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Columbus Georgia

Columbus, GA Photographer | Birth | Ker-Fox Photography | Merritt M.

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Columbus, GA Photographer | Birth | Ker-Fox Photography | Merritt M.

The closest I've EVER come to missing a birth, was this one right here. Rachel was a scheduled c-section but sweet Merritt had decided she was to choose her own birthday. I got the call that Sunday just before lunch. Admittedly in my pajamas, no make up and doing laundry at home about 25 minutes from the hospital, when my phone rang and I heard Rachel's mom on the other end: Rachel's in labor, they're about to take her back, you're probably not going to make it. I've never run through the house, put close on and grabbed my camera bag so quickly in my life. By the grace of God I was on-call for her with my bags packed and ready, and my husband was home to watch the kids or I would've missed it for sure. (Insert sage wisdom of a seasoned birth photographer right here ---> this is why we charge the same thing for c-section births as labor clients, there are no guarantees that babies come on certain days).

I arrived at the hospital just knowing I wasn't going to make it, but the wonderful staff at St. Francis, my family/home away from home, had a nurse at the entrance of the waiting room ready with a set of scrubs for me. They rushed me back, I threw the scrubs on, unpacked my camera, and I kid you not as I put it around my neck they called Justin and I back into the OR. From the time I arrived to baby being born was less than 10 minutes. 

Rachel was grace under pressure the whole day... there were concerns in the hours leading up to the delivery, then sweet Merritt required a brief visit to the nursery for some extra help right after birth, and then Rachel experienced a rough patch as well when her epidural wore off precipitously. Her doctor, Dr. Stephens was phenomenal. He is always a calm voice, and a confident comforter. The whole day felt like a whirlwind for me, I can only imagine what it must've felt like for her and Justin. When the buzz of busy finally settled down, their precious twin boys (Their birth story can be seen HERE) came to snuggle and love their new sister. And as they tend to do, the bigs steal the show. 

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columbus, ga birth photographer, ker-fox photography, merritt
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Columbus, GA Birth Photographer | Ker-Fox Photography | 2018 Birth Bookings

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Columbus, GA Birth Photographer | Ker-Fox Photography | 2018 Birth Bookings

NEW 2018 BOOKING INFORMATION:

As many of you may have heard I am taking a much needed sabbatical from birth this summer. It's been a long time coming. Since specializing in birth nearly 4 years ago, I've never had an extended time away. I felt this break was needed, and necessary to truly avoid a burnout from something I love so dearly. I desperately needed some self care time as well. There are surgeries I've put off that need to be addressed, and I'm SO looking forward to turning my phone off and living presently and spontaneously with my family. Needless to say, I'm pumped to start this time away.

BUT I am not leaving the birth industry. I think there has been some confusion, and rumblings around town and the internet that I'm done shooting births. That is not the case at all. A sabbatical simply means a break. I have booked a handful of births this Fall after my summer break, and plan on taking more on in 2018.

I'm writing this blog as moms are now finding out they are pregnant for 2018, and I'm getting questions and inquiries so I thought a blog post to clear the air of any confusion would be best.

My approach moving forward, to avoid burnout of on-call life, will be to have seasons of On-Call time. The taking two a month scenario, well, it never really seemed to be two a month. And the longer I do this, the more repeat clients I gain. Between April-May I had 8 moms in 8 weeks. 7 of those were repeat clients. That's double what I "say" I will take on in a month. Not to mention the 3 I took on in March, one of which wasn't even a client of mine, but rather me backing up another birth photographer. So the two a month is great in theory, but I often found myself overbooked.

So moving forward these will be my On-Call months, with a priority given to previous clients first:
February (2 slots available)
March (2 slots available)
April (2 slots available)
May (1 slot available)
June - August: OFF-CALL
September: (2 slots available)
October: (2 slots available)
November - January: OFF-CALL

If you find yourself expecting during my Off-Call time, it will be up to my discretion as to whether or not I will choose to take the session. Again, priority consideration will be given to past clients first.

During my Off-Call months I will be taking on Family Documentary Sessions, and Mentoring Sessions, with the possibility of quarterly mini-sessions.

