A little share from recent client, and mum to Charlie, Samantha…
The Day My Baby Turned Into a Monster.
Sam wants to live in a world where people laugh, have fun and live their own adventures every day. From her online home she inspires people to transform their lives by injecting more of what they love and finding their joy. When she’s not coaching others from her perch by the seaside in Sydney, she’s hiking, playing with her brand new son, meeting up with friends, and constantly redefining what her adventure is all about!
The Everyday Adventure
Because life doesn’t have to be a bore!
Charlie Timothy Rayment. Oct 05, 2013
Charlie arrived on 5 Oct by caesarean, and came out with the cord wrapped around his neck and ready for a good sleep. The moment when they put him on my chest post-birth was the most amazingly emotional moment of my life, I was so overwhelmed I could hardly breathe! The first three weeks passed in a bit of a blur, and I was lulled into a false sense of security as we easily settled into each other (and he slept a lot, anywhere I put him down!). Charlie hasn’t been much of a crier in his short life. He has the usual unsettled couple of hours each day but nothing that a dummy and a cuddle can’t fix…
Until the day before our newborn photo shoot with Renee at NFE Design… dom dom doooommmmmmm. (Cue dramatic, of course it had to happen on this day, of all days, music!)
The day started off normally, wake, feed, short play, back into bed, sleep… Then he woke up earlier than normal, and a whole lot louder. Then he cried, and cried, and cried. What was this dreadful noise? Is that really coming from my gorgeous little baby? I tried all the tricks I’d heard of – feeding, burping, cartwheeling his legs, changing him, cuddling him. Mostly to no avail (or sometimes short relief). The rest of the time, Charlie serenaded me with full on inconsolable screaming. Eventually I worked out that if I put him in the ergo and walked around he would stop screaming, but because of a c section birth and no working tummy muscles, that made my back hurt after a little while, and he still had a whole lotta tears left in him!
At one stage I was sitting on the couch bawling, with Charlie strapped to me in the ergo screaming. That was a low point! ! I felt overcome with despair, totally incapable, angry, guilty for being angry… basically a melting pot of emotions. I ended up having to call my husband Chris to come home and help, he took Charlie for a several hour walk in the ergo around Coogee while I slept and generally just tried to recover from the stress of the morning.
Still having no idea what the problem was, I thought I better have a plan in place for when they returned so I contacted an online mothers group I’m part of that is really supportive and helpful, and a couple of them suggested I try gripe water. I found a chemist who makes it the old school style, so went out and picked some of that up, for rapid administration when Chris and Charlie got back from their walk. Then Charlie and I sat in a rocking chair for a long time until he settled. Approximately 9 hours after the screaming started, all three of us now exhausted, it had finally stopped. But for how long?
The toughest parts of the day? I just could not take the screaming. I got really distressed myself, and obviously he could pick up on that stress. Then the exhaustion… It was physically exhausting to walk for that long carrying him and emotionally exhausting to have no idea how to fix him and dealing with the screaming. I wanted to give him back at that stage!! Then add a huge dose of mother guilt for not having enough patience. At one stage I had to just leave him in the bedroom for a little while to get away from the screams, clear my head and dry my own tears. I lasted about 5 minutes then felt so guilty leaving a screaming baby on his own that I went back in. Mother guilt should be banished from all women’s psyche and all interactions with each other – we’re all doing the best we can!!
I’ve since realised that he has quite bad wind. I’m using gripe water before most feeds, trying to really burp him, and starting to recognise the ‘wind cries’ so I pick him up and re-burp and try to get all the air out. Hopefully as he gets bigger it’ll calm down. But what an experience to have to go through to get to this point!!
Of course, while I was in the thick of ‘The Day My Baby Turned Into a Monster’ I thought there was no way I’d be able to drive 2.5 hours up to Newcastle for a photo shoot, and even if I got there without driving off the road with the distraction of Charlie’s screams, it would be terrible once we got there! Renee was completely understanding and just said to let her know in the morning how the night went – I guess she’s used to uncertainty working with newborns all the time! Thankfully Charlie settled down again around 730pm and only woke once during the night. Then on the way up and while we were in Newcastle he was a little sleepy angel! Of course!! I’m pretty sure the previous day wore him out for a couple of days, and Renee’s baby whispering skills helped as well, haha.
