Avery Quinn Levy

Well, you guys. I took on another birth. And it was just as amazing as it was the first time around. Birth truly blows my mind. How we can grow another human baffles me. It's a miracle. And even more of a miracle when you get to witness bringing that human to this side of eternity with your own two eyes. My hands shake, my heart pounds, and my eyes fill with tears.

I met the Levy family, owners of Blue Whale Studios, last year when they reached out to me about taking some family photos. They had just moved to the Atlanta area from Orlando to start up another business location. I was intrigued by their careers as professional makeup artists. One of their most recent projects being special effects makeup for The Walking Dead. How cool?! They have a calmness about them that's unexplainable. It's easy being around them, and each time I've been in contact with them, I learn something new, which I love. 

Now, let me set the stage for this mama. She is superwoman. When I took photos for them last, she was 6 months pregnant, and was the most beautiful pregnant woman I had ever seen. She was flawless. About 1 month before her due date, she broke both bones in her leg below the knee. She was determined to have a home birth, and was going to push through her broken leg and contractions to make it happen.

Crystal's contractions began around midnight on January 13. Around 5am, Crystal let me know her midwife was heading over. I continuously checked in with Crystal, and with a 2 hour drive ahead of me, I arrived around 10am. The house was calm and relaxing. Crystal's water had just been broken, and she was steadily pushing through her contractions like a champion. Her first born, Olivia, was so connected and concerned for her mama. She wanted to be near her at all times. Over the next 6 hours, Crystal relaxed in a bath, attempted different birthing positions, and continued to push through contractions. Her strength was miraculous. After determining Baby Avery wasn't going to drop, the Levy family and the midwife decided it was best to deliver at the hospital. So, we packed up and headed to Atlanta.

Dr. Bradford Bootstaylor, the labor & delivery doctor of Dekalb Medical Center, would be delivering Baby Avery. I can not speak highly enough of Dr. Bootstaylor. I have never met a more calm, personable, and kind doctor. From the moment I met him, I understood why the Levy family chose this hospital and this doctor. After he explained that a c-section would be the best route for the Levy family and Baby Avery, he made sure that the procedure was as close to the home birth they had hoped for. He turned down the lights, and explained everything he would be doing in full detail. He lowered the curtain before bringing Baby Avery into the world, and truly allowed Crystal and Jonah to be 100% included in the birth of their baby. Now, that seems silly as I even type this because isn't that how it SHOULD be? Too often we encounter doctors who act more as dictators than doctors making you feel that you don't have a choice or a say in the way things go. Unfortunately, I experienced this with the birth of my son in December of 2015. It was traumatizing and I didn't see him or hold him until I was out of the operating room. I truly believe it is imperative to the bond between mother/baby to have a pleasant birth experience, and too often this doesn't happen. It is something that isn't often discussed, but there are many mothers out there who have difficulty bonding with their baby long after birth. I know this because I was one of them.

The Levy family did not find out the gender of Baby Avery (and it made this experience so much fun for me!). Dr. Bootstaylor did such an incredible job of including Crystal and Jonah that Crystal was actually the one who announced the gender of Baby Avery! At 8:41pm, Crystal spoke the words that we had been waiting for, "It's a GIRL!"

The Levy family is now home enjoying their time as a family of FOUR. I am so thankful that our paths crossed, and that I was able to document this incredibly special moment in time. Experiencing the birth of another is something that just goes unmatched. Congratulations to the Levy's, and thank you for allowing me to be part of this special day!

*The Levy family has requested and prefers not to have their children's faces on social media, but take it from me that Avery was beautiful & perfect!