First Mother's Day with my HG Prize {HG Part III}

The months of vomiting and nausea are just a hazy distant memory. The second he was born, everything snapped back to normal. These last 7 weeks with Akko in my life has been anything but normal, it's been extraordinary. 

As I sit here typing, I still can't believe a perfect little baby boy lay sleeping in a moses basket next to me. I did it! I really did. My HG prize, if you can believe my luck, is the cutest baby in the whole world - a little mini Mike. 

To every first time HG mama, I was you. I am you. With your PICC lines and feeding tubes, I see you. When the world closes in, I see you. When you are too tired to cry but feel so utterly alone and isolated and altogether sick, I see you. When you have thrown up the 60th time in one day and contemplate terminating a pregnancy that you prayed for, I did that. You are brave and strong. Stronger than you ever would dare to describe yourself. You are a warrior who is fighting for your unborn babe, more bitterly than most moms have to. You are one in a million (literally, we are that 2%). You can do this! You will hold your miracle in your arms one day and feel elation you could never have dreamed possible. Happy Mother's Day to you.

To mama on their 2nd/3rd/etc HG pregnancy. You are my hero. You have chosen, knowing full well what awaits you, to create, carry, and birth ANOTHER HG baby. You have chosen them over you. You have chosen their life over your health. You have chosen sickness, heartache, isolation, judgment, pain, and a daily torture so intense I still don't know how I was able to do it, just the first time. You have chosen to do it again. You are who I hope to be when I look into my son's eyes. I want to be a mom more times over. One day soon, I hope I can be brave enough to step into your shoes. Happy Mother's Day to you. 

To My Dear Akko,

I blinked and you are already 7 weeks. I kiss you a hundred times a day, on your cheek and nose, under your chin and gently on your eyelids. 7 wonderful weeks you've made me a mama, a title I bare with pride and a strength I didn't know I had. Exactly a week ago, you broke out in a wide grin after one of those hundred kisses and I couldn't believe my eyes. I repeated it 2 more times and you smiled each time. It is clear to me that my baby is a genius. 

All of the sudden, you're not a newborn anymore. All of the sudden, you responded to me. You made my heart skip a GIANT beat. I've never cried so loudly, consistently, continually, and bitterly as I have these last 7 weeks. I cried with worry and exhaustion. Now that you are here, I cannot imagine a life without you. Now that you're in my arms, I never ever want to let go. When you screamed out during your one month vaccination, my heart shattered into a million pieces. I sobbed silently into my own cupped hands because I've never felt such piercing pain as your cries pierced my soul. 

In these 7 weeks I've also cried tears of unadulterated joy. I've never known such delight every time I look into your eyes, feel your warmth, and smell your scent. I've never known perfection could exist in something so small but indeed you are. On my first Mother's Day, all I want is you. On this Mother's Day, I have everything. 

Love, Mama

Happy Mother's Day to All

Every medical staff during labor/delivery and in postpartum asked us about his name...so here you go. FULL explanation in this little clip 

Light At The End of The Tunnel {HG Part II}

As I near the end of my 9 month HG journey, I can't help but feel immensely grateful. First, for the fact that it will all soon be behind me but more importantly for all the ways it stretched and expanded what I perceived to be my personal physical and emotional limit. I realized, more vehemently, that I am a strong woman. I am a fighter. I have endured the most brutal months of my entire life and I will soon hold my prize in my arms. 

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The 2nd stage of HG was physically so so much better. I went nearly 2 months with barely any vomiting incidents. Even when I did, I no longer retched through my whole body. It mimicked food poisoning more than anything instead of the all consuming convulsions that rocked me some 60x a day during the first 4 months. I started to not only keep water down but other liquids like juices and soups. I stopped being as sensitive with scents and even welcomed occasional cuddles with Momofuku. There were still bad days, and after months of being severely dehydrated, I still got bi-weekly visits from my home nurse to administer IVs at home. I was couch bound for days straight dragging my IV pole into the bathroom and all around the house. In the beginning Mike would try to come home early or leave late so he could help me with hanging new IV bags or flushing out my veins, in the end, I started to do it myself. I felt so empowered the first time I flushed my own line and when the final bag ran out, I even pulled out the tube from my vein. I started to eat food again! One night, a good friend stopped by to visit with Mike and brought us In-and-Out. Truth be told, I was never a fan, preferring much more my beloved New York Shake Shack Stack. But that night, I gulfed it down. 30 some minutes later (that was all I could manage) everything came back up but at least I ate...at least I kept it in for 30 minutes that night. Eventually, I stopped needing daily IVs at home and didn't need to call every week for my home nurse to return but my giant white medical box still sits in my living room at 35 weeks. Because you see, it's not over until the baby is here. 

