I met this sweet mom, Allison, through a mutual friend about a year ago. Our daughters are close to the same age and at the time, we lived in the same neighborhood. Shortly after I met her, she found out she was pregnant with her third baby.
I was originally supposed to do a Fresh 48 session with this family and hopefully be present when the big sister and brother came to meet the new baby. However, this little guy had some breathing issues at birth and landed himself in the NICU. As someone who has experienced this same stress and chaos myself, I offered to switch to a newborn session instead once they were able to go home. Luckily, his stay was short, and they were able to get home within a few days.
Baby Brayden was only 5 days old when I came for his newborn session. Not long after I walked in, Allison asked if I wanted to hold the baby while she helped big brother into his special t-shirt. Um... OF COURSE. I am ALWAYS willing to snuggle new babies and I not-so-discreetly gave the top of his head a little sniff. I love new baby smell. It's my favorite.
Once all the kids were ready, I set up my favorite fuzzy blanket and prepared to take pictures of all 3 kids together. There was only one problem...
Baby Brayden was NOT happy. Although he had been fed recently and had a clean diaper, he still wasn't happy.
I swaddled him and that helped for a little bit. Big sister was fantastic at following my directions for pictures and very patient. This clearly wasn't her first rodeo.
The new big brother, on the other hand, required a little more coaxing (i.e. bribing). He didn't want to give the baby a kiss, but I can see these brothers certainly have their own special bond.
I thought a change of position might help, so I got all of the kids settled together on the couch. I was able to get the elusive picture of the kids smiling together (no photoshop head swapping necessary)!
After I finished up with the big kids, they got to go on a special outing with their grandmother, and little Brayden got what he really wanted: TO EAT! Even if you meticulously plan and have baby fed before your newborn session, babies often don't cooperate anyway. The issue with newborns is that they often cluster feed, and you can't always plan when that's going to happen. Cluster feeding is extremely common in the first several weeks with a newborn. It's the baby's way of signaling mom's body to make more milk for an upcoming growth spurt, and newborns grow rapidly in the beginning.
The good news is that I am a very laid back photographer. If we need to stop to settle a fussy baby, I'm totally fine with that.
Once Allison nursed Brayden, he snuggled in to sleep. I wanted to make sure he was deep asleep before moving him, so I snapped a few pictures of him with mom while we waited.
Once we were sure he was settled, we snuggled him in a blanket and we put him in an adorable crocheted set that was a gift from a friend.
Before I left, I wanted to get a picture of Brayden snuggled on his mom's chest. However, as soon as he smelled his mom, there was only one thing he wanted...
In my glimpse into this family's life with three kids, I saw a little bit of chaos, plenty of laughs, and an abundance of LOVE. I was in awe of Allison's grace and patience with all of her kids, and I can't wait to see more of this family as they grow together.