Hey Everyone, thanks for coming by to check out Veldman Photo's blog. Feel free to check back often, as we will keep you updated with not only our work, but we'll sneak some of our life in as well. Who doesn't love a good, funny story because you know that there's always something strange and odd happening around these woods!

If you are interested in booking Veldman Photo for a wedding or portrait session, or have any other questions, feel free to contact us.

Thanks again for coming by!

Abby (& Todd)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life's Surprises...

You can plan and plan, but that doesn't always mean those plans are going to be the final outcome.

Life sure gives you lots of surprises that you never expect in a million years to happen, right?!

I mean how many times do you plan an outing only for the weather to down pour on you and cause you to cancel or resort to "inside only activities"? Booo on bad weather! Or when you plant a whole garden full of tomatoes only to find out that the soil has a lack of calcium in it, and you are stuck with rotten bottom tomatoes that you can't even eat... that's torture... and yes that happened to us this year! Boo on bad soil!

But all those life's surprises might happen for a reason, and you can choose to either be mad and hate life, which what kind of a life would that be? NOT FUN! or you can accept that you are not in control and find whatever positives you can in those surprises.

Well life sure gave Todd and I quite the surprise last week, and it was one that neither I nor anyone else would have ever even imagined!

Without losing too many readers, I'll try and give the best version of the story without going too far in detail to make people leave the page to go throw up. So stick with me here... the ending is the BEST part...

So last Friday August 19th came, which for those of you who follow us, know that was our due date. Sure enough, our boy was not done cooking as he was still gaining lots of brain cells to make himself SUPER smart! A couple more days past, which brings us to Tuesday. Todd and I had been waiting patiently for some signs to come that would give us a clear idea as to when our little guy was indeed ready. We went to see our midwife on Tuesday, and things looked great, but no signs had arose, so we scheduled an ultrasound for Friday to make sure things were still ok with him and we had nothing to worry about. At this point, I'm pretty sure I'd be pregnant forever.

Tuesday evening, we were headed out the door to go visit some friends, and sure enough one of those lovely "Baby is on the Way" signs decided to grace us with its presence... nothing too urgent to go and get the car packed, but just there were signs that there could potentially be a baby within 24-48 hours. As the night went on, I was feeling a little bit more uneasy and as we went to bed that night, my mind would keep me awake along with some pain I was having. Little did I know that any sleep that I would get that night would be my last for a REALLY long time!

The next morning, the pain I was having was still there as it was much stronger. I knew that they were contractions because they were coming at regular intervals around seven minutes apart. I had been having those fun "fake" ones for weeks now, and considering the intensity they were coming, I knew the end was so close... or so I thought...

I talked Todd into going into work that day, and just told him I would keep him posted. I decided to keep myself relaxed and near home so that if anything were to happen and progress quickly, I was not too far and I knew I would need my energy as I had been planning an 'all natural' labor for months now and I knew it was not going to be easy.

The pain I was having throughout the morning was bearable, nothing breathing couldn't help with. I'm pretty sure all my yoga really helped me through them and as the day went on, the pain got stronger. I called Todd around 12:30pm and told him I needed him to come home. I was getting a bit overwhelmed because I knew that this was IT and soon enough it would get a lot worse. I needed a distraction and Todd was what I needed.

When Todd got home, he helped distract me. He would help me breath, relax, laugh, smile, and follow me around the house with our exercise ball because if I had a contraction in a room the only thing that would help would to sit on the ball and rock back and forth. I am so grateful for him...

Somewhere around 8PM, I knew things were progressing a lot quicker and my contractions were becoming stronger and stronger. I started having a great deal of pain in my lower back. A pain I was dreading, as I knew it was "BACK LABOR". I was a bit overwhelmed as everything that happened up until this moment seemed so slow, and now it was like the gear shifted and we were going a mile a minute. We called our friends to come get Maddox, packed the car, and waited the hour of those fun 5 minute intervals of someone beating me with a baseball bat for at least an hour long. I didn't want to go to the hospital too early, but did not want to wait too long.