It was a total relief to be able to get some sleep that night, and realise that my baby wasn’t broken. It’s funny how with a newborn (he’s my first, so I’m not sure if this changes when you have more than one) every 24 hours feels like an eternity, and each day can be completely different from the last – you never know what you’re going to get! But it also means that one bad day needn’t lead to another…
I am so happy that Charlie is back, with a bit more wind that he used to have but at least I have a few tools to try to help him out now! He’s sleeping beside me now, after a few windy whines this morning and a bit of patting and burping from Dad before work. I make sure I live my philosophy and do as many of the gentle everyday adventures I can manage with a newborn – daily walks, catching up with friends for lunch while he’s sleeping, being a bit creative (photos safaris while he’s sleeping in the pram, vision boarding…) and generally making sure that I challenge myself each day – though right now he’s taking care of a lot of the challenging for me!
I had so much fun during Charlie’s photo shoot… Watching Renee work her baby-whispering magic and just seeing little Charlie stretching and being all cute! Renee did an amazing job producing gorgeous photos of Charlie! She’s so patient settling him to get him into position and I love the adorable photos!!!
Contact Renee at NFE Design re newborn photo sessions here
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(words by Archie’s mama Hannah)
Archie is a sociable little baby. He enjoys the company of others and usually has a smile to share. On a good day he is also up for an enthusiastic chat or a sing-along. Music and being outside are almost guaranteed to cheer him and help him relax… My favorite part of our adventure so far was when Archie started to smile and then ‘talk’, I completely melted… I love being able to interact and play with him!
More than once, while I was pregnant I was advised to trust my instincts. Being totally clueless about babies, I thought this would be impossible advice to follow. But being a parent isn’t black and white and I have learned to do what feels right for him and for me. Being a parent has also taught me that I would do anything for Archie… Unless I am in the middle of eating – then it is ‘just wait one minute while I shove in the last couple of mouthfuls my love’. Must eat when you can as a Mum (that’s my excuse anyway).
While pregnant, Archie was a real little fidget bum, which didn’t surprise me because his dad always needs to be doing something. He still loves to squirm and wriggle now – even in his sleep and he alwasys cracks up when he sees himself in the mirror. It is so cute and it always makes me laugh too!! My favorite part of him ~ (even though it is sooo hard to choose) I think would have to be his smiley eyes – got to love people who smile with their eyes.
Archie is a dog whisperer. Our border collie, Tess, is obsessed with him already and tries to give him the ball and frisbee to throw. He isn’t quite talented enough to throw it to her yet though. But very soon, I am sure!!
to enquire about a baby studio photo session please contact NFE Design here
Charlie Timothy Rayment ~ 05.10.13
Gorgeous Charlie…. Just over 3 weeks old, but he still was extremely obliging of all my posing and moving him during his newborn photo shoot. Below, his mama Samantha shares a little about her first few weeks as a mum!
From pregnancy, to labour, to the little bundle you now hold in your arms, has this experience been everything you hoped and dreamed it would be or has it been the total opposite? Is there anything you would do differently? OMG, no not at all! I love Charlie but I hated pregnancy and had pre-natal depression as well as morning sickness for ages, insomnia for the entire pregnancy and hip issues from an old injury flaring up in between all that. The birth was nothing like planned either… I’d done a She Births antenatal course and was looking forward to sharing a beautiful experience with Chris, and my new baby, but then had a ceasar.
But, I can’t believe how much I love Charlie now that he’s here and none of that matters any more. (Though it’ll take a while for Chris to convince me to go through pregnancy again!)
Was Charlie on time, an early bird or late to the party? Late! So so late! He hasn’t even engaged by 10 days past the due date so I ended up having to have a ceasar. Must have been too comfy in there! (For him only – I was pretty pleased to reach the end of pregnancy)
Did you resort to any old wives remedies to bring on labour? I totally did! Nipple stimulation, sex, rasberry leaf tea. Walking on curbs, chilli, pineapple, hitting speed bumps at full pelt! I can’t remember what else but I tried everything I head of (apart from castor oil as by all accounts there’s a distinct possibility you’ll immediately vomit from it and I wasn’t so keen on that!)