 

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Lately, it's been so bad again. Last night, after throwing up a second time for the day and having thrown up just about every day for 3.5 weeks straight, I burst into tears on the couch again. I feel so so so tired. Tired to my very bone. I'm 37 weeks along and eight and a half months in, I'm hitting a new wall. In the third trimester, a myriad of normal pregnancy symptoms accompanied my increasing nausea and vomiting. I developed a bad case of gestational carpal tunnel right around the holidays. My right hand cramped so horribly that I had Mike steady them while icing my annual sugar cookies. I was hand fed when my fingers no longer wrapped around any eating utensils. At the worst, I couldn't even close them around toilet paper to wipe myself after using the restroom. Now, I have such bad insomnia and I basically just stay up all night. All night, while I sit awake on the couch, I experience such intense heart burn that I sometimes groan out audibly. All the while the baby kicks aggressively into my ribs, a femur bone running across the side of my stomach, just below my breast line. I feel and look in amazement at his strength but also wince and cry out at what I can only describe as a 2nd degree internal organ injury. Last night I experienced a lamp cramp so severe I screamed into the darkness trying and failing to reach my fingers towards my calf. Mike leapt out of bed and scampered over my side to help. Peppered in between are vomit sessions that are ramping up in frequency at an alarming rate. My stomach is so big now I can hardly bend over the toilet correctly. Needless to say, vomit gets e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. 

It's not been all bad. It's certainly nothing like the first 5 months. Back then, I wanted to terminate the pregnancy. I wanted to end the life that I prayed for, planned for, and waited a lifetime for. Back then, I wanted to end my own life. I was in so much pain and misery that all I saw was black. That was absolute hell. I felt so alone. In the last few months, I've been engaging with the world again; with scents and people and food again. I've even felt well enough to shoot my own maternity session. I was able to embrace this little miracle again. I prepared for his nursery, nesting, washing, folding, decorating. I keep buying him gifts of all kinds, celebrating his existence and how we have both survived HG so far. I can't wait to meet you in just 5 weeks little one. Today I heard an amazing sermon preached. From the pulpit, a question was asked of the congregation, "write down one thing that you want in life right now" I wrote down "to meet you". 

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Come soon, be safe, you're so strong

love,

mama

P.S. not done with maternity photos. I plan to take a crap load of photos since I've felt "better". I'm going to document and celebrate the heck out of this pregnancy. Stay tuned~

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My Journey Through Hell {HG Part I}

Baby wang was a semi-surprise. Sure we were trying but it was our very very very first try. For a few days Mike didn't even believe me. He'd humor me around the house playing mommy and daddy but it wasn't until the "morning sickness" started. After a week of that he finally got it and I knew something was very very wrong. 

Long before this little miracle, I had started planning to be a mommy. When I was just in high school, I bought baby vest from Gap. It was red with little hearts all over it and could fit a doll. My mom thought I was bat crazy but I paid for it and thus started planning for my little one to be here one day. In college, I amassed a huge collection of Sanrio baby products: from bottles to toddler bowls, I had it all (in my dorm room). By the time I was actually married, I would day dream while reading mommy blogs, flagging down "must-have" baby gear and maternity labels that suited my taste. Around last year, I started to look for a maternity photographer and even jokingly asked a good friend and fabulous industry insider from Chicago if she'd consider flying to LA to shoot my Fresh48 session in the hospital. Days after my stick confirmed my joy, Mike and I started planning how we'd announce this blessing to the world. We started training our Cavalier King Charles to hold small treats on his snout, thinking we'd slowly swap in baby growth representative week by week. 6 week=pea, 8 week=kidney bean, 9 week=grape etc. 

