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Harrison's Birth Story and New Mother Advice

Harrison's Birth Story and New Mother Advice

I’d like to introduce you to my littlest love, Harrison Nash Coons

Our boy that would not be kept from our family and the perfect end to a decade of the incredibly trying work of trying to get all my children earthside. His name honors both sides of our family, both sides of DNA that built his bones and chose his eye color. My Pappap was a gentle man with a twinkle in his eye, a love of ice cream, a laugh that will never be forgotten, a mind that trapped the smallest of details, and a father to 6 women. Pappap carried the last name of Hare from our Irish ancestors and passed it onto his 6 daughters who all carry different surnames now. We can already tell in our short time together that Harrison, like my Pappap Donald Boyd Hare, has a gentle and most agreeable demeanor. 

Harrison’s middle name Nash comes from my husband’s Papa, the father to 12 children, a generous man with a great zeal for life and one who gathered his large family close and made each one of us feel like his favorite. Harrison will grow to be his own man but it is one of my motherly hopes that he will carry some of each of these great men with him in his own heart. 

Here we are two months later almost to the day and the day of his birth still seems like such a surreal day

This was the last photo I took of my last pregnancy; I took this at 9 am and little did I know by 1:30 pm I would be checked into the hospital and at 8:30 pm I would hold my sweet boy. Something that would bring me some worry considering I was scheduled for a c-section the next day. 

My last moments were so very sweet. I was sitting on my bed with my mom who had come from Ohio to be with me and help take care of me and my family after the baby joined us. Rosie had laid herself down in her bed for a rare afternoon nap which felt like such a gift to a tired mama. We had just ordered lunch and were watching Rosemary and Thyme while eating tuna sandwiches on hazelnut bread ( a regular pregnancy craving of mine and one I regret eating this day because I had to keep telling people what I ate that day while at the hospital while preparing for my surgery… why couldn’t I have ordered the turkey avocado today?!!!) We shared a fruit tart and I went upstairs to check on Rosie and as I climbed the stairs I began to cramp and feel sick and while I have never gone into labor naturally I  knew my body was preparing for my baby boy to come. I had a little difficulty getting a hold of my husband and I thought this is as close as we are going to come to the exciting entrance into the hospital you see in films because all three of our other children have been born via c-section. 

This was such a surprise for us, I had just been in to see my doctor for one last appointment the day before to check on my blood pressure that had been a little high for the past few weeks but between my high blood pressure, a little blood spotting, and contractions my doctor decided to perform the surgery a day early to be safe. We had to wait about 8 hours from the time I last ate for the c-section so I had some unexpected calm time to prepare to meet our sweet boy. This had been a difficult pregnancy, my hardest by far and challenging emotionally and physically and I had nearly done it!! I let myself feel all the emotions and thanked my body for doing her best. I said my affirmations and took a deep breath knowing that once it was time there would only be about 15 minutes where I would need to summon all my courage in order to meet my son. Everything went beautifully. My husband Steve cares for our newborns until my procedure is finished and then I meet husband and baby in the recovery room. It’s always so sweet to hear him talking and caring for our children until I’m ready. 

Harrison Nash Coons and his Mama hold each other for the first time. Harrison was 9lbs 11 ounces and 21 inches of pure glory. 

I thanked my body one last time for being the vessel for my four children. She and I have been through quite a few versions and each she has reminded me that she is home. 

Our kids weren’t able to come visit in the hospital so this was a sweet reunion and one of the things my heart was hoping for all along. 

I wrote this back in August when we were fixing the house we would bring him home to:

“There is an interwoven tapestry of our story, baby’s and mine. Each breaking day I write a new line and safely tuck it away between my heartstrings.

Some days I tell him that this is so hard for me to carry, I cry and he seems to understand.

Some days we call each other by name to see how it feels.

Some days I take him along with me to check on the home we are working on, the one his Dad is building and I am coloring.

Some days three sets of little puffy hands come feel for him. He is our littlest and is so very loved, these will be the hands that help care for him. He will soon learn the kind of comfort and joy that accompany each pair, one is safety, one is humor, one is freedom.

One the day this photo was taken my spirit spoke to his spirit and I told him that his worth and my worth were abundant and eternal, I promised to love and honor each of us. 

Today I will sing him a song of joy and keep writing our history together as mother and son.”