Tell us about your first 3 weeks with Charlie… Charlie makes me laugh with his facial expressions and reminds me of a little blind mole and a miniature old man sometimes. I can’t get over how adorable I think he is… He smells like a little milkshake and I just want to hug him all the time. My new fave thing is seeing Chris (the husbandito) holding this tiny baby and feeding or settling him. I love Charlie’s tiny mouth and all the different shapes he make with it, and he has the most gorgeous bright eyes. Can’t wait till he starts smiling!
Charlie’s a sleeper, (thank goodness – a number of people tried to make me feel better during the horrible pregnancy by saying ‘bad pregnancy, good baby’ and I think that’s a win now that I’m out the other side!) a massive eater (I thought they self regulate but if I’m not careful he just eats till he posits everything back up every meal) who loves a cuddle (so do Chris and I so I know where that comes from!). He likes to be very tightly wrapped and I’m still giving Chris lessons in how to do it so he doesn’t wake himself up by hitting himself in the face! Haha. He also loves the pram and the ergo, and falls asleep as soon as you start to move him in either of those.
The one thing everyone told me that I never believed… That I’d be head over heels immediately in love with this little person.
Charlie looks most like… I have no idea! I think he looks a little bit like my niece, which is weird because it means I kind of think he looks like my brother (bro and I don’t look much alike).
Biggest lesson I have learnt so far… It’s cheesy, but I really have learned what that amazing unconditional parent love for a child is. I’m ambivalent about all but a few kids of family and close friends and was pretty worried about whether I was cut out to be a mum but then he was born and I’ve wanted to hug him ever since!
Charlie’s name… Was a last minute choice, and not even on our short list! His middle name (Timothy) is my Dad’s name; Dad died in 2000 and was a big softie who would have love Charlie. For his first name we spent months debating names and deciding between a short list of three – none of which were Charlie! We decided when they put him on my chest after he was born.
My husband Chris… has been amazing. So supportive during pregnancy, birth and ever since. I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding during the first month so was expressing and Chris got to spend some lovely time feeding Charlie bottles. Now that he’s feeding from me Chris does the majority of nappy changes while we’re both at home, and loves bathing Charlie. It’s so cute to watch them together!! He spends a lot of time settling Charlie, and I’m getting used to the sight of the two of them hanging out in the early evening. He did learn the hard way how important it is to put a nappy on properly after a poonami spilled all over him through a gaping hole in the leg. I didn’t want to be bossy so left it, but after the poo explosion pointed out the gaping hole was likely where it got out. Possibly more annoying than telling him before the explosion happened?
I will share more images from Charlie’s photo session soon, as well as chatting some more with Samantha about some of the feeding issues she has been facing the last few weeks so stay tuned! To be sure to get all the updates you can subscribe to the newsletter below, and also join us on facebook…
Contact me to discuss a newborn photo session if you want to chat via email or phone. Or, for more info (if you prefer to read here on the website) you can find all the details of when to book your newborn photo session (asap into your pregnancy is best!), and what is involved. If you want to read more blog posts, then by all means stick around! I truly hope you enjoy your stay!
Ellie Jean. 17.6.13
Tell us about your new baby in your own words. How does he/ she look, feel, smell. Ellie is so sweet and peaceful. It’s amazing how all babies are so different and their personalities are evident from so early on. You forget how beautiful newborns smell and their skin is so soft. It is lovely to have a little baby girl. We think she is pretty special!
Babies are made up of everything soft and sweet and delicate. What is your favourite part of your bubba and why? It is her smile. When she smiles she has the most gorgeous dimples.
How did you come up with your babies name? Ellie didn’t have a name for almost a week! We had a boys name picked out but could not decide on a girls name. We had about 5 names we were trying to choose from. We kept coming back to Ellie because we thought it suited her. Ellie’s middle name is Jean. Jean is Ben’s grandmothers name who was very touched by the name choice.
Our little boy, Bailey calls her Coco. While I was pregnant he decide he thought the baby should be named Coco. It was just lucky Ellie turned out to be a girl!