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I'm 3 days shy of 14 weeks, officially entered my 2nd trimester, and about to be hospitalized again. This is my hell.

The first week after we found out the news, I was in heaven. I'd walk around the house holding a non-existent belly, feeling like I was hiding the greatest secret inside of me. Mike was still humoring the "pregnancy" by getting me water and helping me out of the car. We were in bliss and nothing could've prepared us for what came next. 

The "morning sickness" came hard and fast. Just days after the happy result and 3 weeks from my first prenatal appointment at the OB, I started to severely vomit. Sometimes I couldn't run fast enough and I'd hold vomit in my mouth until I could make it to the bathroom. This couldn't be morning sickness right? With an army of mommy friends around me, no one's ever told me it could be like this. Even tiny sips of water would come up. 

The following week, I was throwing up upwards of 30x a day. When my stomach was empty, I'd throw up bile, eventually tinged with blood. A few days after that I threw out my back in the unrelenting heaves that I couldn't hold back or control. During marathon sessions, all I could is hold onto the sink or toilet for dear life as my stomach heaved and convulsed trying to empty out all my insides. Every day my eyes were bloodshot from burst capillaries. My throat was raw and my body in extreme pain from my back injury. But the sickness continued, minute by minute, hour upon hours, days rolled into weeks, weeks into months. 

By the time we went in for our first check up at 8 weeks I had lost 3 lbs. By the second visit at 12 weeks, I had lost 10 lbs total. I've gone to the urgent care for IV infusion due to severe dehydration. When that wasn't enough and my Dr became concerned for my kidney function as well as the safety of the baby, since apparently severe dehydration could lead to uterine contraction and then miscarriage, I was hospitalized for 4 days for 24 hour IV care. Bags and bags of different color liquids were hung. I was not allowed to eat any solid foods, so for 4 days I sipped on cranberry juice, throwing up everything minutes after I consumed it. Through the daily urine tests the Dr's orders, the results kept coming back dehydrated. When they first tried to set up the IV pick, the nurse went from the left side of the bed to the right, testing both arms and back again before finally stating that she's having a hard time finding a vein to use that's not collapsed.

I sat in the hospital bed all day long, alone, scared, nauseous. Mike brought flowers, hand written notes, and jello from the store, but the tears came, every day and night they came. The confusion, anger, fear, all directed towards God came. This wasn't how I thought my pregnancy would go... All night long, I'd be woken up by the nurse doing rounds (every 2 hrs) the nurse assistant for vital checks (every 4 hrs), the IV bag going empty (every few hrs), and the IV machine beeping louder than a fire alarm next to my ear because of bubbles in the tube (on the hour every hour). By the 4th morning, I demanded to be discharged against Dr orders even though my daily urine tests still revealed trace ketone levels. I felt like I was ready to end my life. 

The baby planning/announcement brainstorming/maternity photos/excitement for my first child, God's greatest blessing is a distant hazy memory. In the very beginning, I'd hold my stomach so tight each of those 30x I threw up, sometimes up to 6 times in a single hour, afraid that the baby would be hurt, would somehow become disconnected to me and die. I'd whisper through sweat and tears crouching on the bathroom floor, "Please stay safe, please stay strong for mommy." After every heave, I'd whisper to myself, "I can take it, as long as you're okay," those are distant hazy memories as well. 

Night after night, I would sob uncontrollably into the sofa that had been my prison for months, wishing the baby was gone, wishing that I was gone. My husband, poor guy, watched me helplessly not knowing how to calm his ever frantic and depressed wife. He could never get too close you see... because the smells. Oh God, the smells. 

The first stinky thing that set me off and sent me sprinting down the hall spewing my guts out was my darling Momofuku. Then it was lemon soap, then the whole fridge/kitchen, then the shampoo, toilet bowl cleaner, then everything. Absolutely everything. The last time I went to church on a Sunday I almost killed people. With every hug, I was hit by waves of nausea so strong I was surprised my knees didn't buckle. I picked up everything: lotion, perfume, hair spray, hair gel, mascara, deodorant, blush, and even food smells on people. When Mike comes home and opens the door, I can smell the coffee on his breath lying down on the couch. I can smell my dog from rooms away. I can smell the neighbor's bath water from inside my house. And each smell kills me. Kills me. 

