we met our 6lb 0.1oz, 19.75in baby girl. And everything since then has been amazing.

Looking back, God was taking care of me.

I hadn’t taken pictures of my belly the whole pregnancy… yet that day, I did. And I’m glad because I would always be curious of how big my belly got with my little 6lb baby.

I could have left the house without eating anything, or eating something small to curve my hunger until I could eat lunch… yet I cooked my normal 2 eggs, toast, and juice. And good thing I did because I wasn’t allowed solids from when I was admitted at noon on Tuesday until Thursday morning.

I could have not had a headache and my blood pressure could have been normal and I would have been sent home with no issues… yet the headache did exist and my BP was high… and all for good reason because we found out my baby had a cord wrapped around her neck.

Looking back on things, you can always see God’s presence. In the moment, you don’t realize it but when you meditate on what happened and all the events leading up to a moment, you see His Grace and His Protection.

  1. Hannah Carr says:

    My baby is almost two! I cannot be more grateful for a skill set that allows me to freeze time when it seems to pass so quickly!

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