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Category Archives: Birth Photography

I had been planning to do be there for the birth of baby Mulloy for months.  I had photographed his announcement that he was arriving in the world and I could not wait!  I don’t normally do birth photography being a wedding photographer and only do it for close friends and family since its a real personal type of photography.  So when they messaged me the first time of his impending arrival I was in FLORIDA visiting my son…and I was heartbroken…he was trying to make his arrival earlier than expected so his momma Lauren, a postpartum nurse at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, went on to the hospital to get checked out…sure enough 4cm and contractions…but they stopped and they sent her home!  I have to admit I did a little sigh of relief and happy dance in the Florida sun…because I knew how much it meant to everyone including me, to be there.  You see this little guy is special, and his Granna, and mommy and daddy and his big sister Tenley needed someone to tell his little story…and I wanted it to be me.

Fast forward a week and my phone was on high alert to their text messages or calls, she had contractions off and on and one more visit to the Dr’s and the call finally came!  They were admitting her…it was show time, and I just got goose bumps again remembering the excitement in their voices. So I packed my gear some snacks ready for the unpredictable hours that might be ahead of me, because you just never know how long these little people will take sometimes to make their grand entrance, they just sometimes take their time….but not this guy, he was kind of in a hurry once he decided it was time 🙂

Ok let’s just take a moment here…..Have you EVER seen a mom look this so put together going into delivery?  She was glowing…happy….anxious…and down right beautiful.  Her Dr. even said..”I have had super models and actresses here delivering and they did not look as good as you do right now!”  I had to agree she was flawless.

And Ben…well that smile…you will see never left his face I don’t think even one time the entire day.

Lauren and Ben knew about half way through their pregnancy that their little baby would be part of an elite group,

I am talking one in 40,000 special….and they were ready to help this little one conquer the world even with the challenges that might face him.

You see he was going to be born with only one hand and become part of the elite Lucky Fin club.

This limb difference is called Symbrachydactyly and it can affect one out of every 40,000 births.

The Lucky Fin Project is a 501c3 charity that brings awareness to this unique lifestyle of children with limb difference.

The bracelet Lauren is holding below is one of the ways this charity raises money and awareness.

In reading charities story I loved how they talked about the movie Finding Nemo…he had a lucky fin too 🙂 and how it didn’t stop him from accomplishing anything and everything he wanted.

I have no doubt that this little guy will do great things, you just watch and see!

Lauren has her own successful lifestyle blog called Minding Mulloy.  Please click on the link follow her blog and go read their story. Plus they are just so darn cute!

We were asked to wait out in the hall for a few minutes as they prepared for Lauren epidural and the admission of medicine to help her labor progress, then it was game on!

A little face time with the big sister in between contractions and popsicles…I tell you they are all smiles…all the time…it’s contagious.

Ok this one cracks me up…we all had our own way of passing time…mine was obviously taking detail photos of the surrounding area…Ben was doing core exercises…Sharon..aka Granna was thumbing through the latest version of a bridal magazine, meanwhile, Momma waited patiently for the next contraction…and that machine was measuring them off the charts…so the epidural was working like a charm…

Sharon and I stepped out to grab a quick bite in the cafeteria at 5:00 pm because we were told it could be a couple of hours…and no sooner than we sat down to eat we got the call…get back up here!  And from that moment it was GAME on…he was making his arrival and he was making it fast, the Dr came in to check and immediately said…”honey don’t push let me get my scrubs on first”  and once everything and everyone was in place…with 4 pushes little man Tate made his arrival at 5:36 pm weighing 7lbs 2oz (or 3oz…depending on who you ask lol) and 21 inches long!

These moments right here….they are the sweetest most intimate moments. Those first moments you get to hold a child you have been carrying beneath your heart for months.  Feeling them kick, feeling their hiccups, knowing when they are sleeping, when they are awake, giving your bladder a fit…but these moments right here…say it all…to hold them close to your heart on the outside is a whole different emotion in itself.

And then you hear the sigh and the exhale as the momma closes her eyes in sheer relief and joy that they are here and healthy and laying on her chest.

Skin to skin time with both parents is so important with newborns and so sweet.  They seem to just calm right back down.

 Tate Benjamin! I love that name!

I am pretty sure he was giving me the stank eye here…

Once he got his vitals done and all cleaned up complete with a cute blue hat it was time to meet everyone!

Granna and Grand Dude

Including his new big sister Tenley.

The strong arms and gentle touch of a loving dad are some of the most beautiful images.  They only get to feel the bumps of the baby from the outside so those moments after they are born and they hold their child with wonder….are magical.

