Alexander Family

Before & After

I decided to do a 365, FINALLY. It’s neen going so well. The amount of knowledge I have gained in just one month is more than I gained in a year of just doing sessions. It has gotten me to constantly be looking for opportunities to capture our life in a beautiful way. It also has help me get my style closer to where I want it to be. I am taking a photo daily and then posting I my photo Instagram @debiraephoto. I don’t stress about posting daily but I do make sure I take one daily. Here is one from last week. Isn’t Hudson just adorable!



I am beyond grateful for so many wonderful things.


I'm sitting here looking at his cute sleepy face and I'm overwhelmed with love and gratitude. Hudson has brought a new look on life that I am excited to figure out. I am looking at things differently with him here. Our lives have definitely changed.  

So far it's not in big ways just in small ways. We have to consider him and what he needs before we plan anything. The number one thing that has changed is time and timing.

I used to be able to get ready and out the door in a half hour…. ha. I haven't figured out his feeding schedule enough to get out the door within 2 hours. I had been doing pretty good... then I adjusted it for what I thought would be better and it wasn't!

He went from happy self scheduling perfectly to a fussy tired and hungry all the time baby. I'm grateful in the last 2 days he hopped right back into his happy baby mode. I bet he is pretty happy about it too.

So now I have a baby that sleeps 3-6 hours between feedings and wakes up every morning between 6:15-7.

I knew he was perfect but letting me get some sleep really makes him even cooler.

So today

I'm grateful for my little man.

I'm grateful for a loving and supportive husband.

I'm grateful I'm almost all healed up.

I'm grateful I'm getting sleep.

I'm grateful I'm NOT pregnant.

I'm grateful for my “tribe” and all the support and love they give.

I'm grateful for coffee.

I'm grateful for this new chapter we've started.

I'm grateful I love my life.


I hope you have a grateful kind of day too <3




He's here.

After all the months of imaging what he was going to look like, what labor would be like and if pregnancy would ever end.... he's here! He really is... I'm still in shock. Every time I see any of the photos that were taken at his birth I am full with such gratitude for such an amazing experience.  

Labor was easy. Relatively.  

I elected to be induced one day before my due date. I was ready. I had let the fear of labor start to cloud my judgment. I wanted to have him before my excitement for the process dwindled. I went in to labor and delivery on Tuesday morning at 7 am. By 930 I was all hooked up with Pitocin started.  

Once the pitocin started I started to have contractions. It didn't do much, I even took a nap. They gave me a choice on whether I wanted my water broke but I wanted to see if it could happen with just the pit. After a while it was time to get out of bed and get moving. That day I walked over 4 miles in this small loop that went around the labor and delivery floor. But 12 hours later and all the pitocin they would give me and all that I had felt was what I would call bad period cramps.  

I had gone in dilated to a loose 3 and 70% effaced and when they checked me I was the same. They gave me my options explaining that I could relax take a shower, try more pitocin, break my water or go home and see what happens... I had no idea what to do and the fear of labor all the sudden started to overtake my thoughts. I had been excited and happy about all of it (even the pushing) a few days before and all that was dwindling fast. I took a bath relaxed and knew I needed to just make a choice. If I had them break my water the likelihood of c-section and infection would increase significantly. However, at this point my mind was more scared of the process than of having a c-section.

I had them break my water around 9 pm.  

Gross. Hot water came out in a gush. It continued to gush for hours making me feel like I was peeing myself over and over again. Joy. I started having contractions almost immediately that were double anything I had previously. And which each contraction the pain was doubling on itself. (They think it could've been the 12 hrs of pit making it go so quickly) by the 7th contraction. I knew I was ready to get an epidural. I had thought I would try it without one but I think I threw that idea out the window pretty quickly.  

