Melissa B Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to my blog!

    Hi!!! Thanks for making your way to my little piece of the Internet world!

    My name is Melissa.. I am a mother to 4 amazing kids, and 4 awesome fur babies. My kids are my world, my family means everything to me. I am a hopeless dreamer, and hopeless romantic! I laugh hard and loudly, love deeply, cry often, I give ALOT and pray ALWAYS!

    I love hearing your stories of falling in love and your engagements! I am honored to be a part of your engagements.. your weddings.. your births.. your family sessions.. and I am proud to capture images that you will love and cherish for life! I love the still photograph image, a captured moment in time, and would be honored to capture special moments for you!

    I am trying to live life to the fullest, and learn a little more every day of what God is trying to show me and teach me! and hopefully spread a lil love and encouragement on to others!
    c'mon on join me in this photographic documentary of life!

Isaac’s Birth Story

I had to walk all the way to the water to find the right spot to begin this blog… I needed to center myself to convey all that needs to be conveyed with the dignity, the admiration, the respect and the rawness that this requires.

First I guess I should give you the background information to this amazing woman in my life, she is a gentle and kind spirit, who is 100% servant hearted and absolutely power packed with a mother’s heart that is full of every soul she’s ever gleaned her inspiration from.  She is as gentle as the sunset breeze and she is as powerful as a tornado’s gust when it comes to her family and friends and assisting in ANY way she can, all while being an awesome supportive military wife!

Amanda is simply amazing in my eyes, and as a military wife and mother, she has packed and moved more times than what any one person should bear.  She has fought for her children for medical needs and adheres to a super regimented diet due to serious and deadly food allergies.  She is as natural and dressed down and raw to the soul as it comes, and by her own admission, she is as “nutty- crunchy granola and Birkenstocks” as it gets! LOL, but the way I see it, she is simply an amazing woman of God, of faith, of family, and of friends! She has willingly and eagerly served so many others, so when she asked if I would shoot her 4th and final birth, I was thrilled and of course jumped at the chance!!

See Amanda and I go way back.  I was a 24-year-old single mother to 2 young children when we met in the college age ministry at our church, and it was evident even then, that she was a TRUE SERVANT HEARTED woman!!! She would help watch my children, when a team of us wild and crazy youth set out to share the gospel with others on Clearwater Beach.  We had an awesome outreach ministry for over 3 years and Amanda was there most EVERY Sunday night, singing, helping, but mostly serving, and watching the little ones so we could minister to the homeless population and others.

I was also privileged to shoot her and Jakes wedding. It was so long ago, I was still shooting film then!! Wow!  Time does fly!!!

So when she asked me to shoot the birth story, I was thrilled, because even though we hadn’t been able to see each other very often throughout these years, she is one of my mommy Heroes, a woman I highly admire and respect and it was like time had never passed when we were able to see each other again prior to baby Isaac being born.

This SUPERWOMAN momma, who had endured so much throughout this pregnancy, Kidney stones, lower extremity swelling, extreme abdominal and back pain, and bouts of being in and out of the hospital, was still thinking of me when I had my oral surgery, and she brought ME a prepared meal!!  I told her how crazy she was to do such a thing, because of all she had been going through, she shouldn’t be thinking about me! But that is just who Amanda is, she is an astonishing woman and I love her to pieces!

This pregnancy had taken its toll on her! Amanda was REALLY REALY ready for Isaac to be born! She begged and pleaded… “PLEASE ISAAC, Mommy is tired, mommy is ready, and mommy has life to tackle with you in my baby wrap.. so let get this show on the road kid” …  but as week 36 came and went.. week 37, 38, 39… Nothing.. NO SIGN.. no indicators that he was coming.. just more days and more discomfort with each passing day.. Week 40, 41.. Finally the midwives decided.. we will do all we can to prompt this Natural Birth Process along..

She had a plan, an All NATURAL- birthplan, full of clary sage aromatherapy and a water birth. She wanted nothing more than an easy breezy 4th delivery…. But that would not be the case… OH NO.. that would certainly not be the case!!