Written August 12th, 2021 but meant so much more on October 30th when we brought Harrison to the home we made for him.


Tips For Preparing For A C-Section Delivery:

This was my fourth c-section and I was sharing some things I do to prepare for the birth of my babies on social media and I thought maybe it would be helpful for those things to have some permanency. We all prepare for large life changes differently but I think one recurring thing we must encourage is to do the things that make you feel the most comfortable, the most supported, the most prepared. 


I make a visit to the Myopractor or chiropractor to make sure everything is in line and giving me the greatest chance of recovery even after my body has shifted and my core is weak from surgery.

These house dresses are very comfortable and nursing friendly, I also like the pockets. I got the Onyx and the black ribbed, this fabric, while soft, is clingy but they are beautiful for recovery and the newborn days.

Robe is helpful for the hospital which tends to be chilly, the postpartum temperature changes can be intense especially those night sweats and for a bit of modesty because there is always one person that didn’t get the memo and just pops over without warning to see the baby.

A recliner with buttons to move it up and back is one of the things I am most grateful for in my recovery. My sister in laws who have had multiple c-sections themselves passed this tip onto me, and nowI pass it onto you! For the first few days it is difficult to find a place to get comfortable especially for feeding the bay and I basically live in the recliner for the first few weeks. 

Heating pad to help with cramps, back pain, and I just find it to be comforting (when I’m not sweating from the hormones).

New linens- one last act of kindness before you leave for the hospital, change your linens because you will be spending time recovering in your bed and a new pair of patterned linen sheets is a glorious gift to yourself. I wish more sleeping would actually happen but so it goes with a newborn, but a fresh set of sheets will make a cozy haven for you to spend your days and nights. 

Roller cart or night stand bins- keep everything handy until you are more mobile. I keep diapers, wipes, nursing supplies, burp cloths, changes of clothes for the baby and snacks close by in a storage cart. you can also wheel it room to room if you need. 

Bassinet or Bedside Sleeper- My friend let me borrow this one, a bassinet that is close to the bed lets the baby have their own space for safety but makes it easier for you to do those night feedings.

A little something for mama- get yourself something nice, something to say well done you, and I know you’ll be enveloped taking care of your baby but don't forget you used to enjoy this! A little gift card to your favorite drink stop to take a 15 minute coffee run without the baby, a new scrub for the shower, soothing gels for your eyes, a new magazine to read… you’ll know what would make you feel like a new woman after 15 minutes to yourself.


This time I brought a little gift for my nurses, since you are at the hospital for 2-3 days for an uncomplicated c-section you spend alot of time with your nurses,  I took these for my nurses and they were much appreciated. If nurses cant accept gifts at the hospital you’ll be delivering perhaps offer to buy them lunch or bring gift cards for the nurses station for coffee or a local restaurant. 

Supplements Nutrafol and Ritual- its alarming when the hair starts to shed in bunches. Two weeks before I delivered I started taking Nutrafol a special vitamin to help with post partum hairloss. Its been three months now and my hair seems to be as glorious as ever. I also switched my pre natal to my post natal vitamins for nutrients while nursing. 

A deep cleaned house- after I had my first baby my mother in law was so thoughtful and had a team of cleaners come to my house and deep clean everything, I’m talking vacuum lines on couches and ceiling fans dusted. It's been something I have started doing for myself once a month and I make sure to schedule a deep cleaning right before baby comes. Also if this isn't in the budget just yet, often times friends and family are eager to help you prepare for the arrival of your baby and would genuinely like to help! 9 months pregnant and scrubbing bathroom tile is no fun so if you feel comfortable, ask for a little help tidying.

Car cleaned we have a small business in town that comes to your house and details your car for you. As a mom of 4 I basically live in the car once I have healed a bit and have the clearance from my doctor to drive. I look forward to that coconut smell, there’s something that they use and I don't know what it is but I love it and the fact that there aren’t apple cores in the drink holders in the back of my suburban anymore. I also love to prepare a littel car organizer for emergencies, I put diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, extra outfits, medicine, a blanket, baby carrier, snacks and water in the organizer… because having a baby will teach you that something exciting is bound to happen, almost daily!

Grocery shopping before you head to the hospital and prepping freezer meals can come in quite handy. Many cities offer grocery delivery now through apps like instacart so you can buy them for yourself or even give that as a gift but its still a good idea to stock up on some favorite items for quick nourishment.