Around 9:30, I called our midwife and told her it had been over an hour and she actually told me that I sounded fine. Sounded fine? Seriously, I almost jumped through the phone to beat this lady. She thought since I sounded "fine", I should wait until they were more around THREE minutes apart and that I wouldn't be able to talk much... Yes, she was crazy I tell ya!!! I was in so much pain, I wanted to curl in a ball and die. Luckily no more than 45 minutes later, it was TIME!!!! It went from one contraction, rest for 5 minutes, to one contraction, the next contraction, to the next, etc... they were right on top of each other and ones that I could not even talk through. I only could breathe. I told Todd we needed to go... and he questioned me... I said, "No, it's TIME!!!" We got in the car, I stuck the tennis ball behind my back for pain, put on my headphones, and we made the 30 minute trip over to the hospital.

The trip there was a blur, along with the whole trip up to the birthing center, but once we got in there, changed, and saw our midwife, I was at ease and the contractions had slowed down, which helped. I told her about the back pain, so she first checked to see my progress and did a quick ultrasound of our baby. As she checked me, my water broke... what a weird feeling that was... Haha! She had us guess to see how far along I was... we had no idea so we just said maybe 4 cm. She laughed and said, "You're a 7!" I was in shock. I thought oh my goodness... I'm almost there, considering you just go to 10. I had only 3 cm. to go! Wooo... the bad thing was she did a quick ultrasound of our baby and turned out he was indeed what they call "sunny-side up" which is not ideal for labor, but it was doable.

After we got checked in and into our room, we would do everything we could to get our baby to turn in the right direction. It was slow and long and exhausting. I kept wanting to know what time it was and if I was close, but Todd kept telling me to breathe and the time would come. I did a lot of rocking on the ball, sitting in the jacuzzi tub, laying on my side, and basically, anything and everything to breathe through the pain. It was NOT fun... the pain started getting to be unbearable... I'm talking to the point where I no longer could breathe and it was more screaming than breathing... Yes, labor does some pretty crazy things to you. My back pain got so bad, I literally thought I was going to die.

8 hours later, our midwife decided to check my progress... as she wanted to see where I was indeed at and if it was time to get the ball moving. I wasn't having any pressure to push, but I never was in labor before so how was I suppose to know what that feels like? I thought for sure I was almost there. I mean it had been so long and I was EXHAUSTED! Around 7am she checked me and I could not even bear the pain any longer. I wanted a way out... I wanted our baby out! I knew this was not going to be easy, but seriously, it was the most awful pain I have ever endured. She checked me to see and I was barely 8 cm. I think at that point, I was done... I could no longer go any further! Due to my progress after the 8 hours being at the hospital, she recommended an epidural and pitocin to speed things up since I was so wiped out, I had no energy to even breathe through any more. I was really bummed because of my "plan" to do it without medicine, but I knew I went as long as I could and that epidural could not come fast enough. I was begging the nurses to tell them it was an emergency. Once I got all doped up, I could actually breathe again, and was able to just relax. I took a quick nap and waited a few more hours, until they told me it was time to push.

6 hours had passed, and it was a long 6 hours! I could still feel contractions, they just weren't as intense and I didn't feel like someone was beating me with a bat in my back. I was able to breathe a little bit more through them. After 6 hours of waiting, it was finally time to start pushing.

Our nurses were awesome... all of them! We got started and she explained everything to me and we did practice breathing so I knew exactly what to do. I asked her about how long would it take to get him out, of course there is no exact time frame, but she said average about an hour or two. So the contractions came and pushing came with it... harder and harder... who would have thought pushing without breathing would be so hard. It is SUCH TOUGH WORK!!! It was not fun...

I pushed and pushed and pushed and it seemed like nothing was happening. They kept having me turn different directions and after awhile I could hear whispers to Todd. I opened my eyes at one point and there was a mass amount of people in the room with us. Doctors and nurses galore. At one point, there was six different people holding different parts of my body while I pushed. I started to get a little panicked. I was losing energy and my back pain was coming back, which if you remember the worse pain I had ever endured in my life. I kept asking if I was close... all anyone would say was "You are CLOSER!" I was confused. I was waiting for that moment where they say, "I see a head!" But nothing...