The whole family wore their Lucky Fin Project Bracelets in honor of Little Man Tate.  How precious and lucky you are you little man. God knew what he was doing when he made this family yours!

Time for big sister to go home and go to bed.  She’s gonna need her rest, her job is so important.

While mom and dad settle in and enjoy the new love that has expanded their heart again.

Everyone says good night and the and mom and dad settle in for some rest.



Lauren, Ben, Tenely, Tate

I am SO blessed to have been there for you guys on this very special day.

Thank you for trusting me with this moment in your lives!

I can’t wait to see the adventures of Tate and Tenley.


Anchored in Love.

  • Jen Pennella - February 1, 2017 - 10:44 PM

    Oh my goodness, I just started crying reading your beautiful post. This is by far the most amazing story I have ever heard and you are one lucky photographer to have been able to capture such a beautiful time in this family’s life. Gorgeous photos wish I could hire you for mine! Simply beautiful xoReplyCancel

TRUTH…I am NOT a birth photographer…I am a wedding  and portrait photographer, I love weddings…it’s my mantra…I will say it over and over again….but I love a love story and this is a true love story that is close to my heart…so when your a photographer and your daughter gets engaged…gets married and has a baby…you take on a different genre of photography even if it’s one that is out of your comfort zone….even if it’s  birth photography. Our Amelia Grace blessed us with her arrival on November 7th at exactly 4:10am. I could not be more in LOVE…and so proud of my daughter and son in love…here is their birth story.


 FACT…Paula was the 12th baby born in this very hospital 27 years ago…in November….how ironic Amelia was born here too…in November.

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Early on…smooth sailing.

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Candy crush…but not for long.

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These girls are all mommies….and they are some of her best friend.  They have been there for each other through thick and thin…

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Things get serious quickly…pitocin working…epidural not working…she was a rock star to do this without a ton of pain meds and a ton of pitocin.

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She was still able to be goofy and  smile in-between contractions…but not for long….again Rock Star!

I am not sure where she got her  tolerance for pain…but I know it was NOT from me….I have zero!

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One of the hardest things to experience as a mom is watching your child suffer and not be able to do anything but hold their hand…it’s heart wrenching.

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They sat in the corner like church mice…awaiting their newest “girlfriend”

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One final push…and…

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Her birthday…..Welcome Amelia Grace.

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Daddy’s girl….already has him wrapped.

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Dr. Bass

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One proud daddy….this makes me cry every time I look at this.

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Amelia had some very special visitors her first 24 hours…Her Nanny and great grandma…

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Papa…her great grandpapa.

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Gam and grand-dad….they are pros…they have 3 more grand babies.

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Her Poppy…or Papa John…:) but I think that’s already taken and trademarked…

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I will be Mia…or Glam-ma. 😉 preferably Mia.

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Her new uncle Dr. Jake…

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She has no hope of being anything else but a Redskins fan.

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Waiting to go home….

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Thanks to Papa John…for picking up the camera…and capturing these.

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Practicing her girlie…pinky up etiquette.

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These dimples….oh my.

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Listening to some country music with momma…before heading home…

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Funny story:  When they took off her foot bracelet it set off the alarm in the hospital…alerting everyone and locking down doors we could not get out….we had to be escorted out through private elevators…just like rock stars!  🙂  Now that’s an exit.

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Three Stones…head off into their future… <3  It’s going to be grand.

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I will be the FIRST to admit…Birth photography is hard work…and worth every penny and more for what they charge for their coverage for this very important life moment….professional wedding photographers work an average of 8 to 10 hours, for an average of $3500.00 for their time, talent and images (and we work very HARD during those hours too)…but birth photographers work between 10 and 24 hours (with no respect to when that time starts or stops)…to capture moments that can NEVER be repeated for that child’s birth.  If your considering hiring a birth photographer (and you should! it’s so worth it to have those moments)  please please please contact Kimberlin Gray Photography.  She is truly the best in this area for this and worth every penny (and more) for the work and time that she provides to capture the birth of your child.  My hat is off to  you Amanda….Although I would not have been anywhere else on earth than right there capturing the arrival of our Amelia Grace….I will repeat the mantra…I am a wedding photographer and “I love weddings”  🙂




  • Anna - November 13, 2013 - 11:04 AM

    Momma Gills I CRIED when I saw these! So glad that Paula was surrounded by so many amazing people that love her, Justin and little baby A. Miss you guys so much – she did so good, what a beautiful Mommy!!!!!!ReplyCancel