Life's Unequal Beginnings

In my search for an easy recipe for garlic string beans I arrived upon a fascinating article and slideshow by Alice Proujansky. Alice is a documentary photographer whose stories focus on birth, education and the lives of women. Her birth photography is a poignant reminder of how challenging and dangerous birth can be in poor countries. 
" An estimated quarter of a million women die each year from pregnancy-related causes like pre-eclampsia."
The pictures I shared below are of the maternity ward of Juan Pablo Pina public hospital in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic. "The maternity ward, which saw 600 deliveries per month, lacked hot water and dependable electricity in a country whose maternal mortality rate was among the highest in the Caribbean. Caesarean sections were very common. The doctors and nurses were brusque, and women who had induced abortions illegally and then come to the hospital for care were scolded until they cried before being sent to recover beside newborn babies."
Viewing these images and reading the article about the conditions these women endure bringing life into the world makes me thankful for being (a) an American, (b) middle class, and (c) aware of my body's ability to birth without medical interventions. I think of these women, who have little rights and money, being forced into situations that are almost like entering a torture chamber. Can you imagine laboring on a thin plastic mattress on the floor without any loved ones to guide and support you while contractions ripe through your body? I think of the countries that circumcise female babies. I think of all the female babies that are aborted because their worth is established prior to becoming a fetus. Women definitely have it hard. My prayers goes out to every women able to conceive and carry a baby to term. 
A patient with her newborn baby in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic
For the slideshow of more images of "Birth Culture" by Alice Proujansky visit here and here.
Original Article in NY Times here.  A version of this op-ed appeared in print on March 10, 2013, on page SR6 of the New York edition with the headline: Life’s Unequal Beginnings.

Phelan Marc Photoshoot

A month before Lil D's birthday we made the long journey to Crofton, Maryland to have the brilliant Phelan Marc of Phelan Marc -- House of Photography Inc. capture Lil D in a formal portrait session. Months prior I ordered all the necessary accessories and outfits to go along with the themes I had in mind. Phelan exceeded all of my expectations! It was great, Lil' D enjoyed herself and it showed in her pics. Below are iPhone pics of her album.

 

 

 

 

 

Lil' D is 7 months old!!

This past weekend we celebrated my sister's bridal shower. We had a blast! Lil' D and I took our first train ride together-- take about tedious! She slept the entire ride coming and going so that was pleasant, but the amount of luggage I had to schlep on the stroller was insane. I was stressed from the journey. Anyway, TJ of Tunji Sarumi Photography took the time before the festivities to have an impromptu photo shoot of Lil' D. She was eating it up, posing and smiling.

Lil' D is pulling herself up to stand. She turns her head from side to side to focus on an object. She tries to mimic people's facial expressions and she loves to smile and laugh out loud. She started to say "mama" {much to her Papi's chagrin}.


Photo Credit: Tunji Sarumi Photography 

Tia Mowry Pregnancy Pic

"I know that there are people out there who say that there is nothing sexy about being pregnant," says Tia Mowry. "Then there are some people who embrace the sexuality." 

Photo credit: Dimitry Loiseau

"I feel empowered; I feel sexy," says Mowry, who's expecting a baby boy on July 3. ~Source

Inspired to pose for the photo by her mother – who regrets not having taken such a shot herself – the actress admits that she's a little "obsessed" with her glammed-up pregnancy pic. 

Birth Announcements for Baby Cruz

My ESTIMATED due date is soon upon us and its time for me to think about birth announcements. I definitely want something letterpressed, with calligraphy, and a picture of Baby Cruz. A bit much you say, oh well I'm a stationery junky and these announcements must be all that and a bag of chips. Hey they are the formal introduction of our little prince/princess to the world.

 

{From IJORERE The Invitation Inc.}

{From IJORERE The Invitation Inc.}

{Forgot Source}

{From I forgot source}

 {From Sugar Paper}

 

Maternity Pin Up Boudoir with Glamour Bitch Photography

Yesterday my little sister and I ventured to parts unknown in southern New Jersey to have Dawn Doughtery of Glamour Bitch Photography take maternity pictures of me. Yesterday I was 35 weeks and 5 days preggo and besides having "cankles" I feel like my pictures looked amazing!! Thank you Dawn and Shannon (Super amazing makeup + hair artist) for making me feel beautiful, comfortable, and sexy so far along in my pregnancy. You ROCK!

My family and hubbie are going to be mad and call me an exhibitionist for posting this but hey I love my pictures they are sooo good I had to share. I'll deal with the repercussions later. Here is one of my shots.

Northern Virginia Baby Photographer

Love this shot from Bonnie Coulbourne Photography!!

For more pictures from this shoot check here.

"Northern Virginia Maryland DC Washington D.C. photographer Bonnie Horseman Coulbourne specializing in maternity and pregnancy portraits, newborn, baby, high school senior, family, child, birth, children's photography. Professional Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC photographer Bonnie Horseman Coulbourne has a photography studio located in loudoun county, northern Virginia. Specializing in maternity portraits, pregnancy, newborn, baby, child, family, high school senior, bridal, hospital birth and children's photography."- From here

Phelan Marc House of Photography

My sister sent me an email several weeks ago and told me that she found the perfect newborn photographer based out of D.C. She mentioned I should check out his Facebook page and from there I fell in love. Phelan Marc House of Photography has many albums on Facebook with amazing pictures. This post is dedicated the two of these albums "Born Fabulous: Newborns" and "Little Wonders: Children".