March 2, 2023
I loved getting to meet and photograph Stephanie and her two boys, Orrin and Beckett. They are the sweetest little boys. You could tell they love to explore and adventure but they were also very content to cuddle up too. I think you can feel that love in all the photos.
Tell us about your motherhood journey
As a pediatric nurse practitioner and lactation consultant I always expected my journey into motherhood to be seamless. I knew more than most about what to expect and spent most of my work day guiding/supporting new moms. So.. I was confident that I had this.
But then I had my first son. 54 hours of active labor followed by 14% weight loss at his first visit when I had spent my whole career helping moms breastfeed their babies. I just didn’t see that coming. I felt defeated and like I was failing at my first test as a new mom. Things turned around quickly and he started to gain weight and went on to breastfeed for 2.5 years, but I’ll never forget how I felt in that moment.
What is one thing you wish you would have known before becoming a mom?
What I wish all moms knew is that.. it gets easier. It really does. Those first two weeks are so hard. It’s an emotional hormonal rollercoaster as you heal your broken body, adjust to being nocturnal and learn to be your child’s only food source. It feels impossible and like there is no end in sight. But then one day the latch gets easier, milk supply regulates, your body starts to heal and look like you again, and then magically you get that first four hour stretch of sleep. That newborn phase doesn’t last forever and you will get through it. You ARE getting through it. Ask for help. Accept help. See a lactation consultant. Trust yourself. Trust your instincts. Trust your body.
Any advice to new moms?
My second son came in like a wrecking ball in every sense of the word. I think everyone warns you about the transition to parenthood with one baby, but no one mentioned that the transition from 1-2 would be a million times more challenging than going from 0-1.
I delivered this little speed demon in the back seat of our car. He wasn’t wasting any time and even now at almost 9 months old he seems like he is in a rush to do everything fast and keep up with big brother. This kid is unstoppable and I feel he will do amazing things if I can just channel that determination in the right direction.
My motherly advice as a mom of two… the big transitions are hard (adding a new baby, starting daycare, returning to work, dropping a nap, etc.) and then you find your stride and things get easier. Stay humble. Stay flexible. Laugh whenever you can. And love your husband/spouse/partner first. Your kids only exist because you loved each other first. And even in the moments when you inevitably feel unseen or unappreciated, no one understands what you are going through more than them, so lean into each other and brace yourself for the ride. It’s chaotic, messy, loud, exhausting, overstimulating at times, but also unbelievably rewarding.
Tell us about a moment when you were in awe of yourself as a mom and in awe of your child.
I’ve been in awe of my kids more times than I can count. Whenever they conquer a new skill or connect a new thought I’m just amazed by the little people they are becoming right in front of my eyes.
But in terms of awe of me as a mother? We have chosen to raise our kids outside. In the summer we raft/camp, the fall we hike, winter we ski. It’s not at all how I was raised, though it is how my husband was raised. Every time we get back from one of these adventures, I feel amazed by myself as a mom.
Like, you kept two kids under 3 alive fed and happy in the front of a raft for 8 hours today? You go mama anticipating everyone’s needs like that! Or when we get home from a ski weekend and I remembered everything my three year old would need to stay warm and be happy for a full ski day, and packed everything my nine month old would need to be happy in the lodge all in a backpack. Heck yeah mountain mama! You’re killin’ it.
Not every adventure is a complete slam dunk. Trial and correction for sure. But my entire family impresses the heck out of me whenever we adventure outside together.
Dear Stephanie is Truly Amazing 2 this Grammi/Mom2 !! I Admire her Tremendously and feel Blessed to have her be my son’s Cherished Love Lifemate Wife !! She is a Mamma Supreme !! Her Devotion to be an Exceptional Compassionate PNP Embraces my Respect !! Hugs Galore !! Those GrandBaby Boys Melt this Grammi !! Ooooo I Feel Blessed !! This is a Heart Touching Story and Adorable Captures !! ThankYou!!
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