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Columbus, Ga Photographer | Ker-Fox Photography| The Wander Years | Layman Family

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Columbus, Ga Photographer | Ker-Fox Photography| The Wander Years | Layman Family

One of the hardest realizations as a parent, is that each day, if we’re raising them well and loving them fiercely… they will inevitably wander further and further from the warmth of our arms. They will wander out into the world, and we will hold our breath waiting for them to wander back home through our doors. These years, while they are home and still snug in their beds, while I can still wrap my arms around their tiny but growing bodies… These are our Wander Years.

This sweet family hired me to come capture their family together before dad’s job took him out of the home for the next year. His heart feared the older boys might not want to snuggle him as much once he returned. Sp snuggle was the name of the game this session.

Intimacy is at the root of love, and although it changes through the years with our kids. It’s always there, we just have to look for it.

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Columbus, GA Photographer | Birth Photography | Ker-Fox Photography | Martha Ruth

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Columbus, GA Photographer | Birth Photography | Ker-Fox Photography | Martha Ruth

This mom. Her husband. Their birth team. Everyone fought so hard for this precious momma. They pulled out all the stops to provide the delivery she had hoped and waited years for. Unfortunately, after all options were exhausted, and mom was rightfully exhausted.. sweet babe came into the world through her mom's tummy, and all was right in their world.

Jessica and Martin, you were such an amazing team. Jessica you are fierce (that word is so overused, but in this case totally necessary). YOU ARE FIERCE. You fought like a warrior through your labor, and then you faced the unknowns of surgery like a boss. I wanted to crawl in your recovery room with you and just hug you and tell you how proud I was of you. And Martin, my friend, you were her steadfast rock. If you were nervous you never let her see. You were a constant source of encouragement. And when sweet Martha Ruth needed some skin to skin while mom was in the OR, you gave her a warm place to wait for mom. 

And her team... Her OB Dr. McPherson, her amazing nurses Ashley and Leslie, and of course the baby crew of Dr. Cason, Dr. Taylor and her precious baby nurse, Melissa that I caught adoring Martha during her newborn exam, and Joelle who so sweetly helped daddy do skin to skin. She had the dream team. But then again, everyone at St. Francis comprises to make a dream team!

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columbus, ga birth photographers | ker-fox photography | elle

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columbus, ga birth photographers | ker-fox photography | elle

This has been a year of repeat clients, and a year of curveball births. It's also been a year of growth for me. Even after years of doing this and over a hundred births, I'm still learning how to better love my clients. I shot Hannah's first birth two years ago, for her son Moses, it couldn't have been more ideal. Epidural, laughing through contractions, happily present in the moment. Fast forward to this birth with Elle, and on the surface as a birth worker it also seemed ideal. From my perspective she got the birth she had fought for.... she labored unmedicated, it was quicker, it was more intense, but it was more vulnerable. What I didn't know, was that it was taking Hannah more time to process this birth. It was so different from her first... not better, not worse, just DIFFERENT. And with that comes a mixed bag of healing, accepting, and eventually loving this experience as well. I think it's impossible to go into your subsequent births without some level of expectations. I did the same thing with Alden's birth. I wanted immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping, but he had a double nuchal cord and came out purple and slow to respond. In that moment my expectations for "that moment" were gone, and it took time to process that, and admittedly grieve the loss of my ideal birth, specially since he was our last. I say all this because what may seem ideal to us as birth workers on the surface, our clients may need more time and space to process the experience.

Over time, and many conversations, Hannah and I navigated this 4th trimester of emotions and processing together. And for that I am so grateful. With a few tweaks, we got the story to a place that they now LOVE. And I couldn't be happier. Because ultimately, that is my goal, not just to give you photos, but to make you feel loved. To make you feel supported. To make you feel heard.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I have fallen in love with this birth story. 

Hannah and Luke, I love you both... thank you for the gift of such biblical friendship. Filled with grace and understanding!

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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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