Salt Lake City Based Photographer Timbra Wiist owns/operates Landslide Photography & Photographs the Journey of Motherhood (see bottom of page or sidebar for more info. . .depending on what this blog is choosing to do for the day).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Utah Opens its Doors to Breastfeeding Mothers

So, I did a huge photography project, this is the second post about that. And I wrote about it a little along the way. Day 2 my list included a lot more restaurants. I don't know why or how it happened that way, but it did. The first day was grocery stores and businesses, the second day was restaurants.

I didn't realize just how many things could go wrong before 11am. Why? Because I have a general rule about not leaving my house UNTIL 11am, and now I know why I have that rule.

The day started out poorly before I even got to this day. A friend had set up the first appointment with me because it was at her brother's auto shop. When I called another business to confirm their slot, the lady (who had already been sort of rude and unnecessarily annoyed by those who had called her to set things up initially) was sort of rude to me and then said "That is NOT the time we agreed on" so I looked through my notes and quoted back "It says here between 9 and 3 ( I had them at like 1). . . "Well, I'm looking at the schedule now and you'll have to come before 12."

Coming before 12 meant I had to rearrange the beautiful schedule I'd put together and I told her so "I spent 3 hours on this schedule so pardon me if I take a minute to mentally rearrange it" (hello. . we are giving YOU free advertising, please stop being a jerk!) So I tweaked it, which meant calling my friend and asking her if we can move our meet up time by about 15 minutes. She was fine with that. . .and then completely forgot to show. In the meantime (while I'm waiting for her to show up or call me back) another friend calls to find out about her appointment time and ask about the location I've chosen. I chose a lunch spot. They told us we needed to come before 11 or after 3 (the lunch rush). . . but I forgot to call them until after hours the night prior to going, I had someone scheduled at 10:30 (before 11) but ugh. . .they don't have an answering machine and no one answers phones UNTIL 11!! So I told her that someone had cancelled for me for the evening and shifted her to that spot. Oh. .yeah, I woke up to an email from someone saying they couldn't make it, sick child!

So, sick child, business that makes me rearrange entire schedule, friend who doesn't show to the appointment she set up, business that doesn't take calls UNTIL business hours but told me to come before they open. . . it's 9:30. Finally get a call from my friend who has totally spaced and is on her way over, worked out fine, since the other friend took the evening slot that had been bailed out of and now I have no one for that first slot. Oh well. Finish up at the auto shop, make my way to the place that said I had to rearrange my entire schedule for them. Get to the coordinates (aka address for those not in UT) and it's a hotel, not a birthing suite. Call. . . find out that the birthing suite address is in OREM (that's like an hour away) and again, rude, the lady says "I told the lady on the phone that." Well. . . I looked up the address and didn't look at the city, just the coordinates, and maybe she told me, but I wasn't listening, and this would explain why they got two different calls but no one knew they were the very same business. Ironically, the woman I've scheduled to meet me at this location lives the closest of ALL my models, to the location. I call her. . .

She says she's at the birthing suite and I tell her there's no way I could make it to Orem and back in the amount of time before my next appointment. . . no. . .she's at the birthing suite location in Salt Lake (they have two sites, two separate names, two totally different addresses, but the address I gave her was for the Salt Lake site. . .THANK GOODNESS) it's 10am! We decide to just meet at the next location because. . . as luck would have it. . . the next location is next door to the other location that wanted me to come before 11, but doesn't answer phones UNTIL 11 and I have no model for that location.