After THREE LONG, DREADFUL hours of pushing, I could no longer go any further. My back pain was back, I had no energy left, I was crying, hyperventilating, begging everyone to just get him out. I wanted a way out! I had no clue how to get out of this situation... and get out quickly. I was hopeless and Todd did the best he could at helping, but at this point I needed relief and I needed it NOW. I just wanted to meet our little boy... it was TIME!

After the three hours and all the whispering, and me getting a bit out of control... Yes, I admit I was out of control at the time because of all the pain, a doctor that had been checking in from time to time came in and assessed the situation. It was pretty crazy! The doctor had determined that he had not moved from when I initially started pushing. Goodness gracious this kid is stubborn, so the doctor ordered an emergency c-section because our little guys head was stuck behind my pelvic bone. How big was this boy's head that it would do that? (Just wait and you'll see!)

On the way to the C-section, I kept sobbing... I did not want any more contractions to come because they hurt so bad I thought I was going to hyperventilate and lose oxygen to our little guy causing him to die along with myself.

They got me prepped and ready to go, brought Todd back in, and did the surgery. Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse... they could! Ughhh!!! Sure enough, Jackson was stuck so tightly in my pelvis, they could not get him out and had to go from the opposite side to push and the other person had to pull him out of my tummy. Ouch! Then, due to all the stress he had been under, he had meconiume in his water and had swallowed it. Oh brother... after all of that... more bad news! They got him out, cleaned out his lungs and all I knew was that I was getting pretty out of it. I couldn't stop shivering and I felt like I was going in and out of consciousness. I was so limp... I could hear Todd talking to me, but could not respond. I had no energy, I was upset my baby was being worked on, we didn't get to see him and then they took him up to be monitored due to the stress he was under.

But he made it here...

Jackson Milo Veldman arrived at 4:27PM weighing 9lbs. 21.3 inches long

The next couple hours were a blur as well. I was taken to triage and Jackson was taken to the special nursery for observation. Since I was in triage, trying to heal as well going in and out of consciousness, which at the time was probably a good thing because I was pretty upset about this WHOLE situation. We did have a few family members there for the delivery, but the only update they got that was after all those hours, we had to go get a c-section... so it was pretty crazy! Todd was given permission to go see Jackson, and he was able to take one person at a time to go see him and after I was taken to a room and they made sure he was ok. We FINALLY got to meet him!!!

I can't tell you how crazy this whole situation was and how this was the LAST thing I ever expected to happen. But he is so worth all the pain, and I would do it all over again if I had to. But please don't ask him to do that... it was awful!

Thank you to a few family members who passed along some photos to us, as we were not able to take some that we really wanted to....

This was the first time I got to see him... I was soooo in LOVE!!!!



Our new family... (pardon my lovely exhausted look.. it had been a long couple days!)


I wasnt able to do much in the hospital, but I did get a chance to take a few photos of our boy... I'm partial, but I think he's sooooo stinkin' cute!!!





Pardon my absence as we adjust to our new life... but keep checking back as life will calm down and Jackson will make sure to make his first newborn session soon!

Happy Wednesday and Sorry if anyone threw up reading this... Haha!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


After falling into my huge desperation hole last week, I thought that I would have good news on Friday, but sure enough I was just left with a hole in my stomach from all the heartburn I have. Needless to say... the cookies did NOT work. But it sure was fun to see everyone else try them since I had made so many.

I thought to myself, well maybe if I don't post an edition of 'Fun Times Friday', he would come sometime over the weekend and I could have a fun post of a 'Fun Times Weekend' to share... kind of like a protest to him.

I was wrong...

So we will continue waiting and waiting and waiting... but hopefully not waiting as long as my vivid dream last night, where he never came out! Umm... that was extremely weird and I'm so glad I woke up knowing that was just a dream and more importantly, just not possible! Can you imagine having a Benjamin Button baby...

YIKES... a bit creepy if you ask me! SOOOO SOOOO glad I woke up!

I plan to have a baby that will fit in nothing bigger than a little onesie, even if he is on the bigger side, which we found out there is a good chance that he will be. I'm ok with skipping the newborn size if it means he comes happy and healthy!

We're so excited to share the news with you all... when that day does official arrive, but until then, we continue waiting patiently and staying away from those heartburn cookies!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Fell in the Desperation Hole...