The anesthesiologist was amazing. (Long paragraph ahead about allergies that I don't want to forget) She had come in right after my water was broke and explained the process. She also asked some interesting questions. Come to find out there are a few allergies that are related and I had no idea I had developed almost all of them in the last couple years. I've always been sensitive to local anesthesia and it takes more than double to numb me at the dentist. So she started with that one and I said yes it takes a lot. Then she knew that I had been having trouble with the bands that they use to monitor baby and I had broken out in a rash. (Not to mention they had to get hypoallergenic sheets sent up because the others were bugging me too) Long story short it is latex, local anesthesia, kiwis, bananas and pineapple! I had never realized bananas and pineapple but when I thought back over pregnancy I realized those had popped up now and then. The biggest one was latex though. My back was COVERED in sore spots from the big tape thing they use for the epidural. And anywhere they had to tape me took days and days to heal.

The epidural did exactly what it was suppose to do. It stopped all the pain and with it all the contractions. They waited a few hours to see if it would start on its own again, it didn't. They came in and checked me and I was still the same as before... they started the pitocin again just after midnight. The epidural was strong and trying to sit up and not having control enough to was a weird feeling. And slowly I could tell if I touched it my belly started to get tight but I definitely couldn't feel it. So I took another nap.

At one point in the night the nurse came in to switch me from my left side (the side baby favored my entire pregnancy) to my right side. Within a few minutes I noticed baby's heartbeat slow a litttle and I moved towards my back instead of that side. She came in again a couple minutes later and switched me back to the left side and put me on oxygen just in case. But soon as I was back on my left side his heart rate came back up and all was good. I would guess this happened around 2.

I think it was around 4 that they decided to check me to see if I had made progress because I was saying I could feel some pain on my left side. I shouldn't have been feeling it there though because normally the epidural numbs more on the bottom side of your body. But I had almost full movement of my legs and that tingling feeling was mostly gone. Gratefully when they checked me I was dilated to a 7 and almost 100% effaced. I have everyone a heads up and went back to sleep.

The contractions got closer together and my doctor was going off shift at 7. She came in apologized that she may not be there for me. She was part of the reason I wanted to be induced on that day. She'd been my doctor the entire pregnancy and I didn't want a stranger. Before she left she decided to check me and low and behold I was a 10!!! Annndddd... ready to go.

I called all the necessary people and told them to hurry their butts back to the hospital because I would be ready to push soon.  

Soon came fast. However, I wanted my sister to be there but she was 30 minutes away so I held it in. Then there was an accident she got stuck behind (of course) and it took her almost a full hour to get to the hospital. I called her and she said she was in the parking lot so I told them to call the doc I was ready.

About a week or two earlier I have been analyzing a couple of friends births and my sisters. Quite a few of them had all had amazing experiences and I wanted that too. I'm a big believer in positive thinking and I knew that there was some things that would be out of my control on how baby got into this world. Although, my reaction to the entire experience was 100% within my control. As things begin to hurt I kept repeating to myself, "this is a choice". Not only was having a baby a choice but my reaction to the pain and all of the unknown was also a choice. I guarantee having this mindset made labor a lot easier.

The doctor came in, introduced herself, and told Mike she had heard he was feeling sick and handed him DayQuil 🙌🏻 he had started getting sick the day before and try as he might he felt like crap.

We did a couple practice pushes so she could explain a little on how to push and then my nurse (the absolutely amazing Lee)   took over and counted pushes for me. Once the doctor had left in between pushes Lee explained that her baby sister had been in an accident. Only an hour before a DUMP TRUCK had ran her over on her scooter!!! And she was there delivering my baby acting as if everything was fine. I'm beyond impressed with how she not only treated me but how cool and level headed she stayed. By some miracle later we found out that the guy was going straight and cut her off in her lane when he decided to turn left at the last second. Her scooter got stuck under the truck and she went under the truck. Somehow all that happened (thanks to her helmet) was a tendon on one side tore from her toe to her knee. Definitely not good but considering what happened I guarantee she'll take that over the alternative.

Ok back to my delivery... I was pushing for just under and hour so I'm pretty sure I was pushing without the doctor for around 20-30 minutes. I really have no idea. I'll have to look at the photo time stamps. My amazing nurse was having me push for three counts of 10 and then I would get to "relax". People had told me that you get a minute to relax in between but it's not really a minute to relax. It's a minute to wait while you're still hurting just not hurting as bad. The minute to "relax" was almost annoying to wait. I just wanted to get to the next contraction.

