Having a newborn is hard. Like, overwhelmingly, punch-in-the-gut, cry-till-your-eyes-swell-shut, hard. Even though it does mean you can put your baby in a guitar case and take pictures that are ridiculously cute. Haha. It’s still so, very, hard. With that said, the idea of having TWO at the same time?!?! Whoa. I bow down to you, moms of twins. And I’d like to buy you a drink. Or two.
It feels weird saying that though – that newborn babies are so tough – because they are also so darn lovable and do a lot of sleeping and snuggling and making cute noises. Before I had my first son, I didn’t really understand the challenges that lie ahead of me. I was like, “I babysat my sister’s kids. It wasn’t that bad. I can handle this.” And I was right, I can handle it. But not without a lot of tears and stress and anger and guilt. Yes, I said anger. There are times that you get mad at that helpless, tiny, ten pound ball of love. And that’s when the guilt rushes in – this intense guilt that for a second you allowed yourself to be angry at your own newborn child. And then the tears. Ugly cry tears.
While they are so tiny and adorably precious, and my heart melts when I hold one of those little squish bugs, they also scream and cry for seemingly no reason at all. If you’re like me, you’ll actually say out loud, more than once, “WHAT THE BLEEP, BABY?! WHAT IN THE BLEEP DO YOU NEED?!?!” They puke all over themselves (and you…) after you spend an hour or two trying to get them to eat enough. They SNAP awake the minute you put them down, despite having been drooly-milk-drunk-asleep in your arms only seconds earlier. And they just NEED you. ALL. THE. TIME. So much neediness. So many needs.
Hard to believe when they look so sweet and innocent when they’re sleeping, right? 🙂
I think that was the hardest adjustment for me and the most difficult thing to carry around – that I was needed by this little human being, pretty much every moment of every day. The monotony of that neediness – feed, burp, change, swaddle, sleep, and feed again, all within the span of two or three hours – ate at me and chipped away at any hopes I had of feeling normal or carefree again.
The good news is that the newborn phase passes quickly, and things really do get easier every few months. Not to say that some things don’t also get harder. But you shift and change and adapt, and it DOES get easier.
The thing I love about being a newborn photographer is that I can welcome parents into my home, give them a hug, and tell them that – that it gets easier. I can sit and laugh (or cry) with them about the insanity of those first few weeks. I can say, “I get it! This shit is hard!” and I sense a little tension leave their shoulders. I also love that I can take their baby from them for a few hours and offer a cup of coffee and a place to relax or take a guilt-free nap.
I am so thankful that I get the opportunity to capture this moment in time. The newborn phase is such a sleepless, hazy blur. It feels like a black hole of time and like you’ll never get through it. But then, bam, your baby isn’t a baby anymore. And in the weirdest way, you will long for that newborn stage again. You’ll cry over how big his feet have gotten. You’ll feel sad that he no longer falls asleep in your arms. You will blink and that soft baby newness will be gone. I really am so thankful I get to preserve that for the families who choose me as their photographer.
This sweet family came to me for both maternity and newborn photographs of their beautiful twin girls, and I truly loved getting to work with them. I can say that Mom & Dad seemed to handle it all with such tenderness and grace, and I was in awe of them as a couple and as new parents. I mean, they have TWO babies. The stuff I just wrote about? They have it TIMES TWO. It probably makes everything twice as hard and emotional, but it also makes the photos TWICE AS CUTE!!!! 🙂