I hope that this will allow a more healthy balance of On-Call life and family life. And I hope you all will stay along for the journey! Thank you to everyone for your love and support, and prayers as I've navigated this difficult journey of finding peace and balance as a wife, mother, and business owner!

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columbus ga birth photographer • ker-fox photography • clementine

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columbus ga birth photographer • ker-fox photography • clementine

Oh Maris and her labors.... or at least the two I have attended. Just goes to show how different each labor and birth can be. I was present for the birth of her 3rd, Prudence. I arrived at the hospital at the same time they did and just 26 minutes later Pru was born! When I got the news they were expecting again, only now we live 25 minutes out of town, I got a bit nervous. Even if I left at the first signs of them heading to the hospital like last time I would miss it, forget even waiting for a baby sitter to show up. Little did we know her 4th birth would end up being one of her longest. 

Admittedly she called me earlier than last time, "just to be safe". I headed over to their house, as she likes to labor at home as long as she can. It was such a wonderful vibe. Watching her mother her other 3 while simultaneously being in labor. Breakfasts were made, boo-boos were kissed, snuggles were had, all while she rocked this long labor.

When it was time to go to the hospital there was a sense of urgency, my palms were sweaty, I knew how quickly Maris transitions. In triage she found out she wasn't quite as far along as she had expected. She was admitted. And her family prayed over her. I could feel her disappointment, her exhaustion, and even confusion as to why this was going so much differently than the last. Each of her previous births had progressively gotten shorter with each child, yet here she was laboring through the longest and hardest yet.

True to form, when Maris transitions, she doesn't mess around. Her husband Kendall (who had been such a source of comfort and strength all day) wanted to catch their daughter. Well, he nearly didn't get the chance to, honestly, baby nearly slid right out onto the bed. Her midwife acted quickly, with no time to even put gloves on, caught Clementine with the sleeves of her scrubs, and gently guided baby into dad's waiting hands.

After her golden hour with their precious Clementine, their other 3 kiddos showed up. And OH. MY. WORD. The love they each had and showed in different ways for their new baby sister. I choked back tears and told my ovaries to quiet down down there!

There is always a sense of nervousness when delivering any birth story, but delivering one to a repeat client is exponentially more nerve wracking! No birth is ever the same, some can last 26 minutes, others can last 18 hours, and Maris has had both of those. They were equally powerful, equally beautiful... they were perfect in their own ways.

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columbus ga photographer | family photojournalism | my girl turns 5!

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columbus ga photographer | family photojournalism | my girl turns 5!

Every year on her birthday we would take Finns out to Callaway Gardens to enjoy the day and of course for me to take photos of her with the Fall leaves. Well this year baby brother kind of hijacked those plans when he came down with a rockin' case of croup (Side note, this is also why he is dressed like a Lost Boy from Peter Pan, and has crustiness on his face and shirt!) And then it dawned on me, derp! We now have our own slice of heaven with acres to roam, and tons of gorgeous Fall colors! So me and the kids went adventuring and I brought my camera along for the fun. 

May we remember to linger longer, no matter the day.

Finns has turned 5. Each birthday gets harder, yet I become more proud of these little buggers with each passing year. I braced myself as I went in to put her down for bed the night before. My last time tucking in my 4 year old. My last time kissing my toddler on the cheek. For the next morning she would no longer fit in the toddler age range. She's a kid now.

I wept. And the big girl that she is... she let me. She understood. I held her and told her about my tears, that they weren't sad tears, they were happy tears. I told her about the day she was born. She loved me explaining about my water breaking and daddy's reaction. I told her how much she has made my life better, and made me better. I told her how unbelievably proud I am of who she's growing up to be. I held her longer, I lingered at her door longer. Never have I wanted to stop time like I did that night. But ever the wise one, she told me... Mommy, I have to grow up. And oh how right she is, because I cannot wait to see who she becomes! I have a feeling this is the lifecycle of birthday eve's for the remainder of my life. May we remember to linger longer, no matter the day.

Thank you Lord for this precious girl I get to call mine. Thank you for giving her the most kind, generous, and tender heart. Thank you for making her brave, strong, and determined. Thank you for giving her a heart that longs to know You and love You. Thank you Lord for making her ours.

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