I was at my son’s basketball playoff game when the text came through, it read “at the birth Center, my water broke, should go quickly now!” so I turned to my mom and said, “take the kids with you, It’s her 4th, so I should be home by 9, or 10 tonight.”  LOOOOOLLLL SO WE THOUGHT ISAAC!!! You had us fooled kiddo!

I head off to the Beautiful Breath of Life Birth Center. I arrived around 1pm, I was astonished at how casual and cool she was.  The air smelled of sweet clary sage and her own amazing cooking that she had packaged up and prepared!  YES! YOU HEARD ME RIGHT!!! SHE COOKED AND PACKED UP A MEAL FOR EVERYONE BEFORE SHE LEFT TO DELIVER A CHILD!!  Go ahead and give this girl a hand, because that is impressive!!!

She was eating, the family was gathering, it was nearing the Kentucky Derby time and Amanda’s pain began to increase. Labor was coming and going in waves, sometimes it would appear that she was ready to head into some more intense and regular contractions and sometimes it would stall out altogether.  Kat, the midwife, began to do all she could to make sure that baby Isaac was in proper position, However the more she tried, the more the labor began to stall.  Jake hilariously express his disdain for the clary sage, but he certainly wanted to do all he could to help too and was a great support.

But now Amanda was fighting against the clock!  She had until Midnight to be in ACTIVE regular and increasing labor, and if not, the decision to admit her to the hospital was looming.  However, Amanda’s Birth plan did NOT include a hospital, nor a doctor, nor an IV or an epidural, or anything of the such! Amanda really wanted a natural, and preferably a water birth. She had envisioned it, she had laid out her desired birth plan, with as little medical intervention as possible and as natural a birth experience as someone could have, in the birthing center with midwives and family gathered around.  However, that was not the case for this particular baby and this particular labor!

And it has now been decided that Isaac is the strong willed child out of the bunch and I have officially donned him with his Native American Name, Ituha…Strong and Mighty Oak, one who does not budge.. LOL!

He was simply NOT budging, and as the labor intensified and the contractions became more regular, Amanda tried everything in the most natural form that would ease and relax her through the pain.  She would get in the hot shower, the labor intensified. She would get into the tub, and the labor would stall. She would sit on the ball and rotate to move him into position and still nothing. The labor would stall but her pains seemed to increase, yet he was not moving down!  She begged, pleaded and cried out for baby Isaac to cooperate, but as the hours increased, it became more evident that they would have to make decisions about going to the hospital.  The second midwife tried every skill in her amazing repertoire to help Isaac move down. She did a few amazing but very uncomfortable tricks and it seemed to speed things up a bit. Amanda’s labor intensified and she had now gone through MANY HOURS of intense labor and pain, only to find out that in the last 4 hours of excruciating pain and uncomfortable contortions, she had only dilated 1 cm larger.   It was a defeating moment for Amanda, but the decision to go to the hospital and help decrease her pain level seemed like it would be the best decision to make, as she was in agonizing pain.  Vickie, the midwife did her best to explain that at this point, an Epidural was needed. Her body needed to relax to be able to work with her.  Jake and Amanda agreed and we began to pack up to make our way to the hospital. We arrived at Morton Plant Hospital and immediately it became a hospital environment and completely different situation than what Amanda had desired. The nurses swooped in, started taking her vitals, slapping monitors on her, and inserting the IV, which DID NOT go well. They made arrangements for the Epidural to be administered and I must say although it was not her Ideal situation, the physicians and the nursing staff of Morton Plant Hospital were incredibly accommodating, supportive, and attentive.  The epidural was given and Amanda was able to fall asleep til later in the morning when It was time to deliver!

And the delivery was not without its own complications! The delivery was difficult, as was the labor, as was this entire pregnancy, it had been a long road to get through to these final pushes.

Amanda was so tired! So mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted, she didn’t think she had the strength or energy to push, she was really worn down.  It was hard for her husband, mother in law, and me to see her suffer and struggle so much throughout this labor and delivery. The doctor, in his attempts to help, used the suction cup AND forceps, as he could tell Isaac was having a difficult time making his grand appearance!  And when Isaac FINALLY did make his Earth entrance.. it was apparent to ALL, why this had been so difficult for the petite-framed Amanda.. Isaac was almost 10lbs, weighing 9lbs and 15 ozs. and he was 23 inches long!!!!! He was ENROMOUS!!!! He made his debut at 9:51 a.m. almost 24 hours later after labor began.

