This past Saturday I took part in The Natural Birth & Baby Expo. Man was it amazing!!! My little guy strapped to my back and camera in hand, I got to capture it all! Every single person I encountered was so nice and welcoming. It was like a big family gathering, to celebrate moms and babies. During my time at this awesome event, I met Charlie Rae and Erica Lea of Barefoot birth who gave me hope and confidence for my future births whenever they may be. Next to their booth was a mommy and baby area to take a seat, nurse your baby and a changing table which is forgotten most of the time but so necessary at big events. This was all set up by Community Roots Collective which is part of Barefoot birth.
As I was walking by the isles something caught my eye. It was an image I had seen before. The light switch came on and I realized it was an image taken by one of my favorite Birth Photographers, Jennifer Martin of Jennifer Martin Photography. I was starstruck and probably really dorky. The ooos and awes spilled out of my mouth as I looked through all of her work and admired her beautiful booth. I want to have another baby just so she can capture my birth! Jennifer wore her precious little one almost the whole event. Now where else can you work and wear your baby?
Recently I made a new friend, her name is Gladis and she owns Crunch Natural Parenting. The first time we met was at her store, we talked and our kids played for a good two hours! Her inviting personality really shines when you walk into her doors. I didn’t want to leave! She somehow brought all of the goodness of her store to the birth event. Her mini shop was adorable! Full of wraps, carriers, diapers and the cutest baby moccs from Freshly picked! If you ever need some good baby wearing or cloth diapering advice, Crunch is your one stop shop! When I make the switch to Cloth diapers I will definitely be going to Gladis!
Next to Crunch was The Tampa Bay Birth Network. They set up a mock up Birthing room complete with a birth tub and bed. As I walked into the dimly lit “room” I felt relaxed and as if I were about to witness a birth. Pictures hung on the walls and music played in the background. It showed what birth should be like for mothers who can do it at home! I snagged one of the last beige Tampa Bay Birth Network tanks to wear during my newborn sessions (represent!)
I could go on and on about all the amazing booths and people I met but really I will never be able to explain how awesome it was. I can’t wait for next years expo and I hope that you will join in and take part in the fun too! Here are some of my favorite shots from the expo.