So, we meet at my 10:30 location, Les Madeleines, with the woman who has an appointment with me there, I wait for my "birthing suite" mom to show, then hop over to the Italian place to see if it's okay for me to grab a few shots RIGHT AT 11. . . yes. Everything has fallen back into place. . . hoorah! Then my "birth suite" mom tells me, "When I came out of the birth suite office I saw a little french bakery on the corner and thought to myself, maybe she could meet me here instead". . . so it works out PERFECTLY that I'd requested she meet me at a french bakery because of all my mess ups :)

All is right with the world. I shoot throughout the day, I get to a few locations early, Airi takes 2 naps of about 45 minutes each (the first day she took none), and the only other glitch is that I had three restaurants in the same shopping center with five moms involved and I stayed a little long there, so I was very late for my last appointment, which really didn't matter because her husband was busy until very late and she actually had just decided to eat dinner at the location we'd chosen. Well, the other glitch was that my phone died. She offered to buy me dinner, but I declined because I knew Mike had somewhere to be at 7pm, and I was running very close to the line, apparently, however, about this same exact time, Mike called to tell me I should just relax and stay out as long as I needed because he had decided to stay in that evening instead of go to small group. . . but I didn't get the message, so I didn't get the free and wonderful dinner at the Vegan restaurant Sage's. . . boo! But I did get to come home and spend more time with my hubby and little girl than I thought I'd have that evening.

Throughout the next week and a half I somehow found models for all of my locations, even if I did have to ask Renee to be my model at two separate locations because NO ONE wanted to go to laserquest and very few of my models live in that area. I also realized the night before the project was due, that I somehow completely missed one business. I think because they were available over too broad of a time slot and both of my main shooting days I vowed to schedule them last since they'd fit almost anywhere, and then ended up NEVER giving them a slot :(

On Thursday I was able to head up to the University Hospital to photograph. The U of U hospital is our own "Baby Friendly" hospital in Utah, which means they have been given this designation by following a strict set of guidelines put out by WHO/UNICEF with regards to 10 steps to breastfeeding success. They assume all mothers who birth in their hospital will be breastfeeding their babies, they offer support and try to initiate breastfeeding within the first 30 minutes after birth, all babies are assumed to be rooming in, in fact there is no longer a "healthy baby" nursery available, they do not get discounts on formula (aka kick backs), pacifiers and bottles are actually locked up now and must be specifically requested by a mother. It's actually quite cool. So I photographed the hospital as part of this project, which included newborn nursing twins. . .sage and Maya . . . . beautiful!!! Then I ran over to my midwife's office to photograph her office. I had another shoot friday and the following week I had two or three more separate shoots.

Then I had about 1800 photos for the project, of which I turned over more than 1200, all of which were at least slightly color edited, for "pop." And everything, including a small forest worth of release forms and two sets of 5 CDs, made it's way to Patrice at the Department of Health by 4:30pm on Monday afternoon, September 27th.

It is amazing to me that I apparently had a real life during all of this, as I tried to sit down and write out all the stuff I did that was NOT for this photography project, during these two weeks and though I could contain it all in one post, only to find that I did almost as much as I usually do with my family. I feel that I must have been on auto pilot because my focus was so much on this project I was not even aware of how normally I carried on with life.

I am so fortunate to have been part of this project. I still have a little work left to do, that of creating some posters for the local level of the project, but we have drawn that out to be due in December sometime (though before I know it, it will be December and I will have done nothing and be kicking myself). I feel honored to have been asked to photograph this project and to have been able to take my littlest daughter along with me for the ride, and sometimes even my older daughter. I met some amazing people along the way, had so many fabulous models to work with and feel very excited and positive about the community's support of nursing moms. I've even had opportunity, after the project, to meet some of the business owners who were not there on days when I was photographing and feel even more positive about this effort.

Another local LLL leader has intentions to send in an article about this project as well as the success of the Breastfeeding Cafe back in August, to a La Leche League publication, New Beginnings. She hopes to highlight me as the photographer on this project, since I would not get recognition otherwise. I am hopeful about asking her to consider writing the article and to approach the local newspaper as well as Mothering Magazine (where my photograph was recently published in an advertisement for World Breastfeeding Week on the pamphlet front). It is very exciting to be part of something so awesome, as well as get some special recognition for this project. I'll keep you. . . blog posted.

I will soon be posting each of the businesses and the willing models for each business, on this blog. . . stay tuned.

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