A Few Favorite Baby Items (many from small businesses)

This changing pad, especially for baby boys. It wipes clean easily helping to avoid more laundry.

This bouncer we affectionately call the poop chair, I don't know what it is about it but without fail Harrison has a blowout when he is sitting in this bouncer. That being said it comes in handy if you need to make dinner or keep the baby safe while you shower. 

Journaling the small moments and special memories


I didn't know about this with my three other kids, the Haaka helps you save precious breastmilk especially in those first few weeks when your body is trying to regulate its supply. 

Favorite bottles, Bottle warmer, bottle cleaners, bottle sanitizer

For the car, forget the baby mirror and get this little video set up, it also has night vision.


I have had this Solly wrap for 7 years, I keep my babies close enough to kiss but hands free for making. Solly has since come out with beautifully patterned sheets, layette sets, and swaddles in the softest fabrics often designed by artists. Solly gifted us a few sleepers which was perfect timing because sweet Sonny has already outgrown the ones I bought for him as a newborn. 


A few other clothing basics I like, these kimono sets from H&M (I love the colors) and Quincy Mae has the most delightful patterns and baby basics.

Diaper Bag, I love a backpack style my hands always seem to be full!

This breast pump- Harrison had trouble latching and this pump was amazing, I’d pump in the car on the way to school pick up or while I was washing dishes. Hands down one of the best purchases this time but with my other kids I think I collectively pumped maybe 7 times. 

Blankets, bedding, burpcloths

Stores for toys and baby items - bitte, scaniborn, and surprisingly Zara home

Baby Settler- I brushed up on my newborn routine, that wake sleep feed cycle will set you up for some larger stretches of sleep once you make it past those tiring first weeks. I also hear amazing things about Taking Cara Babies courses.

All of my kids have these nightlights and noise machines, they also are useful for lighting the way for night feedings. 

I've never been so thirsty as when I’m nursing, these Stanley cups are always sold out and for good reason if you can get your hands on one it will help you stay hydrated but this is another fabulous style and I love the colors. 

Tubby Todd makes magical soap, balm ( I swear that this scrub and this balm will keep the cradle cap away) and seasonal lotions.

I get a diaper subscription from hello bello, I like their fun patterns and you can choose how often you'd like your diapers and wipes delivered.  

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Maternity Memories and Meanings

Maternity Memories and Meanings

I was driving around today, eating a chocolate chip cookie and listening to the Beatles as one does when they are in their third trimester and life's a tangled ball of emotions and stresses. I was listening to one of my favorites  “In My Life,” and I heard a line about memories and meaning and I thought to myself “ I don't want the memories of this season of my life to lose their meaning, no matter how overwhelming some days seem.”

I suppose this was my motivating factor for documenting this phase of life with my maternity portraits even though at the time I didn't have the words to express what they actually meant to me. This is my last baby, but my first time taking maternity portraits. If I am to speak honestly, I must share that when trying to sort through why a person who loves creativity and capturing and expression and storytelling purposefully skips over a phase of life that is usually regarded as something you want to remember. What it comes down to for me is when I’m pregnant I feel as though I am just trying to hang on, to make it through all the phases your body and emotions cycle through not to mention that three out of four pregnancies my husband and I have decided it was best for our growing family to move to a house with more room, which has lead to three home purchases, remodels, and moves when I have been 8 months pregnant. 

building a house, growing a baby

 The day I found out I was pregnant with this baby I remember thinking “I know what’s coming, and I will try my best for this sweet babe who I know has a special soul and role in our family but this is the last time I will be this version of Krista and I really liked her.” It takes me years to feel like myself again after a pregnancy and along the way I change, not just physically but my priorities, my energy, my habits all change and sometimes that is a gift and in other seasons it is a struggle. 

This time, before I could talk myself out of it I texted my friend Kendyl who I love working with on my photoshoots and told her that I had a wild idea, which she always approves of. I told her I felt like I was craving authenticity and real life. I wanted to do a portrait session with her at our new house, a house that is under construction and very much in the rough stages of a remodel. I wanted to be able to have these memories to share with our baby boy, that mom and dad and his brothers and sister were all working so hard to make this home a place we could settle into as a family of 6, a home that we suspect we willed to us and came knocking in a most unusual fashion and at a most inopportune time.  I wanted there to be a contrast between the old decrepit life this house had thus far endured with the new life coming, we were trying our best to listen to this house and bring her back to her glory. There is also a new life in me, my baby that would not let us forget that he was waiting for his family, this home is where I see him growing up and these walls we are building will be the keeper of small moments between mother and son, brother to brother, brother to sister and father and son.

