our newborn photo shoot with Dale McDonald

As I teased with our Thanksgiving well wishes on Thursday, we had the chance to capture our baby girl’s first few weeks here on Earth and not just with our iPhone cameras!

dale mcdonald newborn photo family shot

Hans, Brenna and I met up with our great friend and photographer Dale McDonald who brought along his camera, several lenses and most importantly his wife/assistant Jen for not one but two Sunday photo shoots. Two because our baby had other plans that Sunday afternoon than my suggested sleeping through a photo shoot. But boy did our girl pull through during round two the following Sunday and thank goodness we had a photographer with the patience of a saint!

Since Dale took our maternity photos, I knew we’d be treated to an amazing set of images, but Dale surprised us with this beautiful presentation featuring our little family. Keep an eye out for my furry BFF who makes an appearance towards the end. (And in case you are wondering — Frank the Fuzz was a bit too wound up to practice his “stay” that day!)

Source: Brenna Marie Hansen from Dale McDonald on Vimeo.

What a beautiful gift to receive and remember Brenna’s newborn days. Thank you again and again and again, Dale! Check out his blog for his POV of our experience together. Also visit Dale’s social media feeds on Facebook and Instagram and visit his website to see even more of his work.

brenna newborn photo dale mcdonald

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This entry was posted in Family.

Happy Thanksgiving

It won’t come as a surprise, but in addition to our health, happiness, two pups, incredible family and friends and more, it’s pretty obvious what we’re most thankful for this holiday.

brenna alicia hans dale mcdonald photography

Photo by Dale McDonald. More photos from our newborn shoot coming next week!

From all of us in the Hansen family, our happiest Thanksgiving holiday wishes to you and yours. May your weekend be full of your favorite eats, deals, activities and loved ones. We’re thankful to have you in our lives!

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the time I gave birth // welcome Brenna Marie

With a happy heart (and full hands!), I’m happy to announce our #HansenExpansion of 2016 is complete!

Baby Brenna newborn

Baby Brenna Marie finally joined us on Saturday, November 5th at 6:10pm — a whole week and a day past her due date. At a full 41 weeks gestation, she came weighing 7 pounds, 1 ounce and measuring 19 inches long — after a 23 hour induction/labor/delivery process.

baby brenna combo hans and alicia

The induction/labor/delivery process included:

  • four doses (& sixteen hours of wait time) of Cytotec
  • 3 tries to place an epidural (because I knew there was no chance of this low pain tolerance gal making it through without assistance) and the discovery that it was going to do me little good when I started having severe leg cramps (since baby was hanging out on my sacral nerve) 
  • Pitocin to get the contractions going and consistent (which took me from 4 to 9 centimeters dilated in just an hour)
  • several panic attacks (my “yoga breathing” wasn’t coming as naturally)
  • a handful of attempts to leave (Yup — like “I’m done with this, I’m going home to my dogs” leave the hospital. Mid-labor. Yup.)
  • only 50 minutes of pushing (which honestly only felt like 15)
  • and the grand arrival of this little bundle of joy:

baby brenna at birth

For eleven days since her birth, I’ve been trying to put this experience, these feelings and this little girl in words. Blame my writer’s block on lack of sleep, troubles with breastfeeding or feelings of uncertainty. (Or the difficulty in typing with one hand!) But through all the pain, tears, doubts and fears, deep down I know that crazy 23 hour experience is going to pay off for a lifetime.

So welcome to our world, Brenna Bear. Get your rest now — because we’ve got one heck of an adventure ahead of us.

baby brenna sleeping

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