I feel like I'm in a haunted house right now...

I remember when I was young and my dad took my sister and I into this HUGE haunted house down in Tennessee. My sister and I were so confident that we could make it through this two story building, we thought that there is no way this place could be THAT bad. We paid a pretty penny to enter, made it through the first room and sure enough, here is my dad trying to find us an emergency exit in the second room we entered because we were so freaked out, there was NO WAY we were going to make it up through all those rooms.

But this haunted house is much MORE scarier than the one down in Tennessee... it's the unknown of "when" this baby is going to be ready to be born. Yes, to me that is scary! With our due date approaching TOMORROW, I feel like I'm in that haunted house, just waiting for someone to jump out from behind a wall and scare the daylights out of me. Don't get me wrong, I want to be scared, it is a haunted house, right? But I also want to know what wall they are hiding behind, ask them to count to three, so I can brace myself and not be so caught off guard. I want to know when indeed my water will break, or when the intense contractions will begin, or however it will need to happen... I want to know in advance... this anticipation of the unknown just might kill me in the process.

I know that I have heard every Old Wives Tale under the sun on EXACTLY what to do to induce labor, and I have learned early on to just take it with the grain of salt because if he's not ready, I cannot drink enough Castor Oil in the world that will get him to come... and NO, I will not be doing that... GROSS! But I can totally see how people get desperate and will try just about anything, which I am totally guilty of and brings me to today when I fell into a HUGE desperation hole.

As I was talking to my sister, and she was goo'ing and gaa'ing at her newly born bundle of joy, I fell into the desperation pit because we are SOOO ready to meet our boy! I'm talking over the moon excited and the comfort level of all this extra weight can be pretty taxing on the body. I just want to be goo'ing and gaa'ing as well. We have been walking so much my legs are on FIRE, and I do quite a bit of walking as it is, so more added to the mix is making me forest fire. (Like that one huh?! Ha!) I know walking can only do so much, but I want to be ready when that time comes. Well as my sister was goo'ing and gaa'ing, she mentioned how my mom was talking about cookies to jump start your labor. I thought to myself... whatever, those would never work. But sure enough, there I was googling them, and as I got off the phone with her five minutes later, all the ingredients were on the counter, oven was preheated, and the measuring cups were out ready to master this recipe. I fell into the desperation hole so far, I now have three dozen 'Jump Start Your Labor Cookies' to eat and if they don't work, I will probably have lost all taste buds and won't be able to goo or gaa because my tongue will be so numb I won't be able to use it. Haha!


Happy Thursday... Let's hope tomorrow we will have some Fun (Baby) Times to share!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And now there are TWO...

For most people, Monday's can be pretty blah, right?

Well I have never been one of 'those' people who think that. I love every day and I love Monday's even more because yesterday was a BIG, BIG day in our family.

Most of you all know that I have one and only one sister. She's 18 months older than I am and we are EXTREMELY close... well not distance close, since she's in Indiana and I'm in Michigan, but relationshiply (Yes, a new word for your vocabulary?!) close. We talk all the time and it's actually pretty funny at the random stuff we call each other for or about... I'll spare you the details because some are too weird! Ha!

A few years back, she was blessed with her first baby, my first and only niece, Isabella Sophia. What a miracle she was, and such a sweet and spunky little girl she has become. LOVE HER so much!!!! I was so excited to be able to have a few weeks to spend with them all after she arrived, as my schedule allowed me to stay and help out with everything and anything needed down there then. It allowed me to share this special time with them, but to be able to bond with this baby girl who would be in our lives forever.

Well fast forward three years... somewhere around the first of the year.

My sister had found out a few weeks before New Year's that they were expecting another baby, which we were extremely excited for! Soon after they found out they were expecting, Todd and I found out we were also expecting. Wow! What are the odds?! I always told her that it would be so fun to be pregnant together at the same time, little did we know that our due dates would be TWO days apart from each other, which at the time was pretty cool! We were thrilled... SOOO SOOOO excited (after the initial shock of being pregnant wore off! Ha!)!