 I chose a dress that could not be more different than the utilitarian cotton shirt dresses that are my maternity favorites. It is a dress that made me feel beautiful but also was a dress that highlighted the striking difference between the unfinished state baby’s room (and our chaotic lives)  we chose to shoot the photos in and my whimsical and hopefully serene appearance knowing that all of this felt right- the baby, the house- and it was my privilege to witness. 

I’ll tell you a secret, this dress was the last of its kind and did not fully zip up but carry on we must even if that meant taking photos sitting on a window sill with your dress back open and landscapers on their lunch break right under this window!

When I shared the news that I was pregnant, my friend Melissa messaged me and asked if she could shower me in petals for my maternity shoot, something I hoped she still wanted to do when I asked her if she happened to have Wednesday the 4th free and if her beautiful mind could dream up something for me sculpted from flowers. Melissa made me little gardens that danced in the breeze of the three fans we had blowing and an umbrella of blooms. In her floral designs there were 4 roses, one for each of my babies, a secret message written with petals. One of the memories I will always carry with me, is at one moment in the photoshoot I looked at her and she had this look on her face and she told me I looked like a goddess and she felt so honored to be there (in our unfinished house that didn't have air conditioning on a 115 degree day) and I realized the beauty I had in my life, it abounded in my friends. It felt very much like a sacred moment, three women gathered together to create and two of them had lent me their light and blessed me with their talents.


These are some of my favorite captures of the day: 

This is the umbrella Melissa designed for me, have you ever seen anything like it?!!! I love that I could be held above my head, casting delicate shadows, or to the side looking like a beautiful spray of botanicals.

 My husband Steve didn't quite understand the vision for this photoshoot plus I think he was worried about me because it was so hot and the air conditioning hadn't been fixed in the house yet. He came two nights in a row to paint this room for me (and the baby) and then the day before the shoot he bought us several fans, one of them was designed to make the air cooler with water although it really just made it more humid, but we were happy to have them and I think the humidity added to my glow factor! This is also when he told me he was a little embarrassed that I would be taking these photos in the house where there would be multiple contractors working. I told him to say I was the lady of the house, and an artist and this was actually perfectly normal behavior for me! 

I wore blue lipstick for some of my photos because I feel like as adults we forget to play and choose things that amuse and delight us! 



You may not think you qualify as a creative director when you book a personal photoshoot like a maternity portrait session but indeed you are! This is a chance for creative expression and capturing a beautiful story in time and in turn giving meaning to your moments. How much of a production you would like this to be is up to you but I’ll share a few steps to my method when organizing a photoshoot either for personal reasons or as part of my ceramic business.  


This is usually where I begin, it’s my vision, my story, it’s all the WHY’s and WHAT’S before working on logistics and translations which are the HOW’S. What would I like these photos to say? Are you craving creative expression, whimsy, story telling, documentation, authenticity, emotional release? How do you want these photos to FEEL. Once I have an idea of my concept I usually begin collecting to see if any new themes or directions emerge. 


This is the gathering of ideas, objects, and themes like color stories or light. As I gather I can usually clarify and refine my concept. For instance when working on my maternity photoshoot, I kept finding myself attracted to blue ( which is very unlike me as I tend to gravitate toward warmth) so I found a blue dress that was my “moment”, chose a blue paint color to paint my baby’s room, I went to Sephora and found some blue shades of lipstick and eyeliners to try out in case I wanted to be very on theme. I collected just a few props- a dropcloth, a large brush with a wooden handle, a wooden handled paint roller, and a paint can that was silver without any labels on it. I also tend to lean towards gold but decided I wanted to wear my great aunt Emmy’s silver heart earrings. I liked the idea of generations of women in my family being there. I matched my silver earrings with silver flats that I already had. When I have these items and ideas gathered I usually share them with my photographer, Kendyl is my neighbor so she usually pops over and we talk the creative direction through or I text or email her photos of everything I’ve collected and been dreaming of.


