Corey, Melanie and baby Jackson Gregory [San Luis Obispo, CA]

This post is a massive change in gears from the norm because I, Allegra–Christan’s Wife–have hyjacked his blog to share a moment of our life from this weekend with our friends.
Back in spring, I got a phone call from one of my dear friends telling me she believed she was pregnant. Soon after, it was confirmed by her Doctor. I think I flew onto cloud nine from the moment she told me. I wanted to celebrate her, I wanted to cover her in encouragement, I just wanted to her to feel so un-alone. In some ways, those nine months seem to have flown by and in other ways I cannot believe she now has her baby boy in her arms. I swell with emotion thinking back on the last 72 hours as I can only describe myself as a fly on a miracle’s wall.San Luis Obispo Maternity Photo SessionMelanie had a great birth plan–as most women do– but it played out much differently–as most women’s birth stories do. She found out that she would have a C-section and handled the news with her ever-present and supporting husband. In an effort to reach out and love on her a little more, I asked if she would want her last day pregnant photographed with her husband. I thought of what I would have wanted and I would have wanted to capture that last moment of being a couple before becoming an official family. I would have wanted a quiet place and a still small reminder of everything I feared and how love would unfold in infinite directions that I could never imagine. She obliged and I escaped with them for a brief moment in time to memorize that last moment before parenthood:San Luis Obispo Maternity Photo SessionAs we packed up and drove away, I made a last ditch effort to completely smother them in my “hindsight is 20/20” view of delivery. I offered to be available to them if they wanted a photographer during the delivery. I told them to talk it over (to “dicuss amongst yourselves” for you Coffee Talk SNL fans ;). I had no idea I’d get a call about 30 minutes before delivery that they had decided they’d want me there. What do you do when someone invites you to be involved in a moment that really should only belong to them? If you’re me, you shake-you cry-and then you pray. I made a specific prayer to God as I drove over to the hospital and I can tell you, He heard me and He showed up.San Luis Obispo Maternity Photo SessionSan Luis Obispo Maternity Photo SessionMelanie & Corey’s room flooded with family and friends that wanted to shower them in their last words of excitement, support, and love before their son would come into the world. I suited up to match Corey and we went into the operating room. As Corey was escorted to sit next to Melanie, I was given my perameters. I watched as Corey stroked his wife’s head and she stared intently into his eyes begging for his confidence, longing for his touch, and pulling from his strength. I saw their fingers wrap around each other and knew words were being exchanged that only the two of them would ever hear. An intricate web of prayers hovered over them, I could feel it. The prayers we friends had all gathered around them to offer: wisdom, courage, strength, His will. Those prayers encompassed them and wrapped them in the miracle of their son’s life.San Luis Obispo Birth PhotogrpahySan Luis Obispo Birth PhotographyJackson Gregory Knowlton was born on January 29, 2010. As the anesthesiologist lifted Melanie’s head to see her son take his first breath and pull the curtain down so I could see what she would struggle to, he entered this world abounding in instantaneous love beyond what he will ever truly know (because lets face it, do we as children ever truly know how much our parents love us?)San Luis Obispo Birth PhotographySan Luis Obispo Birth PhotographyCorey would have to endure something I still feel heavy with his ache over. As his wife would be sent to recovery his son would be taken to NICU to be monitored due to Melanie’s gestational diabetes. He would long to be with both and feel a pull that I could feel just by standing next to him: the desire to be in two places at once, the need to hold both his wife and his son, the weight of being the emotional and physical support to his very own family. I can tell you, Corey is an amazing calm to Melanie and he was a pillar of strength and love to his new son from the moment he could hold his fingers and soothe him.San Luis Obispo Birth PhotographyTo Melanie & Corey, I thank you from the bottom of my swollen heart. I witnessed a miracle I should have never seen this weekend. I love you three more than you’ll ever know!

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by christanp

show hide 12 comments

Melissa Lincicum That is awesome Allegra! Amazing pictures paired with your beautiful writing!February 1, 2010 – 12:00 am

Melissa Vasquez Lincicum That is awesome Allegra! Amazing pictures paired with your beautiful writing!February 1, 2010 – 8:50 am

Tara Oh my goodness, these photos are simply amazing, the one of him being held up right after birth is awesome….I am sure these will be cherished forever and ever! he is just a darling baby…makes me want another one…sorta! 🙂February 1, 2010 – 11:19 am

Valerie OMG!!! I’m in tears reading this bolg… you describe a miracle in vivid word paintings (of course the pictures help too), very well written and well photographed! Much love!February 1, 2010 – 1:34 pm

ALoveShea I’m sobbing.February 1, 2010 – 9:57 pm

linda This is amazing Allegra! And Cory and Mel…my my my what a couple! And what a huge babe Jackson 😉
I can hardly wait to see up close and personal but in the mean time thank you dear for your impeccable portrait of the most sacred of experiences. Many prayers ~LFebruary 4, 2010 – 8:48 pm

wed photographer I really liked your blog! goodFebruary 12, 2010 – 8:56 pm

Peter Hearl “son take his first breath” what a wonderful Image. very emotive.February 15, 2010 – 2:55 pm

In Honor Of Design This brought tears to my eyes…so powerful.
Thanks for sharing!March 9, 2010 – 9:16 am

Rain Studios These images are amazing, Allegra/ChristanP.com! I actually videoed Melanie and Corey’s wedding and my wife Katherine and I were in their birthing class together! The road that life takes us on is simply amazing, isn’t it? We wish them the very best!!!March 16, 2010 – 2:13 pm

Mary Revisiting this and it makes me cry every time! So glad you were there to take these!May 10, 2010 – 1:43 pm

Jessica Solomon These pictures and the commentary are amazing! What a beautiful experience and a perfect little fam of three! I am so happy to almost be Jack’s official Auntie!!!! 😀September 1, 2010 – 2:53 pm

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