This is my hell. This is Hyperemesis Gravidarum

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Through all of this, perhaps the hardest of all, was the lack of understanding from friends/family/Mike(at the beginning but no longer). I was shocked, saddened, appalled, infuriated at the floods of advice, trying to relate, and "encouragement" I got. Most of which were knives to my heart. Most of which were not helpful in the least. Surprisingly, the most hurtful comments have come from mommy friends, women who've gone through this remarkable but devastating (for some) time. The lack of sympathy and judgement pushed me over the edge. I've never been made to feel so guilty as I have been going through this and have decided to make it my personal mission to educate, educate, educate. 

Most of my mom friends start by relating to me. Yes it's bad, yes they went through the same thing, sitting by the toilet for days on end, having a puke bucket with them in bed, eating crackers because of food aversion. Others try to give me their remedies: "did you try drinking orange juice" "how about ginger chews" "maybe soda water instead of flat" "maybe flat water instead of carbonated" "don't eat a big meal" etc etc etc. Then there's the ever lovely, "but you will have something so wonderful at the end" "we women are so strong" "just think about holding something you will love more than you ever have before in your arms" then comes the shaming and berating "Lucy, don't say that" "Lucy, you don't mean that" "Lucy, I know it's bad now but it'll get better soon" I've even gotten something along the lines of think about how the women in the past do it, they have it so much worse and they've all made it. HONESTLY THOUGH?

I felt so bad. I felt like the world's worst mom, most selfish mom, most cold-hearted mom. How could I think to wish to end this? My baby's life, my life? Was I too sensitive? How come all these other moms did it? How come they have multiple kids meaning they did it again and again? How come they got through and how come I'm crying this much. How come I'm depressed, anxious, suicidal? How come I can't drive anymore, that even when mike drives, I'm throwing up in the car into a baggy? How come I can't stand to shower anymore? How come the steam and the shampoo make me so miserable I'd rather abandon personal hygiene completely? How come I didn't brush my teeth in 4 days? How come every time I vomit, I pee myself? How come the 30, 40, up to 50 times a day I throw up, I pee myself every-single-time? How come even when I've learned to pee right before I throw up, I still pee myself in the retching that ensues? How come I can no longer brush or blow dry my hair? (A task I taught Mike, a task he now takes over the one time I actually wash my hair) How come I haven't made a single meal since July? How come, how come? Why am I so weak? Why am I bad? Why am I so sensitive? Emotionally unstable? Why?

It wasn't until I found actual help. It wasn't until I read hundreds of other women saying THE EXACT SAME THING that I found the light. The first few days I was reading their stories, I sobbed and sobbed. Complete strangers, echoing all that I felt. Knowing exactly what I was going through and encouraging, praising, with honesty, braving our realities. In a HG forum on babycenter.com I found solace, comfort, and help. I was like a drug addict, reading each thread, comment, going back pages and pages, drinking in every word. It was air and I had been suffocating. 

Here's a blurb from a stranger mom on the forum, encouraging us to see the light at the end of the tunnel, needlessly to say I didn't want to murder her after reading it. Instead it filled me with happy tears, a mysterious strength, and endless hope:

"I sit here, nursing my 11 month old HG baby, thinking of you ladies. You brave ladies-you wonderful warriors, fighting for the life of your child, and feeling like you yourself are dying in the process...
You are each such good moms. You are making the decision each day to deny your own feelings and give your child the gift of life. You CAN and WILL make it through this! 
2016 was the hardest year of my life-and the best. I grew the most spiritually, grew closer to Jesus, closer to my husband, grew in my faith that God will take care of me no matter how low I am. I know I didn't have it as hard as some of you dear ladies do right now, but I still was in and out of the ER in the first trimester, multiple meds, changing doctors mid second tri, once or twice a week fluid infusion runs in the last trimester to keep the contractions at bay until the week before I was induced at 39...nauseous until the placenta was out...yeah, it was awful, awful, awful. But we made it. And IT WAS SO (significant other) WORTH EVERY DAY OF THE LIVING HELL I WENT THROUGH! The snuggles, the sweet baby smiles, giggles, the lisped "I love you mommy!  You pwecious!" From my 3 yr old...Each one of my HG prizes is worth it, and this 3rd and worst one was worth it too. Yours will be worth every minute. Really. I promise. Hang in there, Momma! I think of you all and pray for you often. Many non-nausea inducing hugs to each of you!"

