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Welcome to the Blog!

Welcome to the blog!  Check here regularly for updates, previews and sneak peeks, and more!


Category Archives: Personal

The going-ons of my life…and my beautiful little boy

The Most Gorgeous Nephews | Fayetteville NC Children Photographer

I had to go meet my newest nephew, born December 9 last year, in Tampa Florida.  He’s just as beautiful as my other gorgeous nephews. Meet sweet Charlie Joe!

And now meet my beautiful sister-in-law, Jacklin–

And my super handsome brother, Brandon

And the most gorgeous kid, my oldest nephew Jackson with the perfect hair–

And Eli–who has the coolest funniest personality ever–

These boys love each other.

My Princess is Here | Stedman Fayetteville NC Newborn Photography

Just last week I posted a peek of my little princess’s room.  She had a scheduled c-section for  October 10, but of course my babies always have their own plans on when they want to arrive (remember, Aidan was a 26 week baby).

So I had been having contractions on and off for a few weeks.  I’d been on and off bed rest, but they were what the doctors considered normal, Braxton Hicks contractions…nothing to be alarmed about.  Well all day Saturday and Sunday, I didn’t feel Ella move much.  Monday came and she finally started moving again, so I decided to wait until my Wednesday appointment to talk to the doctor about her moving less and about the small contractions I’d been having.  Tuesday, my contractions began to hurt, just a little, and mostly in my lower back.

I went to the doctor Wednesday and they hooked me up to the NST machine to measure my contractions.  She said they were 7 minutes apart, but they were not strong contractions.  I was concerned because in the beginning of my pregnancy, I was told they were going to give me steroids at 34 weeks, then take the baby around 35 after an amniocentesis showed her lungs were ready.  They didn’t want her to weigh over 5 lbs or so because of the scar tissue from Aidan.  But my pregnancy was going so smoothly, that they kept pushing it back and back and finally decided I could go to term–although I still didn’t believe I’d make it.

Anyway, Wednesday after my appointment, they told me to call them if the contractions got closer together, or became painful.  I could barely eat my lunch because they were painful.  So I went to work for a little while anyway (because I’m stubborn).  But around 3, they were unbearable, so I went into the hospital to be monitored.  My doctor called them to tell them I was coming, and just to watch my contractions and give me some fluid because I was probably just dehydrated.  They ran 3 bags of fluid and my contractions didn’t stop, but they weren’t strong.  I was only dilated 1 cm.  But just to be on the safe side, they decided to keep me overnight and just keep monitoring me.

While I was being moved into the Labor & Delivery rooms for monitoring, my placenta abrupted.  I got up to get off my bed and onto the other bed, and I was sitting in a pool of blood.  My contractions became very painful, and were every 2 minutes.  Every contractions, I was bleeding more.  My doctor ordered an emergency c-section, and it only took about 20 minutes to prep the OR and get me in there.  My husband hardly made it to see her birth, he walked in just as they were beginning the surgery.

The worst part, my epidural was not effective.  I could still feel my legs, and every pinch, cut, clamp, you name it.   I think they kept giving me different medicines to try to control my pain level, but they couldn’t stop the c-section.  My blood pressure was rising, I believe the last I remember it was around 270/150.  The placenta was pulling away and there was fear that Ella would go without oxygen.  So instead of a numbing epidural I was given something that made my face numb, then something that made me black out for a minute (either that or I died, I’m not sure) but I did come back to.  I remember screaming–and it was the most horrible experience of my life.  I know that I asked to see her, but I remember my doctor telling me I could but I wouldn’t remember seeing her (and I didn’t).

But Ella is here now, and I’m so thankful.  I’m thankful to God that I was at the hospital when my placenta abrupted.  My doctor told me that had I been at home, Ella would not have lived–and the chances that I survived would have been small.  I was bleeding too much.  And on top of my placenta abrupting, my uterus also tore open.  I’m lucky to have a perfectly healthy baby girl, and also get to live to see my babies grow up.  It was the scariest day of my life, but also one of the happiest.

Margaret Elizabeth Small was born just as her namesake (my granny) was admitted back into our local hospital for her pneumonia.  My granny hasn’t met her yet, but she has seen pictures.  Ella weighs 4 pounds 11 ounces and is 17 inches long.  She’s a good size for a 33 week preemie.  She’s a lucky, loved little girl.

I never thought I could love a baby like I love Aidan, but this little girl has me wrapped around her finger just like her big brother.  She’s the most beautiful baby I’ve ever seen and I can’t wait to see the beautiful young lady she becomes.

I got to peek at her without her c-pap…

Holding her for the first time

Aidan got to meet his baby sister, just for a second.  His little heart was broken that he couldn’t see her right after she was born.  He said “She’s so beautiful and soft!”

She got off her c-pap last night.  They wanted to see if she could breathe on her own, and she made it all night long without it.  I’m so proud of her!

She’s so beautiful, and I’m so in love with her.

A Room for a Princess | Fayetteville NC Newborn Baby Photographer

Although I’m not 100% finished with her room…I’m still waiting on a few decorative accents to come in the mail…I’m nearly there.  Ella will arrive on October 10 at 7:00 am, unless she decides to come earlier (this is my scheduled C-Section though).  I can hardly wait to hold her!  I’ve been working on her princess room since the moment I found out I was pregnant.

