Belly Love Spa, Ultrasound Center & Maternity Boutique

A week ago, I had the honor and joy to attend Mom's Night Out ( a really fun event ) at Belly Love Spa, Ultrasound Center & Maternity Boutique. 

A lot of unique vendors including Lisa Raynor, my dear friend who is both a Childbirth and Postpartum Doula and Mercedes Cabrisas-Stevens, the South Florida Baby Nurse. Belly Love handed out goodie bags to the first 50 moms including fun and amazing products from Sothys Paris, incredible and yummy snacks by Super Yummys,  an AMAZING skincare line called Osmosis, the healing power of salt therapy (a place me and my kids love!) The Salt Box, awesome coupons from Dr. Chad Rudnick of Boca VIP PediatricsJuicery Rx and much more!!  

It was a rare opportunity for me to meet so many moms in one night. I really enjoyed chatting with each mama, learning about her pregnancy, her older kids, her love of photography, and her upcoming birth. It is amazing and so special how each mom has a completely unique and incredible journey ahead of her with a unique birth plan suited to her vision of meeting her newborn baby so very soon. As a birth photographer, I really honor every mama and her birthing journey. There is no right or wrong way to birth, it should be the birth you plan with your provider, with your partner, with your family, to be the ideal birth of your hopes as a mom.

I was excited to offer the very first raffle that night for $100 off birth photography packages! That also includes my birth film packages as well. 

Below are a couple of photos that show the winner of the raffle! 

If you did not win this raffle, the exciting news is that I am including a printable $50 off a maternity documentary session with me directly on my website below. Just right click and save the image to your computer, then click print and bring with you to a booked maternity documentary session.

For all the amazing moms I got an opportunity to chat with Saturday night, here is my gift to you towards a Maternity Documentary Session with me: 

Family of 7 welcomes new baby in Loxahatchee, Florida in the quiet of the dawn

I hold such a dear and special place in my heart for this incredible family. 

Jenn told me when we first met, how they were apartment and city living, the lifestyle wasn't working for them and their hearts were calling to a calmer, more natural way of life. 

I can't even telling you how heart filling the feeling was watching all the older siblings watching their baby sister entering our world. My heart exploded. It was the kind of moment where as a mom all you wanted was to have 4 more kids!!

I hope this birth brings tears of joy to you as it did for me! 

All my love,

Paulina

The Greatest Love Story - The Hospital Birth of a Deployed Father's Baby Boy over Skype

It was almost March.

January and February had flown past me amidst a chaotic move from our old apartment to our new home.

I got a message from a first time mom, Ashlyn, asking me if I happen to have any availability for a last minute birth in March. She and her husband are both in the military and she was coming down to Florida from being stationed in North Carolina for the last few years and with her husband still deployed overseas, they worried what lasting memories they may have from the birth of their first child.

My heart instantly sank.

I overlooked my completely full calendar for March and said absolutely I have availability for you.

How could I not?

I couldn't imagine giving birth without my best friend, my husband, by my side, and I have such a soft spot in my heart for military and law enforcement.

I knew in that moment, I would do everything in my power to make this the greatest love and birth story of all time.

Ashlyn and I met and instantly realized we had dozens of things in common, which made this birth story feel like it was for an old friend, or a sister. It was one of the first births I've cried at because it just pulls so much on your heart, how mom and dad serve this country with all their heart, and now birth their first child while separated by thousands of miles of ocean and foreign lands.

I hold in my heart the greatest gratitude for Ashlyn's amazing OBGYN at Broward General hospital in Fort Lauderdale, who took her under her wing so last minute, just a few weeks before birth. And to the hospital as well for being so accommodating of these first time parents hopes and dreams of having the first birth of their newborn baby boy documentary so smoothly and happily.

May this birth story fill your hearts with hope and love the way it did mine. 

Happiest Baby Boy Family Photography Session in Delray Beach, FL

I use to be so scared to schedule family photography sessions (and especially scared to schedule newborn photography sessions) outside of the 'golden hour' (1 hour before sunset), I would explain to clients that I don't have equipment to deal with the harsh south florida lighting, etc... and I have to say that it is thanks to my two kids over the last year and a half, I have been docmenting Kate and Emma's days, in the middle of any kind of light, no light, too much mid-day light, and now its all I do.

I ain't afraid of no harsh south florida sun.

It is amazing how my own girls have had such a huge impact on my life as a photographer :)

When these amazing moms asked if morning is ok because that's when their little man is happiest, I was like yeah of course! 

Baby photography is one of my favorites!!! But I always always insist that it has to be family portaits... even though all my families know that my work has been drifting into documentary photography sessions / photojournalism, and I do less and less portraiture and posing these days and allow my families to really spend quality time with their littles during my photoshoots. 

I think that can be tough to do as a beach photographer, especially when families are not regular beach goers. So I have gotten really creative with looking for new locations as a south florida newborn photographer, and family photographer. A few days ago I ventured out with this amazing little family of three into a local nature trail...

This family means so much to me. I was their birth photographer.  


I was with them for.... over 20 hours of labor, I love these two so so dearly and it felt crazy and amazing to see Easton after 7 months...

he is the sweetest, chunkiest, happiest little boy!!!