Here's a helpful brochure that I've sending the few friends I've let in on our life. I've learned to be ever more cautious in who I invite into hell. Not everyone handles hell well

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Here are a few factoids I've pulled off of google searches:

 "saying the debilitating pregnancy disorder (HG) is morning sickness is like saying a hurricane is a little bit of rain.” - Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a practicing OB/GYN and senior medical contributor for ABC News.

"Imagine having a stomach bug that lasts for days and days, months and months - it is just relentless," Caitlin Dean, trustee of the charity Pregnancy Sickness Support

"Any movement, any sound, any smell just makes you vomit."One of the big issues with it is isolation because is causes many women to be bed-bound.

"There is a real lack of understanding about the condition."

And my newest discovery, @hgreality on instagram. a woman I've never met, going through her 2nd HG pregnancy and being as raw and as brave as she is, it blows my mind. Her story is eerily similar to my own, echoing so many near exact moments when I read them to Mike he couldn't believe it. This is HG. This is our hell:

"This is the face of someone who over did it today. I am suffering the consequences BUT I managed two hours out of the house today to visit friends! I feel this should come with a very large footnote. I would not have been able to do this in my first hg pregnancy. It has taken a lot to get to this point including: medication. I am on the highest dosage of 4 different types of anti sickness tablets and steroids. If I were to miss one of those tablets by 5 minutes I would be vomiting. Rest: thanks to the wonderful support of my mum I am able to rest all of the time. I can't look after Adam, can't prepare food or even pour a drink. I literally do nothing other than lay on a bed or a sofa all day and night. Preparation: I knew mid afternoon would be a good time. I would be taking two tablets during the time and it was before my evening nausea kicked in. I would also have recovered from having a shower in the morning. I had my medication with me and my mum was just a phone call away.Support and friendship: the school mums I was meeting know about HG. I have been training them so they knew how serious my condition is. I knew there wouldn't be the "just a bit of sickness" comments or unhelpful advice. .It felt wonderful to have every day type conversations and feel semi human for a while. I am completely exhausted now and very nauseous. It will be an evening spent clutching my sick bowl but for two hours I got to be an every day normal mum rather than just being ill. A great way to celebrate getting to 12 weeks! "

"Evenings are my worst time. Even with all my medication, the crippling nausea always returns. 
This is a photo taken a month ago. I was at breaking point yet again. I hadn't eaten anything for days and was surviving off ice cubes. My husband came into my room as I was attempting to lick an ice cube. I was in floods of tears due to the pain of unrelenting nausea. I knew the ice cube would come straight back up again. "No one ever sees this side of HG", my husband said. "They don't see the suffering. HG women simply disappear for 9 months and re-enter the world with a baby". It was at that point I gave my husband my phone. Despite the fact I always shy away from the camera, I wanted to document what thousands of women are going through. During my last pregnancy I was ashamed. Ashamed I couldn't cope "with a bit of sickness". I had to put up with what most HG sufferers have to go through on top of the actual illness - unhelpful medical opinions, suggestions of natural remedies, work discrimination, losing friends who didn't understand, the isolation... But why should I be ashamed for having a severe medical condition that makes pregnancy a living hell? If you are suffering from HG at the moment, please know that you are not alone. Use resources such as Pregnancy Sickness Support to get support and understanding. The helpline, having a peer-to-peer supporter or using the forum are just three ways you can access help. At PSS we know exactly what you are going through as we have all been there. You are not alone."