My good friend and client painting my walls for me.  She is the most talented lady I’ve ever seen–can you believe she completely free-handed this in less than a couple hours?  She said she wouldn’t paint for anyone else, so I feel so fortunate to know her!

Detail of the wall.  My daddy, who died in ‘08, loved owls (and all birds).  I chose the owl and bird theme because of him.  I like to imagine these owls as him, asleep, watching over Ella.

Its a tad messy still.  I’m waiting on a few things for this wall–a photo for the wall above, a few little birds, and things like that.

I can’t wait until Laura Brett can fill this frame with a beautiful photo.

This chest was used by my grandma for all 5 of her children!  Back then it was wood with balloons painted on the door.  Its been refinished and I added the knobs, but this is a very special part of her nursery.

I love the bird house, and the bird cage!  The watercolor elephant princess is for ‘Ella’ :)

We were just convinced that Aidan was a girl!  His sonogram at 16 weeks told us girl.  So my daddy bought this to go on her door.  Of course Aidan was born and I kept this just by chance.  Its the only girl thing my daddy got to buy (he had 2 grandsons when he died, but now would have 4 with another grandson on the way).  He loved baby girls, and he would be so over the moon over Ella.  I hate that she will not get a chance to meet him.

We probably shouldn’t talk about Ella’s closet.  This is only 0-3 months, which I *thought* I had been fairly good about buying too many of.  Guess not.

Pretty monogrammed gowns…

An armoir filled with pretties

She even has a coordinating carseat.

Ella’s full name is Margaret Elizabeth Small.  My grandmother asked me in November if I was going to have anymore kids…I said “No granny, I lost 140lbs, I don’t want to gain it back!”  She gave me a sad puppy face and said “I’ll never live to meet the little girl you were going to name after me.”  Well of course, my granny is spoiled.  So that very day, we made the decision to have another baby.  February 6, Ella came to be.  I never had a doubt she wasn’t a little girl, just because my granny is so doggone spoiled, she gets everything she wants.

My Boy’s Growing Up | Fayetteville NC Children Photographer

Wow my poor blog has been neglected my entire pregnancy–but I know the problem, I’m overworking myself.  But as a kickoff to update more often, and blog some of my unblogged sessions, I will start with a personal post–my boy started school.  Its hard to believe that just 4 years ago, I was holding my tiny one pound boy in my hands imagining the young man he would become.

Then today, I woke him up, brushed his teeth and hair.  We dressed in his brand new school uniform (which is a little big on him, little guy is so small it was really hard to find uniforms in his size) and grabbed his brand new book bag and lunch box that he picked out himself.  He didn’t even mind it was something different for him, but I lost it.  I cried like a baby as I said “Have a good first day at school,” and he just zoomed off to find a friend to eat breakfast with.  I wiped tears away my entire ride to work, just thinking about how its going to be a long 14 years for him, getting up and getting ready for school every day.  I feel like he grew up right before my eyes.

Hello from Disney! | Fayetteville NC Children Photographer

Yep, I’m on vacation right now–the first I’ve had in over a year!  We are in Orlando, spoiling Aidan I am sure, with family!  I can’t wait to share all the photos that I am undoubtedly taking right now when I get back!  For now, enjoy your week everyone, and I’ll be sure to answer all emails and inquiries as soon as I get home!

And what’s a blog post without a photo?

And here’s one of the new Small addition.  I feel aweful calling Baby Small an it, so we just call it Peanut for now.  Peanut was doing acrobatics during the sonogram, so I’m already knowing I’m going to have my hands full with another hyperactive child.  Peanut’s enjoying Disney too, eating lots of good junk food I’m sure.

Guess who’s going to be a big brother | Fayetteville NC Newborn Photographer

I have photographed 103 newborns in 3 years.  Each and every one  have left me with a slight longing for another of my own, but I was able to send them home to their mommies with no loss of sleep due to midnight feedings.  I was hesitant to have another baby.  My first perfect boy was only a pound and a half when he was born.  I don’t think I can go through that again.  But now that my boy is going to be 4 years old in 2 weeks…I miss having a little one.  I want my little boy to grow up with a sibling (or two) so that when I’m gone, he will still have family.  I don’t want to leave this earth leaving him alone.  I want him to have the joys of nieces and nephews (well in my case, I only know the joy of nephews!) one day.  I want him to fight with his sibling and protect them when there is a bully around.  I  had 2 little brothers of my own, I want the same for him.  Plus, he’s a tad spoiled.

So, in October, I will welcome the newest Small baby, who will hopefully not be so small, and will be patient enough to wait until its time to enter the world.  One of my greatest regrets is that I wasn’t skilled enough for great photos of Aidan as a baby and newborn.  I can’t wait to document every tiny milestone and day with the newest baby Small.

And in honor of this occasion, I would love to give away a free newborn session!  Please post below if you are expecting a newborn within the next 3 months.  I will choose a winner (or 2 or 3, depending on the number of entries) at random for a free full session and free 8×10 print.

Now without further ado, the proud big brother, who has refused to even let me pull of his big brother shirt long enough to wash it.