I hope you enjoy their 7 month baby boy family photographic pictures session in Delray Beach as much as I did!

Feel free to head on over to my birth stories photography page to see Easton's birthing day with Paulina Splechta Photography.

561-400-8383

Incredible Warrior Mama Natural Birth (Successful VBAC!)

This incredible mama and I met for the first time when we were pregnant. I was pregnant with my second daughter, she was pregnant with her first child. We met at the sacred pregnancy class at Orchids Nest. When I got a call from her that she was pregnant with her second baby boy, I was so ecstatic! I was so happy and honored to be able to support her through my work during her vbac (vaginal birth after cesarean). 

It was such a tremendous honor watching this blessed mama be under the care of her OBGYN Dr. Jane Rudolph (from Women's Health Partners in Boca Raton, FL). She was so patient and respectful of my birth mama client's birth space.

After having seen these images you may be thinking... this may be an entirely different perspective on what many families and parents consider a newborn photographer when they are searching for photographic pictures to capture the most amazing moments of their first, second, third baby entering this world. 

But this is completely at the heart of my passion, true photojournalistic style documentary photography. You cannot pre-plan this family photography session the way you would a beach portrait session with a pregnancy photographer... Birth is spontaneous and unexpected!

I do believe you can call yourself a baby photographer when you are in the birth world :) 

It is the most baby moments you will have as a newborn photographer - ever! The first seconds, minutes, hours a baby is in this world. True baby photography, or should I say newborn photography :) 

Waiting on Girl #2 | Maternity & Pregnancy Family Documentary Session at the Dog Beach in Jupiter, FL

When I met Leslie and her family of three... soon to be family of four... I knew right away that we were going to be friends. I was really excited when Leslie emailed this to me:

"I'm not a "smile at the camera" gal. I love documentary, abstract type photos. I know you want to step out of your comfort zone and I am super excited to be part of this change for you." 

That was the coolest email I could have gotten ever! It said to me "I trust you, do whatever you want because what you're doing, I love"

I think it is quite possibly the most freeing feeling in the world when your client trusts you so much, and completely lets go and gives you creative freedom.

Here are some of my absolutely favorite images from their documentary lifestyle maternity and family session with their amazing daughter and two precious doggies. I hope you enjoy these photographic pictures as much as I did!

Birth of a first granddaughter | First time parents & first time grandmas

One of the parts of my job as a birth photographer that really brings me a lot of happiness and fulfillment is working with parents who I feel connected to, who I feel are like old time friends or family, from the first time I meet them. Vianey and Stefen are the epitome of this! I think I mentioned to them several times during our first meeting, their pregnancy and after the birth of their incredible little girl Penny, that I wish we were neighbors or lived 5 minutes away. 

We have so much in common and chatting feels effortless.

I had no idea how much love I'd have in my heart the day I joined them in their delivery room. Already there was a lot of love and a lot of family present during Vianey's labor, supporting her utterly and flawlessly.

There were a few things that kind of swept me off my feet. 

One... their birth plan changed, a few times. And each time, these first time parents met these changes with positivity, bravery and resilience.

Vianey's husband stood by her during her entire labor as the most vigilant and empathetic partner I have yet seen. 

Her family had this unspoken reverence for the young couple. An unspoken truth everyone knew about, that they went into this labor knowledgable, wise, prepared and they don't need guidance, advice, critique, rather they deserve the utmost kindness and support. Watching so many family members and also friends provide this incredible labor, birth and baby encouragement and support, even with Vianey breastfeeding the baby immediately following birth, well it was refreshing and inspiring and most of all, incredibly calming to me.

Some of these images happen to be some of my all time favorite pieces of work I have ever documented. I am thrilled that this 2017 family is now part of my birth families, that their journey has been one I have had the honor of capturing...

I love that this family fell deeply into the strong bond of trusting me to document the day their first born daughter came into this world... this is an honor that is not bestowed onto everyone and I will value their trust in me forever. 

PS. I absolutely love the twist ending with the fun proposal you'll see in the last few shots. I hope you enjoy these photographic pictures as much as I did!

Homeschooling, the beginning | The Splechta Family Blog

I am about to set out on an uncharted ocean with my 4 year old. There are no definitive decisions that we've made, so we can turn back or change our minds any time, any day. And I am prepared for that. Because I have no idea what tomorrow will bring. But as always, we've had to allow Kate's upbringing to be child-led. None of our friends advice during my pregnancy with Kate and during her infancy, then toddlerhood ever applied. We felt confused and uncertain of everything. Wondering why her sleeping habits, her eating habits, behavior, personality, none of it seemed to align with anything we had learned or heard about with childhood. We often joked that she came from another planet. 

It took us a while to figure out that gentle attachment parenting was what Kate needed as an infant and toddler. Not by our choice. We had all the measures setup for what moms often refer to as mainstream parenting. We were preparing to be mainstream parents. Kate wouldn't have it any other way, and made life impossible, unless we kangaroo'd her 24/7.

On and off we dealt with our own emotions of confusion and frustration as we entered new chapters of her life unable to relate to other parents, feeling alone, feeling like failures. 