"6am and my alarm goes off for my first medication of the day. It has been a long unsettled night. My body now wants to sleep through, but I know I will feel horrendous for the rest of the day without this first tablet. I am currently on 4 different types of anti sickness medication along with steroids. It has been a long battle to get the right treatment, but I now have vomit free moments. The nausea is still crippling at night, but I consider myself one of the lucky ones. 
My first HG pregnancy was a very different story. It took 11 weeks of vomiting and severe dehydration before I was diagnosed, admitted to hospital and given treatment. I had never heard of HG and didn't understand why I couldn't cope with the sickness.

This time I fully understand HG, having volunteered for Pregnancy Sickness Support for the last 5 years. I had a care plan in place to start medication as soon as I got a positive pregnancy test. This happened on Saturday 5th August. By the following Monday I was back at the GP to try another medication, and by Wednesday I was in hospital. I was hospitalised 4 times in 4 weeks before starting steroids. You may be wondering what I have on my nose. This is a home made device to help combat smells. I place Vicks on a tissue and use a plaster to attach it to my nose. Without it, I vomit as soon as I leave my room. My nose cover means I can breathe through my nose, and smells no longer wake me to vomit in the middle of the night. I can hear my son waking and going through to my husband. This time of morning used to be my favourite - cuddles in bed to start the day. Now I am unable to look after Adam at all. My mum comes round at 8am when my husband goes to work and she gets Adam ready for school. I am unable to do the school run. Instead, my mission for today is to have a shower - I can assure you this is no easy task when you have HG."


There are so many women out there like HGReality, like myself. One girl developed a severe phobia to cold weather because she started getting sick right when it started getting cold. She reached out asking if she was crazy that Christmas music and even hot chocolate starts her down a fear spiral so severe her throat closes up. The answers to her post were so understanding, supportive assuring her that even when our body heals, our minds can remain traumatized. Others shared how years after their HG nightmare, different things like jello or even antiseptic wipes still send them on vomiting spells. These fellow soldiers whom I've never met, inspire me with their honesty, bravery, grit, and hope. In their stories, I found my own suffering echoed. In their words, I no longer felt crazy, over-sensitive, bad, or guilty. It is salvation. 

Slowly but surely, I am getting better. I look forward to the day when I can step outside and bathe in the sunlight. I look forward to the day when my appetite returns. I look forward to the day I can attend a Sunday service, to the day I can cook a meal for a few friends who have saved me in hell.

Grace who told me it's ok to be honest

Candy who told me she's in this with me

Autumn who texted her prayers from Spain

Christine from NYC

Paula and Amy for cooking for Mike

Jenny for delivering flowers to my doorstep

Gracie for my pregnancy journal and being my eternal optimist

Chris for her countless home visits, sitting by my hospital bed, massaging my feet

and Claudia. You are my angel, soul sister, blessing from God. You keep me sane, you make me feel so cared for and loved

