The other day, I ran into a client (Liz) a good friend at the grocery story and gushed over how her little guy has grown so much since I saw them last, a couple months ago. It’s so easy to lose sight of how much change happens when you’re in the day-to-day grind, but, oh my, do babies change fast! Little AJ was just a wrinkly newborn the last time I saw him, and now he’s a plump little guy that’s sitting up and so alert to his surroundings. And a smile that will melt your heart!
Running into Liz got me thinking and I thought I’d share her story with you. She is so much a soul sister and I know you can totally relate to her.
Liz is a free spirit that was focused and 100% committed to her work before she became a mama. Like myself, her business was her first child. Liz and Joe were married on a mountain, and hiked almost daily. They loved camping and outdoor concerts at Red Rocks. They scheduled 14er hikes monthly and dogged out on pizza and wine once the strenuous hike was behind them. For downtime, they loved movie couch potato cuddles with each other and their two little dogs! They had found a grove and loved life.
When she found out she was pregnant she was over joyed and full of excitement for the journey ahead. She read books and blogs to try and prepare for her little boy. She worked extra hours to ensure her business would still thrive even after baby and time off.
But as her belly grew so did her fears and worries about the days after baby is here.
Would she be a good mom?
Would she know what he needed?
Would she loose herself, her business, her marriage, her life to this little person?
Liz knew she should have some newborn photos but didn’t really think to much about them. She still had months she felt to prepare.
When Liz and I met at a wedding a few years back we instantly hit it off. During one of our usual coffee dates, she started spilling the beans about how she was feeling. She was afraid and needed a veteran mom to give her a little reassurance.
Liz knew she wanted newborn photos, but maternity photos were another story.
‘Why does it matter if we have photos of the belly? I’m not one of those women that enjoyed being pregnant, I am definitely not glowing! And oh by the way, I’ve grown a J Lo booty! Isn’t it the baby that everyone wants to see, not me!’
As we continued to chat about what a maternity session would look like for them, she saw it as an opportunity to celebrate their story of today, and she was able to push aside her fear of what her belly and booty looked like.
Liz decided to jump on board and book the Discovering Motherhood package because, ‘this is an overwhelming transition and I know we won’t remember all the little details that make this time special.” She didn’t have control over the birth, but she did have control over how she was going to remember this time.
Liz is very self-critical on how she looks and her honest, initial reaction to the photos from her maternity session were a lot of “awwww’s” and I said to myself,
“Seeing the photos you’d think I enjoyed being pregnant, but I didn’t! These photos captured something I never saw in that moment. I think we are so ready for this little guy to join us. We are as strong as ever and ready for the challenges ahead!”
When I arrived for the newborn session, AJ was just over a week old. Both Liz and Joe looked tired but still on cloud nine over their little guy. I could tell Liz was struggling with the demands of a newborn, so instead of diving into photos, we sat and talked. She talked and felt all those emotions we sometimes run away from. It’s hard to put into words until you’re sitting there with someone that’s been in your shoes and it all makes sense. This…these early days are freak’n HARD!
When Liz was comfortable I picked up the camera and Liz and Joe settled into the routine of a newborn. She showed me how he would grab her finger and hold on with an almost death grip. Joe tenderly stroked Liz’s back as they gazed at the sweet boy they created together. We joked about baby boys and pee as they changed his diaper. Their two dogs come in to check out the newest member of the family. Liz got comfortable in the rocker that’s getting more action then she thought it ever would. And baby AJ drifted off to milky heaven on his mama’s chest as we concluded our session together.
When Liz received the final albums of our time together she cried and knew it was all worth it. She said,
“This type of documentary session is the way to go. When we saw the photos, and I saw all the little things I’m already forgetting, like AJ’s wrinkly forehead, I can’t image not having this time, our story, in photos to share with him as he grows. This time goes so fast. I don’t remember so many things already, but looking at the photos it brings you back and you remember. Looking back, I think it wasn’t so bad after all, it was all so incredibly worth it!’
Liz’s advice to soon to be parents,
“When you’re making a baby, family, a person, document it so you don’t forget what you went through. Birth is one of the most vulnerable experiences you can have, and having someone there that gets it, is comforting and invaluable.”
xoxo – Rachael
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