But as time went on, we realized that what an unfortunate thing to be experiencing together. Don't get me wrong... it has been so fun to experience this journey together, especially the last couple weeks here calling to chat daily to share what new fun things have arose. But now as the journey comes to an end for us both, we now have to miss out on the FUN part... the BABY BEING BORN! Not something we wanted to miss out on for each other... not at all!!!! What a bummer of a time to miss out on.

But I am thankful for technology today and with the recent heat killing my phone, causing me to get an iPhone, I have to thank facetime, skype, camera phones, and texting for allowing me to meet the newest member of our family even if it is through all the newest technology...


Born on Monday August 15, 2011 at 12:20PM
Weighing in at 6lbs. 9oz 19inches long

Isn't she a beauty?


And is this not the most precious photo ever?! I LOVE it!!! (I'm so bummed I'm missed this moment!)


I can't wait to get her in front of my camera for some photo action and I cannot wait for Jackson to get here so we can plan our first trip to Indiana for the cousins to meet!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fun Times Friday :: Nursery

It's FRIDAY!!!

Wooo... I'm so excited!

I look forward to Friday's so much now, not that I didn't before because Friday's are always nice, and Saturday's are awesome because we usually have weddings, but NEXT Friday is our due date, so we are ready whenever he is.

I know that I am about to birth a watermelon, but some people do not know how to respond to the big belly that I'm wearing right now. I have noticed that the bigger I get, the less people ask when I'm due because they must know I'm due any day. The questions of 'when' I'm due have turned into obvious stares at my belly and not-so-nice comments on how big I am... talk about feeling like a freak show. Today was pretty bad... I decided to go to Home Depot looking for something and of course I couldn't find it, so I had to ask a worker. She didn't know where to find it so she called another worker and they told her to tell me to meet me in aisle 10, she then went ahead to describe me as, "The REALLY Pregnant Girl that is about to Pop!" I could not believe her... she should be ashamed, even if it is true! Keep those comments to yourself... especially, to someone who not only looks huge, feels huge, and is pumped full of hormones that are not fun right now. Ha!

But on a good note...

I'm happy to say that our nursery if FINALLY complete! Sooooo fun... we put a lot of hard work into making it special for him and even though he won't be able to appreciate it or even enjoy it for awhile, I'm at peace knowing it's done and I don't have anything left to do, well besides the obvious... get him out! Ha!!!

We started off not really wanting a "theme", but that quickly changed when we both realized that we love animals and the bedding we picked out happened to have animals on it. Ha!

Walking into his room, you would see this...


Who wouldn't love changing him on a dresser like this?


I got a few prints on etsy that I fell in love with... ADORABLE!


And rocking him in a nice comfy chair will be so fun... let's hope he doesn't cry too much...


I got a little carried away on the amount of felt animals I did... Yes, I hand stitched them all... carpal tunnel and all. But one more turned into lots more and all the frames were fun to paint in all different colors. I think he'll like them when he's older and can name them... or it will be fun to teach him all the names at least!


He'll be sleeping there in the near future... Yay!


His name is no surprise with us... Jackson Milo... Jackson is actually Todd's grandparents last name and since there is only one "Jackson" left, we will carry on the name... Plus it's a cute name! Milo after... well there's no significance, we just really liked it...


And more animals to look at... I actually saw this on etsy and thought I could make it instead... next time I will just buy it as it took forever to make, along with everything else in his room. Haha!


Enjoy and Happy Friday! Cross your fingers that he's here before next Friday...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Down to the Wire...

Who would have thought that preparing for a baby would be a job in itself?

I feel like each day that passes is one day closer to meeting him, and after today's doctors appointment, Todd and I are both extremely excited for that day to be here. We are down to a week and a half until our actual due date, so he could come any time now. But today was special because we got to see a brief glimpse of him on the ultrasound machine as our midwife was confirming his position, since last week he was still "sunny side up". Good thing he's not now and all those hands & knees work along with the good ol' chiropractor I've been seeing has been paying off.

But as the time rolls towards meeting this boy, I've been trying to catch up on finishing his nursery, which I will be posting photos this week since I'm for the MOST part finished... what a time consuming project that was, plus trying to catch up on that thing most people call sleep, which is pretty much non-existent and a rare thing I've been experiencing lately. But I hear that's normal and probably a good thing since there will be lots of sleepless nights ahead. But I'm also trying to visualize how our buddy Maddox is going to do and adjust to life with a baby. I think he's going to do awesome because what lab doesn't do awesome with babies, but friends of ours recently got a cute, little, tiny puppy that is probably WAY smaller than the size of our little guy right now (Ha!) and I'm realizing that he is going to be such an awesome big brother!