and of course my husband, who did this to me (JK) without whom, I'd die. emotionally, spiritually, I would've died. You are my hero.

~~~~~~{3 days later}

I'm writing this right now, 14 weeks exactly, at a boba shop a few miles from my house. Mike had to physically drag me out of bed to leave the house today. He literally got in bed, rolled me like a burrito in the blankets that are my prison, and leveraged his own body weight to pull me upright (I went limp from fighting against his efforts). He held me upright while getting my slippers for me insisting that leaving the house can do me some good. Today, he was right. Today I got out, got under the sunlight. Moments like this I treasure: I have temporarily reclaimed my health and a few hours of normalcy. I'm posting this today, my one day out. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but baby Wang and I are fighters and come what may, we are more than conquerers. 

Prayers always appreciated, 

-HG survivor, Lucy W

Lucy Liora Photography has one MAJOR announcement

Friends near and far, clients and those I've yet to meet,

Lucy Liora Photography has one major announcement: we are completely revamping the business! Why change a good thing you may ask? Why, because the best is yet to come. (a phrase I'm repeating to my husband as we go through a major declutter at the house and it's the only way to get him to throw out all. the. junk.)

This is also a time of reflection for me. The revamp means changes here at the studio, personally and professionally. I've been feeling restless and off, bothered by intangible things that I couldn't quite put my finger on. And then it all kind of crystalized, for no apparent reason at all. 

I needed to structure my business to personify every detail of my mission and core values. Every aspect of the business needed a little sprucing up. From the first touch point to the final delivery, my entire business needed a make-over so I made a giant list and diligently went down each one to make sure that it, in fact, exemplified what I've proclaimed to be as a business woman and a newborn photographer. In short, my business needed to become an intimate, involved, curated, and fully custom-tailored experience. So from head to toe, we are getting a make-over. It's going to be good. 

You see, I don't just want to take a pretty or cute picture, although that's certainly always the final product I deliver to my clients. I want more than that and starting in 2017, I'm asking for what I want. Because deep in my heart, I know, without a shadow of doubt, that it's what you, my client, truly wants too. My heart is to not just a take a pretty picture, send you the digital negatives and never connect again. My heart is to tell your story of this new small but life changing addition. I want to tell your family's story at whatever stage we we meet. I hope you will humor me, and allow me to show you that this is how I can serve you best. Allow me to share with you how I imagine that you would enjoy your photos, having these tangible memories of this time in your life. This is my new mission. If you choose me, I'd be honored and certainly involved. This is my invitation to you, to think critically, and if you're sleep deprived, I'll think with you! Take this chance to think about what will make this experience meaningful and last a lifetime. 

I hope I've peaked your interest in one way or another, whether we have worked together before or not. For my current clients, please be patient with me during this change. I've been a grateful recipient of your grace and flexibility and hope that you will continue to extend it to me during the next couple of months. One of the things I'm most excited about but is also taking the most time, is rebranding my entire packaging. Think luxury, think of the entire process of opening a Chanel box until the merchandise finally emerges. That's the mood board in my brain. I've searched near and far and sourced the finest products money can buy. Think Italian leather bound albums and Japanese linen covers. Think hand crafted walnut wood boxes to house your gift prints and gorgeous acrylic birth announcement cards to adorn your fireplace or dad's desk at work. Gone are the days of going to the mall and taking photos in front of a single background. Your investment with me is worth designer merchandise or even a small vacation and it should be packaged as such to reflect its timeless value, don't you agree?
 

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Off to more "work" it's past midnight here but why do I feel so blessed?
-Lucy

San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer - Sarah's Outdoor LA Maternity Session

I love ALL my clients, I really really do. An investment with Lucy Liora Photography is a two way street. I spend so much time getting to know my clients as well as share about who I am as a photographer, business woman, and human being that by the time someone signs on the dotted line, a budding friendship has started to form. But every once in a blue moon, you meet a couple so special that you can't help but tell them their shoot was the best time you had on-location and honestly, I meant every word. 

Sarah, like so many clients, was a referral. As soon as she reached out I knew that I had to book her (didn't tell her at the time). She is expecting twins, you see, a boy and a girl and anyone who knows me knows that I love boy/girl twins since that's what my own brother and sister are. Sarah and Ryan are truly special. Shooting outdoors requires a lot of flexibility, something that doesn't come easy for some people especially when said person is deep into her third trimester carrying twins. But they were so flexible, silly, and fun. They were so fun that even after the sun had fully set below the horizon, I was still shooting. 

