You can’t be a little bit pregnant!
Things are so different now than they were when I was when my mother was pregnant with me or even when I was pregnant with my son (25 years ago).
The more things change the more they stay the same.
Even though it was so many years ago for me, I still remember never being happier than when I was carrying my son. I felt beautiful, healthy and happy. There is something very magical about being pregnant. Even people who have difficult pregnancies somehow can’t get over the overwhelming feeling of grace and bliss they feel (between all the morning sickness and swollen feet). I remember my mother sharing her fond memories about finally getting pregnant with me (she tried for 17 years to get pregnant) and how excited she was. I even remember my grandmother talking about her greatest joy in life was being pregnant – knowing she was going to bring new little life people into this world. Three generations – all remembering the same feelings. And even though pregnancy and childbirth is very different today than it was during my grandmothers time (who literally gave birth in a potato field to two of her children) the more the feeling about it stays the same.
Tears of Joy
I was watching one of those shows on Lifetime TV the other day where the woman are delivering their babies and every single time a baby was born I’d cry. There is a common bond between women and childbirth that is unexplainable. I’d cry with joy for that new baby and the new mommy. I remember being one of my dear friend’s Lamaze coaches (many years ago). Her husband just didn’t think he could do it. Oh my how I cried when that beautiful baby was born – it was truly a miracle to me.
Do we really glow?
This picture set is of Nicole. She is 7 months pregnant and beautiful. We were talking about how pregnant women simply glow, they say it’s the hormones but we (mommies everywhere) know better – it’s the pure JOY inside radiating out to the world around us saying: “look out world, my child is on the way and he/she is going to make a difference in this world. You just wait and see!”
I recently was able to spend some time with a photographer friend of mine for several days and we had many philosophical discussions. During one of those discussions I said “that would be a great blog post” so here we go…
We were talking about how easy it is to research the internet today and find all those beautiful creative newborn baby poses where the baby is propped on their little hands. Don’t we all just love those? I know I do.
The internet is an awesome tool and many of us use it to learn many things or simply to get ideas from. The problem for us (creative, talented photographers) is that it can be very frustrating for a client to bring in several pictures that were “borrowed” from another photographer’s website of images like this and say to us “can you do this for me?”
Of course we can. But we also would love for you to come to us for our own perspective and vision of what your child’s images should be. It is our job as professionals to discover the uniqueness in every subject that we photograph and to be “original” rather than copying what someone else has done.
Too many times people want only what they have seen and they miss out on a wonderful opportunity to see something original of their special little one.
This challenge isn’t all that new. Over the years I have run into brides that did the same thing. They would bring us a list of poses they wanted – usually very ordinary, expected poses from a wedding and they would completely forget that it is our job as “professional visionaries” to see what is unique about their dream day. When a client would hire me to cover their wedding and say “Cathy, I just want you to do what it is that you do – be creative and find my one of a kind story” – that client always received some of my most creative and beautiful images – something truly original, not a copy of what someone else thought was right.
To me, photography is not a one size fits all. It is a reflection of you – no one else.
Here is a perfect example of what 2 different photographers visions are when approaching a newborn baby. One is by my photographer friend, Lisa Carter and the other is mine. They are both beautiful. They are both originals – NOT copies. What do you think?
I'm the original baby Rose
Early Fun and Games with Baby
Wondering how to play with your wee one?
Here’s an itsy-bitsy refresher course.
Now that your baby is nearing the three-month milestone, he’s spending more time awake and alert. As exciting as that is, that may also have you wondering how to occupy his time (“Hmm…now what? It’s playtime — but how do I play with this lovely little lump?”). Well, it’s time to dig out those dusty nursery rhymes and baby-game classics from the recesses of your mind. Oops…is your brain still in the thick of pregnancy fog? Here’s a refresher course on those fun games that have been delighting children for ages…
- This Little Piggy: Starting with the big toe, the pigs “went to market,” “stayed home,” “ate roast beef,” “had none,” and (the pinky toe; tickle all the way up his body with this one!) “cried wee, wee, wee, all the way home.”
- Eyes, Nose, Mouth: .Hold your baby’s hands and guide them to touch your own eyes, nose, and mouth, then give him a kiss: “Eyes, nose, mouth, smooch!”
- So Big: Again, start by holding your baby’s hands. Then ask, “How big is baby?” (better yet, use his name). Then spread his arms wide and answer, “Sooooo big!”
In addition to these games, your baby may enjoy watching shapes dangling from a mobile or baby gym, looking at himself in a mirror (choose a baby-safe, unbreakable one), or listening and gazing intently as you shake a rattle or roll a ball with a bell inside. And it’s never too early to sing or read to him — he’s very busy storing up sounds and words that he’ll need later as a talkative toddler.
We use many of these game techniques when we work with babies nearing the 3 month mark. They are so expressive when they learn something new. It just makes your heart melt.
Whether it’s a few hours or a whole day,
your first time away from baby can be emotional.
