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On July 24th, 2017, Jes Hogan of Kansas gave birth to her sixth child—her first boy, named Maxwell. Everything went just as you would hope—amazing mama, healthy baby, an excellent medical team and Kansas Birth Photographer Tammy Karin there to capture it all.


The only thing was that little Max was born on the floor in the emergency room hallway.

Jes's labor started off slowly—she went to the hospital for an assessment but eventually went home, since her labor wasn't progressing. She stayed home in early labor for a few more days, going to the pool, walking and generally being awesome.

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And then in the middle of the night, she suddenly had one contraction that felt different, followed quickly by her water breaking. From that point on, her contractions were much more frequent and intense. In her birth story on Little Leapling Photography's website, she tells us that she looked at her husband, Travis, and said, “Oh God, we're not going to make it. We are going to have this baby at home."

But they did make it, as did their photographer, Tammy, who “rushed through the doors ahead of [them] to alert the front desk that [she] was, in fact, having this baby right now."

As soon as Jes got inside, she could feel her body instinctively bearing down.

“I looked at my husband and said, 'Travis catch him!'" Jes reports. “Without any hesitation, he did just that as I felt my body involuntarily pushing his head the rest of the way out. At that moment Tammy [the photographer] began snapping away! Then the nurses came rushing down the hall. It was a blur at this point—they reached us, helped me lay down just as my body began to push again.

“...He arrived on the floor just inside the entrance of the emergency room at 3:38 am. Less than 25 minutes from the time my water broke at home, and only a few moments after we stepped inside the hospital."

Jes, Travis, Max and his five big sisters are doing well, and we imagine still wrapping their minds around what happened!

We reached out to the fast-acting birth photographer, Tammy Karin, who shared, “I have followed my heart and feel very passionately about sharing the beauty of birth and connecting with women as their birth stories are written. This is a very difficult gig that requires an incredible amount of time, energy, patience and compassion. But, it is worth it.

“I get to capture women at their strongest and men when they are most in love. And what a gift to be able to provide proof to women that they were simply stunning after they felt like such a disheveled mess. I cherish the few images I have from the births of my children more than any others, and I look forward to creating those priceless treasures for families for many years to come."

Jes and her family are beyond grateful for Tammy. She wrote, “Without her, I don't think we would have gotten help from the nurses just in the nick of time, and we most certainly wouldn't have any of the treasured photos of our last baby's incredible birth.

“Travis and I both can't thank her enough for all that she did, and we are so so happy that she was there with us through this wild ride. From there we experienced excellent care, baby was checked over, as was I. We both fared wonderfully. He was 6 lbs 7 oz, 20 inches long.

“Our son. Our last baby. Our only boy. Our smallest and quickest delivery. It's still surreal."

We wish everyone in the Hogan family well and are so grateful to Little Leapling Photography for sharing the power and beauty of birth with the world.

Back when my husband and I were creating our wedding registry, it was a fun, low-pressure opportunity to select some new dishes and linens. After all, I knew a thing or two about stocking my home and making the "wrong decision" with thread count was the only thing that posed any risk to my sleep at night.

Fast-forward a few years to when I created a baby registry before the birth of my first child—and I found the experience to have a much steeper learning curve. Unlike those sheets, it felt like a bad swaddle or bassinet selection would be catastrophic. Unsure of what to expect from motherhood or my baby, I leaned heavily on advice from friends who already ventured into parenthood. (Starting with their reminders to take deep breaths!)

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Now a mom of three little ones under the age of four, I'm happy to be in a position to pass along some baby registry wisdom.

Go shopping with a veteran parent

As first-time parents, my husband and I barely knew the difference between a bouncer and a swing, let alone what specific features we would want. So when a mom friend recommended we head to Walmart to build my registry together—because she found them to carry the trendy brands she loved AND make registering a breeze during her pregnancy—I leapt at the chance.

By walking through the aisles together and actually getting to see the products, I was much more confident in my registry selections. Thanks to that quick, in-store tutorial from my friend, I understood exactly how to match a perfect infant car seat with an extra base and stroller—which is something I would have been clueless about on my own.

Include items at a variety of price points

When it comes down to it, a registry is really a wish list. So, while I had a personal budget for a stroller if it had to come out of my own pocket, this was an opportunity for me to ask for the stroller of my dreams. And, wouldn't you know it? A few family members went in on it together, which made a bigger price tag much more manageable.

At the same time, it's nice to include some of the smaller ticket items that are absolutely essential. I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I was to skip buying my own diapers for those first few weeks. (With super cute patterns, these are also surprisingly fun to give, too!)

Think about the gifts you would like to give

The first time I bought a mom-to-be a gift after my own child was born, I knew immediately what to look for on her registry: a diaper bag backpack, which I had come to have very strong opinions about after battling falling straps with my first diaper bag. This allowed me to feel like I had a personal touch in my gift, even if I brought one pre-selected by her.

I also appreciate it when my friends clearly incorporate their style into their registry choices, like with adorable baby outfits or nursery decor—and there's no sweeter "thank you" than a picture from a friend showing your gift in use.

Ask for things to grow with your child

Even though it's called a baby registry, there's no need to limit yourself to gifts to use before their first birthday. (To this day, I still have people who attended my baby shower to thank for the convertible bed that my oldest child sleeps in!) Knowing that, I would have included more options with long lifespans into my registry—namely, a baby carrier that can be used during the newborn months, baby months and well into the toddler years. A well-designed baby carrier would have saved my back from serious pain because it would have allowed me to comfortably and ergonomically carry my toddler as she made her way into the 25lb+ club. One brand that's designed to grow with your baby and accommodates 7-45 pounds (up to about four years old) and offers both inward and forward-facing positions is Ergobaby. With several different design and style options, you can easily find one that caters to your parenting needs. From an all-in-one carrier, like the Omni 360, that grows with baby from the newborn stages into the toddler years or a newborn-specific carrier, like the Embrace (and don't worry you can later upgrade to a carrier for an older baby, I recommend the 360 Carrier). The best part? All ergonomic designs are supportive and comfortable for both baby and parent, offering extra lumbar support with breathable, lightweight mesh styles. Everyone (even grandparents!) can get a kick out of babywearing, which is a nice and welcomed break for parents. Having one of these on my registry would have certainly made those first few years so much easier.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This article was sponsored by Ergobaby. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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