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt since your baby was born? Let your other children help. It makes them feel included and grown up. Also make sure the other children are occupied while you are feeding.
Tell us how things have changed since Ellie’s arrival. How is Bailey coping with a new sister? Bailey (2yrs 9mths) adores his new sister. He loves to kiss, cuddle and share his toys with Ellie. When asked he described her as so tiny, so cute, little baby. And of course called her Coco instead of Ellie!
Partners often get forgotten in all the excitement of a newborn so this is one all about the other half. How did your partner help you through this whole experience? Ben is always a great help and it was lovely to have him home for the first 3 weeks. He was a massive help with Bailey in them first few weeks spending lots of time with him to make sure he didn’t feel left out.
This gorgeous white hat and blanket below were made by Ellie’s Grandma! How special!
And a few shots of with big brother Bailey…
Contact me to discuss a newborn photo session if you want to chat via email or phone. Or, for more info (if you prefer to read here on the website) you can find all the details of when to book your newborn photo session (asap into your pregnancy is best!), and what is involved. If you want to read more blog posts, then by all means stick around! I truly hope you enjoy your stay!
Wow – it has been a crazy few months – moving studio and house, settling in… Rearranging furniture 57 times. This move to Warners Bay was always going to be temporary – back sharing a living and business space was never going to be ideal but we are in a routine now and things are working well. Being this close to the water, all the shops and Liana’s school is perfect for getting out and walking in the fresh air!
We will possibly start to look for an external studio space early 2014, but for now, this is where we are, and loving it!
The NFE Design website and blog will be getting an overhaul over the next few months. New products, new packages and a range of really fun and interesting blog posts that will hopefully keep you all entertained and coming back for more. I have some really amazing people lined up to guest post that I think you will really love and also a series of blog posts (and an e-book) on how to photograph your own babies and children. I am so passionate about encouraging mums to take photos of their kids and there are a heap of really simple tips that can make your photos better! (hint: you can even use your iPhone) Of course, being present with your littlies is always best, so take that quick shot and the pop the phone back in your bag and you can enjoy your time with them!
For those who are wanting images for Christmas we released a mini session offer last week so if you missed that please check it out here ~ Christmas mini photo sessions. These sessions will only be available till the end of November and I only have a few spaces left so get in touch asap if you want to chat about booking one of these sessions.
All of the gorgeous bubbas in todays blog post, were some of the baby models I had visit the Warners Bay photo studio recently preparing the images I need for my new e book and blog series. It was loads of fun seeing so many babies over the space of a few days and just how different they all are in terms of temperament and the milestones they are currently at! More images of these little people will be shared soon, plus some interviews with their parents, and tips on how to photograph your baby! These baby model sessions will be offered again in early 2014 so if you are local to Newcastle and are interested in being on the mailing list to find out when the next dates are released then you can join the baby model mailing list here and if you have and Newcastle based friends with babies (or ones who are able to travel here) please share this post with them too!
Above… Cairo ~ 6mths
Below… Abbie ~ 6mths
Above… Drew ~ 7mths
Below… Archie ~ 3.5mths
Below… Eamon ~ 8mths
[words by Lilah’s mum Sheree…]
Lilah is a beautiful little bub she has that amazing baby smell and really soft baby skin… I love her eyes, I could stare at her all day long! My favorite parts of her would have to be her soft baby skin… Also her eyelashes are never ending and I love her little fingers when she wraps them around my hand. So sweet!!!
Lilah looks a lot like her big brother Kade and I would have to describe her as perfect, sweet and calm. She is an adorable little bub she’s always giving me little smiles. She is such a sweet little girl she is mostly happy in her bouncer watching her brother play or in her daddy’s or my arms having a cuddle. Also, she loves sleeping which is great for me!
Lilah’s Daddy named her! I had other names planned but Lilah grew on me an I’m glad it did I think she really suits her name. It means dark beauty or born at night (and she was at 7.04pm – perfect!)
This pic above is the one that Sheree chose to have printed on a massive 32×48 canvas wall print. It looked a.m.a.z.i.n.g!!
This one above, in the black and white was second choice for the big canvas ~ the way she has her hands placed – just adorable!!!
And those eyelashes… Oh my!