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I can't wait to meet your little ones so very soon. I've been planning for their shoot for months! Sarah and Ryan, thank you for choosing me. That afternoon at Tree People was honestly a blast for any photographer and I'm grateful that you picked me to capture this special moment. Your love for each other and your growing family is so evident, your laughter was contagious, and I've come to regard you as good friends already (you may not feel the same way back, it's okay...) 

XO,
Lucy

location: tree people (LA)
tutu maternity gown: sewtrendy
halo: anthroplogie
lens: nikon 24-70mm

Friday Lucy Drafts Bucket List...

While the LLP specializes in newborn photography, I, a creative woman with a camera, still totally have a bucket list of shoots in mind. I'll share them here so should YOU ever require such a service, get in touch won't you?

Lucy's bucket list of shoots she wishes to accomplish before she...well....kicks the bucket

1. my own newborn shoot
2. my own pet newborn shoot (c'mon mikeyyyyy, let me get a puppy *puppy eyes*)
3. an editorial couples shoot in the desert of Joshua Tree where a giant round balloon comes along too (completely inspired by a friend from NYC who's work is just breathtaking, Friday Lucy is in awe...)

photo credit: Forged in the North
4. a bourdoir session for a good friend (ahem. c'mon friends)
5. a secret proposal where the girl is ACTUALLY completely caught off-guard. Women are really good are finding out surprises man...
6. an underwater shoot, preferrably with a mermaid

Happy Friday everyone! And call me, if you just happen to have been looking for a photographer for one of the above <3

{EDIT}

Since the initial draft of the above list, Mike has, in fact, agreed to #2. Lucy has been bouncing off walls all day and night. She has started ordering puppy things in droves. She has also picked out a name: Momofuku (means lucky peach in Japanese) (yes, I'm aware that it's also the name of one of David Chang's restaurants in the east village aka my old stomping ground) 

one guess at which breed.... hint: 

 img from Pinterest

img from Pinterest

San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer - welcome baby Maximilian

I make it a point to keep business cards on me always to hand out to expecting mamas when I see them. During a grocery run at the local Trader Joe's a few weeks back, I ran into Steph in the check-out lines. The initial introduction is always awkward. After all, you'd have to walk up to a complete stranger after having wagered with yourself on whether or not she's actually pregnant then very quickly make your intentions known. I've noticed that pregnant mamas are especially wary of approaching strangers and usually blurt out who I am what I want rather quickly. 

Long story short, a few weeks later, Steph, hubby, big sister, and baby Max came into the studio for Max's newborn session. Unfortunately Max was feeling a bit under the weather and could not sleep soundly the entire session. We hushed and soothed him yet every time he was repositioned, he would stir awake. Parents always comment on how unbelievable they find my patience and endurance in the heated studio but honestly, your little ones make it so so easy. 

As always, here's my wish for you little one:

May you grow up to fill such a big big name. May you lead an ever enriching life. May you find delight in the simple things and may grace and peace surround you even in your darkest days. May you adore your big sister and become the best of friends. Always remember that family is what truly matters and family will carry you through. 

With lots of cooing and love,

L

Take a picture, just because...

Today is a Friday as ordinary as ordinary can be. We have no particular plans evident by the fact that we are both still in our pajamas as the clock strikes dangerously close to noon. And you know what? That's fine. Fridays like this are reserved for eating cereal for lunch, napping on the couch, reading an actual book with a hot cuppa, AND taking photos. 

The house is as messy as messy can be. Because we have no particular plans today, I did not particularly tidy the day before. There are used cups on the coffee table and the kitchen sink may be very occupied. The house may not be particularly ready for an impromptu photoshoot but Friday Lucy don't care. Friday Lucy runs for her D750 and snapped these moments that are forever captured. 

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You may think it's silly. You may judge me. You may even agree! These are the moments of our lives and they must be recorded as the stories we recount traveling down this long road. We recount heroic adventures and achievements but also these quiet moments when you find your husband so endearingly adorable, your heart skips a beat. You may roll your eyes but Friday Lucy don't care. Friday Lucy is too busy doing absolutely nothing - except keeping her camera very very close, in case Mike breaks out in another dance session. Friday Lucy will probably leave the camera and go join him this time. 

Toodle-loo and a peaceful yet memorable weekend to you,

Lucy

San Gabriel Valley Newborn Photographer - welcome baby Alvin

I don't like to play favorites... but baby Alvin totally made it to the top. Baby Alvin came with a whole entourage, mom, papa, and nanny all showed up to this shoot but he was cool as can be. Cool means "completely knocked out" in baby photographer language. Only woke up for one meeting which nanny totally took over (I always try to spare mom from feeding but if the nanny comes, I gladly relinquish ha).

Mama ended up wanting 3 mini accordion albums as well and I couldn't be happier to send them off with Mom. After an entire summer of girls, baby Alvin broke my streak and, just between you and I, I'm jumping for joy. Can't wait to pull out my boy stuff and off to the LLP closet we go!
 

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As always, here's my wish for you:

宝宝,不要怕世界,去迎接它,去庆祝它,去追求它,去保护它。他是你的世界。祝你一生充满新福,爱情,友谊,欢笑。中文真的很难写。。。!

阿姨sorry啦!