When friends and strangers told me, “you’ll miss this,” I would smile and nod. Yes, I loved the quiet moments and I noticed how quickly my babies changed, but I was exhausted and I was a mess. How could I possibly miss the middle of the night feedings and never ending piles of dishes and laundry that taunted me when my baby refused to be put down? Sleep deprivation frayed my nerves, slowed my response time, stole my appreciation from so many priceless moments. I forgot to eat, had blow out diaper stains on my clothes, and didn’t even bother changing my sheets when diapers got peed through in the middle of the night. I felt like the worst mom ever when I got frustrated with my tiny humans who depended on me every moment of every day. Hungry again? Third diaper in 5 minutes? 8 minute nap? Really?
So, now that my youngest is in preschool 3 days a week and I finally have time for my own identity outside of mommy duties, do I miss it?
I do. Each time I am given the opportunity to photograph a newborn, I’m reminded of those sweet moments that were so fleeting. Those adorable chirps and squeaks transport me back to those newborn snuggles, feeling that unbelievably soft hair under my chin, and enjoying that simple and warm scent. I haven’t forgotten how hard it was and I can’t really say that I want to go back and do it again, but the memories are fading and I feel time with my babies slipping more and more quickly out of my reach.
When your baby starts to softly settle into sleep and her lips tug into a perfect sleepy smile, my heart skips a beat right along with yours. When those little toes peek out from beneath the blanket, I too cannot help but to coo and giggle. I take in every tiny detail because I don’t want you to forget any of it. And as much as I love focusing in on your sweet little one, I feel the most important pictures are the ones with her curled gently into your chest.
I have plenty of pictures of my babies, but I am hardly in any of them. Granted, I didn’t really WANT to be in pictures right after having a baby, but that was silly and I wish I could push the redo button. Those cuddles! I want them back! I want those moments captured. I never want to forget how my itty bitty babies fit perfectly into my arms with that soft skin pressed against me for warmth and love. The pictures that I do have are snapped with a point and shoot digital camera or a cell phone. They are a washed out combination of being both grain and blur and some vital body part has been chopped off by haphazard framing (usually a result of trying to take a selfie without waking my baby!).
And so I love having this chance to slow things down for you and freeze these moments forever. Because I know that no matter how you feel now, you will miss this. I know that you will never look back and wish you had saved that money for a bagful of baby clothes that your little one will outgrow in a few weeks. There will be zero buyer’s remorse when those teasers start showing up in your newsfeed and you will fall even deeper in love with your family with each image I send you.
These images truly will be loved forever because I have not just photographed the most adorable baby ever born. To me, newborn photography is about capturing the overwhelming love you feel while staring into her eyes, gently stroking her skin, and listening to her soft breaths. Stop worrying about extra pregnancy weight when I point my camera at you. Look at that miracle in your arms and know that you will one day love these moments captured of yourself bonding with your baby. Print and frame these pictures, Mamas, because I promise you that you’ll want to hold them to your chest every few years as you relive the sweetest moments of your life.