Thank you so much to Sheree for coming back with baby number two for a newborn photos session! It was so lovely to see you again, and to see how much Kade has grown! Lilah was 6 days old for her photo shoot, and just the perfect age! Although Kade wasn’t that keen to be the subject of my camera the second time around, there is plenty of time to get some shots of the two of them together in the future!
Here is a little peek of Kade’s newborn shoot back in 2011. Can you see the similarities?
In Sheree’s words…
I have had both my newborns photographed by Renee and I think she has done an amazing job both times!!! She has a very calming nature she is like a baby whisperer. Her photos are heaven – I have 2 huge canvases hanging in my lounge room. They are amazing they make our house a home… If I ever have baby number 3 we will be back!
Contact me to discuss a newborn photo session if you want to chat via email or phone or, for more info (if you prefer to read here on the website) you can find all the details of when to book your newborn photo session (asap into your pregnancy is best!), and what is involved. If you want to leave some love for Sheree, and her gorgeous family you can do so in the comments below!
Who would have thought that one little baby boy could bring so much happiness into so many people’s lives! From the minute we knew of your existance we fell in love. Every heartbeat we listened to, every little face we saw, and every tiny kick we felt made us more excited to welcome you into our beautiful world. To finally hold you in our arms and hear you take your first breath was the most special and surreal moment, and every minute since we thank our angels for giving you to us.
From your acrobatic facials, to your tiny little cries, you make every day so much better than the last. We cannot wait until that first hug back so we know that you know just how much we love you!
Santino, you’ve started our own little family.. let the days of smiles laughter and love begin… You are one very special little man…
All our love today and always,
Mum n Dad
friends, please meet Santino ~ 12 days new.
Date of Birth: June 02, 2013
Words by: Phoenix’s mum Jennifer
Tell us about your new baby in your own words. How does Phoenix look, feel, smell… Phoenix is a beautiful baby but there is no mistaking him as a little boy. He loves his food and he loves cuddles from his mum. He has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives and we look forward to seeing him grow. Everyday he is different, it’s such a magical thing to watch. As he has gotten older he is becoming a real chatty little boy. He loves to sit in his bouncer and talk with you all day.
What is your favourite part of Phoenix and why? I love Phoenix’s soft hair, its so beautiful to touch. Also the way he smells.
Who does Phoenix most look like? Phoenix looks a lot like his Dad did as a baby but as Phoenix is getting older he is changing to look a little bit like his mum.
How did you come up with his name? We chose the name Phoenix as we loved the story of the mythological bird. William is a family name from my Fathers side. Both my father and grandfather have the middle name William, who were named after my Great Grandfather. What does Phoenix’s name mean? Phoenix is from the name of a beautiful immortal bird which appears in Egyptian and Greek mythology. After living for several centuries in the Arabian Desert, it would be consumed by fire and rise from its own ashes, with this cycle repeating every 500 years. The name of the bird was derived from Greek meaning “dark red”.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt since your baby was born? I have learnt to always try and stay relaxed. If you get stressed your baby picks up on this and is harder to settle.
Was there anything that you were told would happen when baby arrived that you didn’t believe at the time but do now?How much little spare time you have for yourself. I thought not working you would have so much time, but no, babies are very constant little creatures.
Was your Phoenix on time, an early bird or late to the party? Phoenix was 8 days late. (It was one of the longest weeks of my life!)
Did you resort to any old wives remedies to bring on labour? At 6 days over due, my husband took me out for a curry. All I got was indigestion.
From pregnancy, to labour, to the little bundle you now hold in your arms, has this experience been everything you hoped and dreamed it would be or has it been the total opposite? Is there anything you would do differently? Having Phoenix has been everything I dreamt it would be and so much more. I really love being a mum. I love caring for him and taking him everywhere I go. He is my constant companion. The only thing I would do differently is try to slow down time. It felt like he was only a newborn for a second, but it is also so beautiful to watch him change and grow.
How is your little one’s personality developing already? What do they like or dislike? Phoenix’s personality is starting to show. He is a cheeky boy who loves his food and loves cuddles from mum. He has grown into such a happy baby that loves to smile laugh and baby talk to you. Everyday he has discovered a new sound.