He's got the instincts of a protector... and I'm so excited for not only our little guy to arrive, but to introduce the two of them! What a sweet moment that will be!


Ummm... can we say ADORABLE!!!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fun Times (Late) Friday!!!

I realize yesterday was Friday, but due to the party foul on DTE's part, FUN TIMES were not lived until later in the day.

Yeah you guessed it, we had NO power! Talk about a lack of fun considering how HOT it was... I didn't want to open the doors and windows and make it even warmer inside, along with not wanting to open the refrigerator or freezer... so needless to say I snacked on granola bars and crackers all day for fuel. Ha!

So instead of sitting inside all day, I decided it was a good day to weed the front walkway. Well I'm not so sure that was a good idea because as I was weeding, minding my own business, our neighbor decided to come over to make some small talk. I love our neighbors and usually have NO problem with them whatsoever, but let me just give you a visual. Our walkway consists of a number of small tiny bricks to form a really nice pathway up to our door. I was working extremely hard on my hands and knees, big belly and all, sweating profusely, developing those lovely weeding blisters from trying to get my fingers in the small cracks where the weeds love to live, while holes developed in the tips of my gloves getting dirt under my nails, along with my hands cramping every few minutes... did I mention how warm it was and I was SWEATING PROFUSELY? That was probably not the best time to come over to give me a Weeding 101 class.

Yes, you read that right... I was given lessons on weeding, including showing me what a bottle of weed killer looks like, the name of a seed to spread to kill the weeds in the yard, along with how to use a spreader, oh and a bonus offer of using his spreader while I walk the dog back and forth our yard. I'm not quite sure what he was talking about, but all I know is that if I knew I was going to get a class on weeds, I would have brought my pen and pencil. Haha! Needless to say, yesterday was not my friend, nor was he at that moment. I'm thinking he could have picked a different time if he really wanted to show me the ropes.

I don't think our yard looks that bad, and if anything the weather is partially to blame since it has been so hot, most of the yard is hard to keep alive even after watering almost every morning. It does not look that bad... it's nicely mowed and well maintained, and I was weeding in the process of getting rid of all of those nasty burgers that was creeping out of those small bricks.

He was lucky I was too tired and had no extra energy to put into telling him what I thought about his teaching skills. He would have failed in my book. Good thing I had my phone with me and accepted a phone call to close off that conversation with him... and an even better thing... the power came back on later in the evening for Todd and I to be able to share one of the last Friday's together just the two of us watching a movie! He makes all Friday's FUN TIMES!!!

And because posts are so much better with something photo related... I got this video from a friend and thought how creative and so incredible to watch... Check it out!!!

Happy (Late) Friday!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Miss Ella Love :: 1 year

Do you ever feel like you meet someone and they are a part of your life forever?

Well... that is exactly how I feel like when it comes to Miss Ella Love and her family.

One of my dearest friend's who was pregnant and had her baby last summer decided to venture on in their life and we went from seeing them ALL the time to rarely seeing them now. I was extremely happy for them because they were venturing into some great opportunities in their lives, but I have to say there was a lot of bummed feelings as well because who does like going from seeing great friends ALL the time to RARELY seeing them? NOT ME!!! But I know we will always pick up where we last left off...

Especially when it comes to their little bundle of joy... Ella Love! What a year will do to a beauty! Ella just turned ONE and oh how she has changed. She's so smiley and funny... not to mention so stylish, just like her mama! I was so excited to be able to get some fun shots, even despite the 96 degree heat outside. Poor thing was not a fan, but she did great and I love any opportunity to see one of my favorite family!

Happy Birthday Ella!!!

Check out a few of my favorites...

Look at that cute face...


Mmmm... yummy!




Oh my gosh, is she adorable or what???


LOVE that smile!!!


Want a taste?


So cute...


My FAVORITE... who doesn't love a little beautiful smile?!