Amanda was RELIEVED!!  Amanda was completely drained and Amanda was glad it was finally over!  I myself, have had 4 children … ALL NATURAL… and I just witnessed my dear friend go through one of the most painful childbirths I had ever w

itnessed.. yet when they finally put Isaac in Amanda’s arms, and even while the pain was still ever present, she was every bit of the natural momma that she is… doing skin to skin contact and breastfeeding as quickly as she could. My Sweet Dear Amanda, in the face of such a difficult painful labor.. your effortless grace still shined right through!

I know that was ALOT to read.. but now let the pictures recount the story you just read! The pictures say it better than these 1777 word you just read!


Nothing like your sweet babies to bring you some cheer and encouragement! Back to the business of laboring. Time to transition to the hospital. World… meet Isaac

Dr Jamison was AMAZING!!!!

a family of 6 now! a picture with the photographer. I looooove babies! and Isaac.. you were a lot of work, but we are so glad you are here! Your Mommy is amazing! 

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Happy Fathers Day Dad

Dad has been having Memorial Day Parties on his property for over 30 years now.. I am sure much more than that…

Dad Looooooves his Memorial Day Parties!!! .. I guess its always been the kick off to better weather in Omaha and for Dad that means “Boating Weather” on the Missouri River In his beloved boat ” Mo Therapy”

But, as you all know, Dad has really been through the ringer this past year.. he suffered a stroke in October.. and then the hospitalization almost killed him when he contracted Staph and MRSA in the hospital .. and then in January Grandpa died.. that was Dad’s best buddy.. and then to top it all off .. our family home of over 40 years Burned down in February… it was a total loss.  We have really been through it.. so Dad was looking forward to this Memorial Day party…

Surrounded by family, friends, food.. his dog and his junk… Dad celebrated what would be the “series ending” to the Famous Freddie’s Memorial Day Parties.

It was fun, festive, emotional, and mostly filled with love!

Happy Fathers Day Dad! 2017 here’s to getting that house rebuilt!!!!

 































 

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Frank and Brycee are Engaged!!!!!

He could hardly contain his excitement when he talked about her…. “She’s Beautiful.. Perfect really” as he described her to me… How did you meet I asked… He smiled shyly and kinda giggled… looked at me like I wasn’t ready and said… “On Tinder” lol  He was right… I wasn’t ready… I mean I have never done the online dating thing.. and I really didnt think they worked…and Tinder.. well I haven’t heard much about it .. other than you swipe left or swipe right and I don’t even know what that means… But in this case it was evident that it REALLY WORKED for them!!! We walked through the Don Cesar and made the plan for the 4th of July Weekend… He was so excited and I was excited for him .. and for Brycee… knowing she had NO IDEA what this weekend had in store for her…

The coordinator and I arranged the blankets and shells and flowers and awaited their arrival.. you would think we were in a covert operation, as we had the door girls and the valets in on it.. to give us the heads up when they arrived… she texted me… THEY ARE HERE!!! my photo assistant and I hid on the beach in a cabana they set up for us and waited… my heart was racing .. so I knew his must have been too,  and then they were there … he was right … SHE WAS PERFECT!! a beautiful tall statuesque blond.. he led her to the blanket, she looked perplexed as he gently held both of her hands and began to talk ( for what seemed like forever, lol) I wondered what he was saying as her smile grew bigger and bigger… and then he lowered down on one knee.. It was PERFECT.. a beautiful sunset beach proposal and the crowd cheered loudly, whistled and hooted as she said yes! <3 <3 <3 it was everything a girls dreams are made of when she thinks about her proposal and what it would be like… YOU DID GOOD Dr. Frank!! You did Good!!!! 

 

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Ms. Dee and Maurice..

Sometimes Love looks this good..  despite the heat and humidity Ms. Dee and her man Maurice were serious troopers! and they enjoyed eachother every minute! ahhhh I love Love!

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Largo High School Prom

I have known many of these kids and watched them grow with my very own in high school, all of these gentlemen are athletes and have big plans after graduation… but one last big party before then.. The Senior Prom…

 

and they all looked lovely! 

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