Lately, I’ve been getting no sleep. I don’t mean “no” sleep the way some people do when they clock under 4 or 5 hours, I mean no as in, “hi, how are you”? “NO. 😫
Blame it on teething, co sleeping or the fact that I have no idea how to ween my 19month old so we’re still breastfeeding thru the night, and then there’s the gd cat who won’t stop trying to sleep on my sons face. Either way, what I do most mornings and nights while I lay in bed, panicked that the sun is rising and I haven’t done more than blink, is go online to get lost in the rabbit hole of my Facebook feed. And what do I notice? Aside from the fact that slow motion baby laughing videos are hilarious at any time of day, is that all my other parent friends are up, too. And that makes me feel a little less crazy because, solidarity.
So with that, here is a preview from my recent Fresh48 session with Brandi and her baby girl, just hours old. So new, in fact, that she doesn’t have a name yet. This isn’t Brandi’s first rodeo, she has a 19 month old at home who as it turns out, is as spirited as my boy (we bonded fast over this fact). But after one look into her new baby’s eyes and a wiff of that head, it’s over. They belong to each other and nothing, not even no sleep is gonna get in their way.
I absolutely love this family and as of a week ago (1 week tomorrow to be exact) their awesomeness has grown exponentially. Their sweet baby boy was born after a short and sweet labor, in the afternoon with his grandmother present and soon after the room filled with his large, loving family.
I first met this wonderful family almost a year ago when I photographed his (little) big sister for her first birthday and already she has proved to be protective over her little brother, upset over the fact that he was crying during his first bath and wanting to stay close to him. So. Sweet.
Everyone was in great spirits, recalling stories of being new parents and excitedly texting updates and photos of the baby to loved ones. The guys were reveling in the fact that there was a new boy in the family, made more exciting by the fact that the gender was a surprise and when the room filled with baby’s new cousins, Grandpa was on it, doling out the snacks and playing air piano.
I’m already so grateful to do what I love for a living; I constantly feel like I’m getting away with something and one day (soon) someone is going to knock on my door and tell me that the jig is up. But it’s especially wonderful to bear witness to such important moments in a family’s life and to have that family make you feel so welcomed, ie: texting hilarious emoji updates of your pregnancy and labor and sharing your Fritos in the hospital room.
Here are some of my favorites of this most wonderful family on this most wonderful day. Congrats!
Sometimes I’m okay with being wrong. A few weeks ago I photographed this beautiful family at their home in Round Rock as a Mother’s Day surprise and originally operating under the idea that she would be induced just a few days after our session, I had assumed this new, sweet baby boy shared my sweet baby boy’s birthday of May 15th. Well, if there’s anything I know about birth it’s that nothing is promised and I was pleasantly surprised to hear from the still pregnant momma on May 25th to book a Fresh48 session. I couldn’t say ‘yes’ fast enough.
I woke up Saturday morning (at 10 am- yes, my husband spoils me) to a text sent at 2:19am from an excited poppa letting me know that they were in labor and had just arrived at the hospital. For a split second, all the color ran from my face as I thought to myself…. OH MY GOD, I MISSED IT. But then I remembered this wasn’t a birth shoot and gleefully started texting back for an update. Their new son and their third gorgeous child was born just two hours after arriving at the hospital and everyone was happy and healthy. After a bit of coordinating schedules and weather watching, we scheduled our session for noon the next day.
When I entered her room at St. David’s Hospital North Austin Medical Center, baby was sleeping soundly next to her in the basinet and Mom and Grandma were chatting and laughing. I mention that her husband and children are on their way up from the parking lot and without missing a beat, she starts child proofing the room, moving around gracefully and with the expertise of a seasoned mom putting caps on bottles, moving bags and carts out of the way all the while glancing at her sleeping, 32 hr old babe and noting that on the tv was a show similar to Wild Krats, one of her older sons favorites. I know that to the untrained eye these might sound like the most mundane tasks, but to me I saw a beautiful woman wearing motherhood like a second skin and I was inspired.
Moments later, dad and the kids tumbled into the room and immediately big brother peers into the foggy plastic of the bassinet. “Is he sleeping? I love him”. As I’m photographing everyone together, big brother and sister occasionally tug on my shirt to ask if they can see the picture or take one themselves and I’m more than happy to oblige. They squint thru my viewfinder and I ask them to tell me when it looks nice and I’ll push the shutter. They are focusing on moms face and their new brother and each other making silly faces and grin and giggle at their instant results on the back of the camera. By now, more family members have arrived and the room is filled with overlapping conversation and laughter. The baby is nursing quietly and mom is reminding him to hold up his end of the bargain and stay awake; I’ve said it before but it bears repeating- I love my job.