Here’s how to cope.
You knew this moment would come — it’s time to be away from your baby for more than three whole minutes. Maybe you’re headed out for the evening (it’s okay — you’re allowed!) or taking an overnight trip. At the 10-week marker, any separation is likely to be tougher on you than it is on your gurgling little bundle. After all, he still likes just about everyone and is probably willing to yuk it up with anyone who’s willing to entertain him. It’s you who’ll probably need a pep talk (or maybe even a glass of vino!) at the thought of leaving him behind.
Whatever the reason for your departure, a little advance prep will go a long way toward reducing your separation jitters and making your absence as easy as possible on your baby. First, get used to the idea by leaving your baby with your husband for an hour or two a couple of times over the course of a few weeks so you (and the baby) get used to the fact that you leave…and come back. Once you see your little darling hasn’t fallen into a thousand pieces while you’re gone, you’ll feel a lot less anxious about leaving him again.
If your spouse can’t take over, try to choose a caregiver who knows the baby well (calling all grandparents!). At this age (2 to 3 months), being out of sight pretty much means being out of mind, so your baby will usually stop thinking about you and be quite content with any sitter who provides gentle, attentive care. Meanwhile, you’ll feel more confident staying away if you know your baby is with someone you trust completely (a first separation is no time to try out a new sitter). You’ll probably be less worried if your baby is kept at home, in a familiar environment (that you know has been thoroughly baby-proofed). Request that your baby stick to his regular schedule; it’ll be less disruptive to him (and you’ll know exactly what he’s doing at any given moment).
Prepare a list of emergency numbers, including the pediatrician, plus your location and detailed contact information just in case your cell phone doesn’t work where you are. Also, have the sitter come over at least a half an hour before you need to leave to give you time to go over the schedule and explain any of the baby’s eccentricities (he must hear “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or he’ll never take his nap!). You can use the fill-in sections of The What to Expect Baby-Sitter’s Handbook to make sure you’ve covered everything. An early arrival also gives your baby and sitter time to warm up to each other and allows you a few minutes to feel okay about leaving the two of them to their own devices.
At zero hour, keep the farewells tear-free and short (you’ll have plenty of time to reconnect when you get back), but do say good-bye. And don’t attempt to shut out conflicting emotions (e.g., guilt, fear, relief) by blocking your baby from your mind while you’re gone. It’s fine to think of him, but try not to worry. Keep in mind that he’s in capable hands — check in if you want to, but once your sitter says that things are just fine, trust his or her word and don’t keep calling. Hey, a little independence (in the form of, say, dinner out with your husband) is healthy for you, and that will only benefit your baby in the long run.
The first time my husband and I went out without our son we went to a movie at The Commodore Theater in downtown Portsmouth. I loved the idea that there was a telephone on the table. I couldn’t use it to call out but just seeing it there gave me peace of mind for some reason. You just need a little comfort in your soul to make this a successful little get away. When you return you baby will still be there ready to love you all over again.
Crying is your baby’s only means of communication.
Trying to figure out what your baby is crying about can be one of the most frustrating things a new mother has to learn. It doesn’t take long but it will seem like an eternity.
During our child sessions I usually can tell what is wrong with a little baby but trust me it comes fromyears of experience and years of being around babies. When my sone was little, I struggled just as much as any new mother does. I remember what a relief it was when i thought I finally figured it out.
Here are some notes to help you find out what your baby may be saying.
It’s too bad babies don’t come with instruction manuals. It would make parenting these early weeks a whole lot easier — wouldn’t it? Actually, your baby is trying to give you some subliminal clues to help out. Since she can’t tell you what she needs with words — “Hey, got a gas bubble over here!” — she relies on an array of whimpers, cries, and all-out screams to get your attention. You just have to crack the crying code to know what she’s saying. Here’s a cheat sheet to help clue you in:
- I’m hungry: Listen and look for a rhythmic, repetitive cry, combined with other signals such as rooting for the breast or sucking her fingers.
- I’m tired: You’ll hear a cry that starts slowly and builds in intensity and is accompanied by yawns or eye-rubs.
- I’m stressed out: Get ready for a fussy, whiny cry; she may try to turn her head or body away from over stimulating sights or sounds.
- I’ve got colic: You’ll likely know it by the intense screams, accompanied by fidgeting movements; often occurs in the late afternoon or evening.
- I’m in pain here: Listen for a loud, intense, out-of-the-ordinary cry that comes on suddenly (at a time or in a way that’s unusual for your baby).
- I’m not feeling so well: You’ll hear soft whimpers; usually very different from her normal cries.
A lot of trial and error and time with your baby may help you break her particular code (although some infants are quite inconsistent about their cries, thwarting your attempts to read them). Having a repetitive routine can also help. If your baby’s day falls into a pattern of feeding, then a period of alert play, followed by sleep, knowing where you are in the cycle can help you determine quickly what your little one needs. If she has a full belly and an empty diaper, she may be ready for a nap or need a cuddle.