Motherhood for me was an interesting introduction. To be honest it wasn’t what I thought it would be like. In my dreams I was going to be the cutest little Mama-to-be with tons of energy and this little bump sticking out front. Eleven years ago it was okay to have a bump but by no means was showing it off a thing yet. I wore a lot of stretchy dresses and sweated a lot that summer and early fall. I also had zero energy and once I was in my second trimester I was moved from being a photographer for senior pictures to a desk job at the photography studio and ate a lot of sugar. Like A LOT! I needed energy apparently to sit all day. I gained more weight than I should have times 2! And I itched with this weird pregnancy rash. My doctor’s solution was “Drink more water”. She wasn’t my favorite…but years later I’ll admit she was probably right.
I thought, I’ll deliver this baby girl and it will be the best thing ever. I will love and bond with her immediately. Well…I loved her and I was devastated that she was jaundice and had to be contained to a light box for days. This meant I couldn’t hold or snuggle her. I was miserable and weighed more than I did when I entered the hospital after having a 8 lbs. 11 oz. baby. How is that even possible? To top it off no one knew how to take my picture with my baby in a flattering angle. Also, no one told me to bring something else to wear besides the hospital gown during my postpartum stay. So let me tell you….BRING something comfy to wear, ANYTHING else is better than the hospital gown in postpartum. It will make you feel a little more human again.
Most of my memories of those first few weeks were fear. I was dealing with anxiety around healing, figuring out breastfeeding, giving up on breastfeeding (so that she will have the milk to get rid of the jaundice), dealing with heal pricks and home health nurses, complete exhaustion, hemorrhoids (did I mention she was sunnyside up and 8lbs. 11oz!), constipation like birthing another baby ( I said no to the bulk laxative after my second baby!). Not to mention hormone swings that left me in tears. In my heart, I was missing all of it. The bonding. The memories of how little, precious, and beautiful she was those first few weeks. Newborn photography wasn’t a thing yet. In fact, I only knew a handful of photographers who were starting to do newborn images. This was way before pinterest and instagram and the “froggy pose”. I knew if I was going to have any photos of her I was going to also be the one to take them and I would have to find the energy and physical ability to do it soon.
This is why after a decade of photographing newborns I still love it. I love the art of photographing a baby. But, what I really love, is giving that gift to the new Mom. The gift of moments of rest on a comfy couch, the gift of memories captured for a lifetime, the conversations in the studio where she can share her heart, battles won, and fears with another Mom who has been there. I love that I can give a Mom who is not sure of herself a picture with her with her newborn that she will love despite not being at her ideal weight. I love that I can work a camera and use angles to capture the most flattering image of new mothers while also focusing on the connection between the two of them.
I received a Facebook message last night saying that I could share this Mama’s pictures with her daughter. This makes my heart sing. It took a tiny bit of encouragement to get her in front of the camera. I find this is usually the case. My promise is no one will see them but you until I get your approval. If you hate them, delete them, but let me take your picture just in case you love it. It’s my why I do what I do. For the baby art. For the mother and newborn images that you can’t take yourself. For the memories of a moment that won’t last long. For the mother who is already trying to do it all…let me be the professional newborn photographer… you be the mother. This is why I do my job and love it.
You are a stunning mother Katie! I can’t wait to watch the bond between you and your daughter grow! Thank you for trusting me with this fleeting moment in your lives where she literally fits in your hands!