Photographers have a unique gift to share. A capture is more than a photo, it encapsulates so many feelings and senses for us we will remember for years to come. When we look with our eyes at a photo we can remember small details that welcomed all our senses but belong uniquely to the experience of being there and feeling the magic of that day.

 We will remember the details like how the dress we ordered didn’t quiiiite fit on the day of our photo shoot so we just didn't take any photos from the back.  Or we can remember that there was a faint smell of paint and wood that mixed in the hot air, the 115 degree air because the air conditioning was broken.  Or while looking out the window in a dreamy state there were actually landscapers casually having their lunch under the orange trees and wondering what was happening up there! For these reasons when organizing a creative photoshoot I find communicating with your photographer to be one of the most valuable things you can do. 

Have you shared a mood board or photos of your collected items or ideas, one that each of you can add to? Created a shot list together ordered from most important to least important and leaving room for your and your photographer’s intuition and creative expression? Have you chosen a location that you can visit together at the specified time of day or does your photographer have experience shooting photos in that location or at your agreed upon time? Is the creative direction you are hoping for play to their strengths, sometimes my friend and photographer Kendyl will practice new techniques or learn new skills for our shoot.  Is there anything creative that your photographer would like to try (for instance Kendyl walked into the bathroom next door to where we were shooting and found a piece of plastic and came out and said “hey I found this in your bathroom and I want to try taking a few photos through it.” Photographers also crave a change of pace, subject matter, and scenery. When you have built a relationship you trust where they place you in the frame, when they tell you to tilt your head down a little, or when it’s  time to run off in a different direction to chase the light beams.

(this is the image photographed through the piece of plastic Kendyl found)




I find building relationships in your creative communities to be one of the most important and fulfilling things not only when planning a photoshoot or creative event but also just as a means of experiencing joy and to find those souls who will help add color to your life. These will become the talented people you can entrust elements of your vision. Building these relationships will take time and intention but I promise it will be one of the most fulfilling things you can do as a Creative. So boldly send that invitation you drafted weeks ago, ask them to meet for lunch, offer a collaborative idea, send gifts, remember important dates, cheer them on in their successes and failures. You will be able to support each other in living a joyful and creative life! I have friends who have graciously allowed me into their homes to photograph collections, friends who work on collections and collaborations with me using their unique talents and skills sets to create something that I couldn't even envision! It is a beautiful experience to be a part of.  I have friends with such fine luck finding thrifted treasures and the good fortune of bringing those pieces home who then allow me to borrow their treasures for styled photos. I enjoy the company of friends who use the same medium who I can say those weird words like ‘“I don't know why my luster is acting like it's being repelled by something,” and they can offer their experience and knowledge.  I have friends who create such beauty like my friend and floral designer Melissa, owner of Moelleux Events who created the floral arrangements for my maternity portraits, that you hope you can hire them because you know whatever they make will transport you and your senses to a uniquely beautiful place. I also try my very best to be ready and willing anytime one of my friends asks for something ceramic that might help them in their creative expression. 

Nurturing relationships with people you admire both within your online community as well as your physical community will be one of the greatest blessings to fully expressing your creative voice. 


When I’m feeling prepared and have worked through these other steps one of the last things I like to do is check in with myself and ask what version or part of myself am I going to be harnessing, releasing, or modeling? Am I channeling an alter ego or spirit of someone I admire Like Georgia O’Keeffe? Am I expressing all of the emotions I’ve been carrying and just needed a way to release them? Have I styled myself and collected pieces that feel authentic to either myself or my vision (we always welcome a little bit of whimsy but I don't particularly love being overly self indulgent.) Then I practice a bit. I try on the wardrobe. I decide if I’m going to paint my nails. I experiment with how much makeup feels right for this moment.  I get into character as it were, enlisting all of the elements I’ve been collecting and thinking about. On the day of the photoshoot I remember to say my affirmations, I always have a few butterflies and some nervousness but I try to bring a confident energy that will carry over and showcase all the preparation work in a glorious way!  

We must refuse to let our moments lose their meaning whether those moments serve as a way to document our growth as an artist or our growth as a person, take the photos. Remembering is a gift. 




creative direction: Krista owner and artist Her Name Is Mud

all images captured by: Kendyl Hawkins Photography

floral designs by the magnificent: Melissa, owner of Moelleux Events

dress: Selkie Baby Blue Toile Ritz Dress

paint color used for baby's room: Oval Room Blue by Farrow and Ball

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