Mike situated himself on my left side behind the bed rails. The whole time he held my arm and anytime he could tell that I was really in pain he would rub. It was a perfect distraction in the painful parts to know he was there.

Aleea, my sister, held my left leg and my nurse Lee held my right. I would grab the backs of my legs to push it was much easier to try and put my knees up towards my chest on either side. If I like the more that I was able to relax them down towards me the more my pelvis would open.  

Once I was fully in the "ring of fire" stage, it was hard not to sob and cry a little in between pushes. This was when I definitely just wanted to keep pushing instead of just sit there and cry. I remember thinking "I wonder if it would be easier to just keep pushing, at least I would be doing something".

TMI- once they told me that the head was starting to come out I knew that the likelihood of me pooping on the table went down significantly. It's amazing how much better the pushes became once I knew that embarrassing experience wouldn't happen.

They asked me if I wanted to feel the head and I remember my thoughts were "NO, I want to freaking push to get him here.  I don't want him to stay in there!"

At this point the pain made me extremely determined to get him out. My mind went one track and pushing was all I could think about. I wanted to help pull him out and be the one to put him on my chest. When his head was out the doctor helped his shoulder a little and either her or Lee said, "Now is your chance grab your baby." I reached down grabbed him and pulled him to me.

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Everyone had told me that in that moment my love would grow and I'd be changed forever. All I felt in that moment was SHOCK. I was in complete shock that a baby, A FREAKING BABY, was sitting on my chest and for the last ten months that was what was in my belly. I had made that... I felt relief from the pain, shock and confusion. My brain wasn't letting me focus on anything but emotion.

I started to shake and bawl.  

I didn't want to let him go and I needed to be close to him. It wasn't a loving feeling it was more of a primal need to have him close to me and know where he was. 

Going back a little...

He had a thick layer of vernix on his back and not much blood. While I'm glad I had a bra on I wish it would've opened in front so I could've thrown it on he floor and put him directly on my chest. (With the bra on, having him on my chest almost felt dirty and sticky. So get a front buckle if you're wearing a bra for delivery!)

I delayed the cord clamping and just held him for a bit. Once the cord was clamped I cut the cord myself. It's something I really wanted to do especially since Mike had said he would prefer not to cut it. I Don't know why but I was expecting no blood to come out and when some dripped out I was surprised. When I delivered the placenta it felt like jello coming out and I didn't feel pain. I didn't tear really but the doctor put in three “cosmetic” stitches because she thought I would like them. Ha. That sentence is funny to me. The pain from anything that came after he was delivered was so much less that I felt nothing.

He had been wheezing a little and had not let out a big cry when he came out so they asked if they could check him out. His cries had been more muddled and soft. He was definitely breathing but almost lethargic.  

I told Mike I didn't want him to go over to the warmer alone and I wanted Mike to go hold his hand. I think that's when Mike fell in love with little man. I chose to have him vaccinated and when he cried it got to Mike. (See the video👉🏻)

He breastfed almost immediately and it wasn't weird at all. I had a fear that it would be gross or foreign and I wasn't sure how I was going to feel. (Now I love breastfeeding him) The massaging that they give you after delivery I couldn't really feel either. I even massaged it a little myself because my soft belly was so intriguing to me.

Slowly everyone cleared out and it was just Mike and I with baby. I was so grateful. I was tired, still a little in shock, and wanted to process what had happened. I think the entire time I was in the hospital I was a little out of it and not fully realizing what had happened.

I'll write more on our first 24 hours with baby later because that was different and emotional.

For now we are enjoying Hudson so much. We both are obsessed with his cuteness and even argue sometimes on who gets to hold him ;)

We had a great delivery and labor was much easier than I had made it out to be in my head

We are happy.

My amazing friends and photographers were Emily & Kyla. They are both located in Northern Colorado but both travel. Emily is exclusively a wedding photographer an Kyla specializes in Boudoir and weddings.