There would be months where we'd feel optimistic and positive that we have a unique child and we embrace her differences.

Then there would be months where'd we'd hear that friends toddlers slept through the night, or only woke up once or twice (meanwhile we were still getting up with Kate every 45 to 60 minutes well into her 18 months of age) that we'd be faced with feelings of discouragement.

As she grew older, and her communication skills expanded, we found that a lot of our problems dissipated as she finally conquered her frustrations of not being able to communicate her needs with us.

But other frustrations followed, such as night terrors that consist of 1 hour of her screaming in half awake / half asleep mode, and no amount of comforting or reassuring or environmental changes can take her out of this, only patient waiting from 60 minutes of screaming. We've learned some of the things that feed the night terrors, and we stay away from them. 

Now that Kate is 4 years, 3 months of age, she is quite the fascinating, knowledge-absorbing creature.

She is insightful, brilliant, creative, artistic, musical little human.

So here I dive into something I am terrified of failing at but also excited. I hope to nourish her desire to learn, in a child-led approach.

Day One.

On our first day we spontaneously focused on the letter E

We cooked eggs together

We talked about her baby sister Emma

We learned about Elephants and Eagles

What I discovered:

She was quickly discouraged if she felt like something was too hard. So I went with the flow and focused on things she excelled in.

She got distracted, so I focused on topics and mediums that would interest her. 

And then there was the elephant question:

Me: Kate, what do you think elephants eat?

Kate: they eat sand

Me: Actually, they eat leaves.

Kate: No, they eat sand mommy.

Me: Kate, they don't eat sand, sand isn't for eating. They eat green leaves, like giraffes.

Kate: Let's go to the zoo and see the elephants and then we will know what they eat.

Me: I'm telling you Kate, they eat leaves.

Kate: No, Mommy, I'm telling YOU. Let's go to the zoo, see the elephants, and then we will know what they eat. 

So then I just had to pull up a youtube video showing elephants eating leaves off trees. 

Thursday, we plan on making a jungle project with all our favorite things that start with E!

And we have a gardening project for our yard this week too! (If we get to it)


Tonight, she brought me a paper she had drawn and written on. She wrote: 
EMMM

She remembered from this morning when we spelled out her baby sister's name on the refrigerator that #1 Emma Starts with an E

#2 that she has LOTS of M's in her name :)

and a small victory.... that she was inspired to attempt to write Emma's name on her own and share it with me.

That last part made me gulp in my throat and almost cry of joy :)

Great first day!

Please wish us luck, and I invite you to feel free to leave any comments below with suggestions on our first attempt at introducing homeschooling at home! Thank you!

Amazing Fans & Facebook Reviews | The Paulina Splechta Photography Family

 

Everyone waited so patiently all day to find out the winner of the two giftcards... a giftcard for a Facebook review winner and a giftcard for a google review winner! 

So Kate and I got to the facebook winner today... but we won't get to the google reviews giftcard winner until Thursday because of our hectic schedule! So there are two extra days! 

I spent all day focusing completely on being a mom. 

We decided to spend the next few weeks giving the kids an immune system break... and boost. 

We are dedicating the next 8 weeks to solid immune system reparation after a ton of bacterial and viral infections those nasty preschool germs produce... and during this time, some totally uncharted waters homeschooling.

I created this blog post for the amazing fans who left such an incredible review for me.

I want to thank every single one of you for leaving me a review.

The words you wrote really raised my spirits, to just hear, months or years after capturing your incredible families, how much love and appreciation you still have for the work I do. 

Thank you! 

There will be so many more opportunities to win giftcards and other prizes throughout this upcoming year as Kate and I have our creative thinking hats on. 

If you'd like to apply for my ambassador program... there is still one space left, and you receive photoshoots for your family all year! follow this link:

http://www.paulinasplechta.com/paulina-splechta-brand-ambassadors

If you would like to receive fun mail (snail mail) year round, for your birthday and such, fill out this form below :)

 

Name *
Name

Now, without further ado....

The winner of the $30 Facebook gift card is...... 

Mommy & me in a Strawberry Patch | Saying Goodbye (for now)

The first time I met Brooklyn, she was already the fierce little girl she is now, just tinier.

I remember Brooklyn's mom and I met through a shared passion of breastfeeding. We both believed that breastfeeding is an amazing bond to have with our children (along with the plentitude of health benefits) and I can't believe that I had to go back three years and three hard drives to our first session together when B was a just this tiny peanut, nursing on the beach at sunrise...

This year, the family journeys out west to their new home and this session was blissful and also bittersweet as I said goodbye to one of my favorite families I've kept near and dear to my heart over the last three years.

Three mommy and me sessions and a family shoot together, I wanted to include some of my favorite shots from the last two years (find them below our session this spring 2017)

I have faith that our paths will cross again one day. It's just meant to be. Maybe one day I will venture out west to California, Arizona, Nevada, and we will have a western adventure together.

I send you my love, and lots of good blessings for your journey my dear friends. 

I hope you enjoy these photographic pictures as much as I did!

September 2014

March 2015

March 2016