Being a new mother is always a challenge even if everything goes perfectly and as smoothly as we plan. Everything changes, we have to redefine who we are as mothers. Although this session is a breastfeeding one, it can truly be done in anyway that your child is fed. There is a strong connection that is created with the nurturing, love, time and touch that happens when we feed our babies.
This stunning mama was an absolute treat to photograph, she was so easy with her sweet boy, they were so connected and there was just so much love. They even bust out a few dance moves. I was absolutely over the moon excited with how these images came out and truly hope to do so many more of these because this is just where my heart lies.
Here are a few words from this mother that will hopefully inspire other mamas out there.
"From what little I’ve heard about my first few years, my babyhood was rife with problems. I was born a couple weeks premature, I was unable to breastfeed and eventually got labelled with that awful “failure to thrive” diagnosis. There are very few photos of me during this time (I can count them on one hand) and they’re tucked away as it saddens my Mum to see her sick baby. My Mum, who later became a lactation consultant, was devastated and at her wits end with how to care for me. From the long stints in the hospital and inability to breastfeed I’m sure it affected our bond, compared to my sisters who didn’t have these same issues. Our journey wasn’t easy, but here I am now, healthy and thriving in adulthood, except for always being a little underweight. Given that history, as I began my journey into motherhood I was concerned about my baby and if we’d be able to breastfeed. Truthfully I wasn’t optimistic, and I packed all the gadgets in my delivery go-bag (nipple shields, creams, lactation snacks..) and a half dozen bottles of premixed formula. My son’s birth was complicated with an emergency c-section but I was beyond proud and amazed when he latched perfectly within the first 2 hours, in spite of the disorientation and exhaustion from the sudden surgery and hormone changes of delivery. Over the next couple of days we learnt that my son needed to stay in the hospital longer as his jaundice wasn’t improving. He ultimately spent a few days getting a good tan in the UV light box incubator. I was encouraged time and time again to just give him formula as he’d flush the jaundice quicker, and was made to believe my milk wasn’t cutting it. I was crushed by the mum guilt feeling like I wasn’t able to provide for my son and disappointed that our breastfeeding journey wasn’t going to work. I felt like I’d let down my son, my mother’s expectations, and most importantly, my own dreams. Right when I was about to throw in the towel, a lactation consultant came to chat with me and showed me how to express milk to get more into him. She spoke life to me and encouraged me, appreciating the effort and exhaustion and pushing me through. We didn’t use formula at all, and 6 days later we were home.
Now my boy is ahead of the curve for growth and weight, and was exclusively breastfed (we’re just starting on solids). He’s a hungry boy, and it’s not been an easy journey, but I am so proud of us for persevering. I’m not a proponent of “everyone needs to breastfeed” as I understand each journey is different, but for us, this was my goal and I’m proud to have accomplished it.
During my pregnancy I gained a tremendous amount of weight. It was difficult accepting my changing body, though I took solace in the knowledge that my baby was growing well and healthy. I was apprehensive about how my post-pregnancy body would be, and though I’ve lost most of the baby weight, my deflated and scarred stomach is difficult for me to embrace. We booked Kerry for our newborn shoot and it was my first outing after being discharged. She was calm and familiar, immediately fostering a sense of comfort and ease. The studio was the right temperature, and she accommodated for everything we needed. Kerry even managed to get a smile from my camera shy partner, and none of the surgical pain and discomfort I was in made it into the photos (I swear she’s a wizard). The photos are incredible and I am so happy with them!
Having the opportunity to snag Kerry again for a breastfeeding photoshoot was a dream come true. Though I was (and am) trying to get used to my post-pregnancy body and all the discomfort therein, Kerry immediately had me at ease and had my son giggling away. We chatted like old friends, with one who just happened to have a camera in her hands.
Now I have beautiful everlasting photos and memories with my boy (that won’t be tucked away but rather proudly displayed). I see my scars, but I also see a healthy baby happily standing on my stomach. I see his strong legs and stable footing, and he sees my smile and trusts my support; no one pays any mind that I don’t have perfect skin and toned abs. I see what my body can create and it’s beautiful. I will treasure these photos for the rest of my life, as they document such a tender and precious time. They are well worth the investment and I encourage anyone who is considering booking Kerry to not hesitate - you won’t regret having these memories captured.”