If you saw Katie and Sam with her newborn Esme you might think that they are seasoned parents. They were so relaxed about everything. 3 weeks after giving birth Katie was full of energy entertaining both sets of parents and her two siblings visiting from the UK. Even though she had a temporarily facial paralysis due to water retention she was just getting everybody comfortable, including me.
Esme is their first child and the first grandchild in the family. Like many expats, it is rare to have the whole family together at the same time, in the same place. But what better occasion to gather and enjoy each other’s company? For many first-time parents this constant commotion attached to a totally new life is impossible to imagine. I know how it feels to have the whole family when you just gave birth. On one hand, it is nice to have the warmth and trust of your family (specially your own Mom), but on the other hand you feel obliged to be there with them although you had a broken night and are still figuring out what the hell you need to do with the dirty nappies.
Katie contacted me knowing my work and the purpose of it. After hearing that she booked a Half Day in Your Life session her and his parents were a bit apprehensive about the whole concept.
“4 hours? How am I suppose to smile and keep my belly in the whole 4 hours?” asked her Dad.
“What shall we wear? Is this top ok? Will it match the rest of the family’s outfit?” contemplated his Mom.
I could feel a certain stress when I started documenting their day. Dad would make jokes of his belly, and Mom would pull on her top every time my camera was nearby. But soon I was there just as a friend and the self consciousness disappeared and I was able to captured all the love and humour of this family.
I saw Esme already 2 times now after I documented her first days. It’s incredible how much she has changed. When I delivered the albums and prints to Katie, she just couldn’t believe how small she was back in September. Just 2 months after Esme’s birth, they bought a house, because well, priorities changed. With a little one now, they felt the need of a garden and more playing space.
I wish Katie, Sam, Esme lots of laughter and lots of health in their lives in their new home.