mother holding her sleeping newborn snuggling and smiling

Adriana, and her newborn son Jonathan, was one of the winners for my newborn photography session giveaway! Once a year, I love to donate a session or two for deserving families who otherwise wouldn’t normally be able to afford it. I love to gift my services when possible. Adriana’s story is incredible. We talked of life, kids, her newest addition Jonathan, and of course her story. By the end of the session we were crying together because of how moving her story is. I asked her if she would be willing to share her story about Jonathan, and she graciously agreed. Thank you so much, Adriana!


I have always wanted to be a mother. Since I am the oldest of 4 kids, I have always been around babies and kids that I feel like it’s in my blood. My thought that motherhood was simple. Have a baby and love the thing to death. Now that I am a mother of 5, I know that yes, in its simplest form motherhood is that but I also know it’s so incredibly complex. I didn’t know how complex the love for a child was, until my 5th pregnancy. We wanted a big family but we expected to stop at 4 children. We were enjoying living in the world of our 4 daughters and didn’t expect to get pregnant again, but I started to feel off and that’s when I took the test.

I laugh as I type this now, but when those two lines showed up I was scared. My two previous pregnancies were not easy, so I was nervous. I suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum. It was awful.  Flashbacks of IV hydration, IV iron infusions for severe anemia, and of course the lovely vomiting, all came flooding back. I was hoping that this time things would be different but by week 9 I was heading down that dreaded path again.

I am so lucky and thankful that my OB is amazing. We made a plan- it included admitting me to the hospital for permanent central line placement in my arm so that I could give myself fluids and IV medications at home and to keep me out of the emergency room and hospital. This worked wonders!  I was still sick but with some relief. That is until I developed a skin reaction to the dressing of the PICC line and had to remove it due to an infection. I literally lost 7 pounds in the three days when I didn’t have it so the next alternative was to give me peripheral IVs two times a week until I deliver so that I could keep up with my meds and fluids.

On top of my hyperemesis, I developed a rash called Henoch-Schonlein Purpura. Basically, I looked like I had measles on my legs and arms. It was scary, as it’s extremely rare in adults, let alone a pregnant one. I had severe joint swelling and this intensely itchy rash that started in my feet and went up to my chest. The only treatment was rest and a course of steroids. Time is what they told me. “Just hang on to the baby” they told me. “You’re almost there” they told me. I wanted it to end. I felt like I was dying but this little person inside me was still kicking away and looking good on all the ultrasounds so we hung in together.

After 2 failed NSTs, I was told that the baby was better out than in. We decided to go ahead with the induction at 38 weeks. I had made it. We didn’t want to find out the gender. We never did with any of the girls and what’s a surprise baby without a surprise gender?  Plus, we didn’t care about gender honesty. We were lucky and blessed to have 4 daughters. A fifth daughter would give us a basketball team and if we had a boy then who better to teach him how to be a gentleman than 4 older sisters.  As I went into the induction, I was excited. I felt like I had won., that I had won against everything – the vomiting, food aversions, medications, and, in the end, I had been stuck over 70 times for my 51 IVs.  

We were getting ready to meet our final babe and to hold them in our arms. I had been induced before so I knew what to expect, and after an intense 16-hour labor with an amazing birth partner by my side, we finally welcomed our first son – Jonathan.

Jonathan was welcomed at 9:18 am on July 11th. He has completed our family in so many ways. He is so very loved being the only boy in a house full of girls. Jonathan has taught me from the get-go that as mothers we will endure anything and everything for our children. Our love is complex and primal and basic all at the same wonderful time. 

mother holding her sleeping newborn snuggling and smiling
baby sleeping in relaxed pose with his arm up
close up of baby sleeping
baby sleeping on his stomach with his hand under his cheek wearing a grey bonnet
profile of baby sleeping on his belly with his hand under his cheek
baby sleeping on his belly facing forward
newborn sleeping on his side with his hands under his cheek
newborn sleeping in froggy pose
newborn boy sleeping in white bucket wrapped up
newborn boy sleeping in a blue bucket
newborn boy sleeping wrapped up in a tan colored crate
close up of newborn boy wrapped up
newborn boy wrapped up on grey with a bonnet
newborn boy wrapped in potato pose smiling