Describe your new baby in three words. cheeky, delightful, contented
Partners often get forgotten in all the excitement of a newborn so this is one all about the other half. How did your partner help you through this whole experience? Tom is an amazing father to Phoenix. He is very involved, Phoenix loves bath time with Dad and Tom doesn’t mind changing a nappy at all. He has been so supportive to me through out my pregnancy and my labour would not have been the great experience it was without him.
What was your favorite part of your newborn photo session experience? I loved watching Renee handle Phoenix during his photo session. It was so wonderful to watch her magic touch and how she could settle him so well.
How did you feel when viewing your entire gallery of edited photos for the first time? Had you forgotten how small baby was in those first weeks? Was there a particular image that you immediately thought “that is so typical of Phoenix” It was so exciting to review all the photos once they were ready. I love looking back at them now as he was so small and new to the world. I am so glad that I have these photos that captured the moment. As he was only a newborn for such a short amount of time. Getting Phoenix’s newborn photos taken was such a great experience. Renee really captured what Phoenix was like in this precious time of his life. All the photos will be truly treasured…
CONTACT about a session of your own…
Q+A time with Elsie’s Mama Kristal
Elsie is just the most perfect thing we have ever laid eyes on. We are so smitten with her. We find ourselves just staring and giggling at her for hours. Her beautiful creamy soft pink skin is so soft and smells just divine. She has the prettiest full head of ginger hair and the cutest little button nose and little eyes. She looks at you with so much love, it makes your heart just melt. We just love every little thing about her!!!
What is your favourite part of your new bubba and why? There is so much about Elsie that we love its so hard to pick just a few. I would say my favourite parts of her are her little ears they are so tiny and perfect. And her soft soft pink skin. We both also just adore her little noises she makes. We have spent a lot of time giggling at these sounds. We love listening to her talk her mumbo jumbo.
Who does baby most look like? She looks like me mostly. If you put a picture of me when I was a baby next to her we are almost identical. Except she has her daddy beautiful eyes. Her ginger hair was a little bit of a surprise. But she gets that from her poppy and great nan. She is just perfect.
How did you come up with Elsie’s name? We had her name picked out for years before she was conceived. We use to argue over girls names and just couldn’t agree on one. But then I came across the name Elsie on a blog and we fell in love with it. I just knew this was the name we would call our future little girl. Her middle name Mae, was a name I always wanted to have for a little girls middle name. So when we picked Elsie it went perfectly with Mae. Her name couldn’t have suited her more perfectly.
What does Elsie’s name mean? Her name has several meanings. But mostly means my “Gods promise’ or noble.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt since Elsie was born? To trust your natural instinct. Don’t rely on everything you read, because sometimes trusting yourself is the best. Also listen to your mother she has done it before and she really does have some idea of what she is talking about, and only wants to help make life a little easier for you. And of course sleep when your baby sleeps. Also that breast feeding would be so draining. And take up so much time…
Was Elsie on time, an early bird or late to the party? Little Elsie was a late arrival. She decided to come five days late. And they were the longest five days ever!
Did you resort to any old wives remedies to bring on labour? We tried many methods to try and encourage her to come. Walking, spicy food, bumpy car rides etc. I don’t think any of these things helped to bring me into labour. She just came when she was ready to. I always had a feeling about the number 7, and she was born on the 7th!
They say that sleep deprivation is a form of torture. How’s the lack of sleep working for you? Being sleep deprived is horrible. It really is the worst, but having Jonnie get up when Elsie is awake and change her after I feed her is a big help. I do find I am extremely forgetful with lack of sleep – sometimes I can’t even remember what day it is and I need to write things down so I don’t forget about it. We actually forgot about her one day when we were heading to a shop… Got out of the car as we usually do. Walked half way across the road. And then it dawned on us. Ooops!! We forgot to get little Elsie. It was a good thing we realised when we did, and it was only a minute she was locked in the car without us. But still we felt horrible for forgetting her for that brief minute. Its funny now though.
From pregnancy, to labour, to the little bundle you now hold in your arms, has this experience been everything you hoped and dreamed it would be or has it been the total opposite? Is there anything you would do differently? Pregnancy and labour were just not what everyone made out it was. I really hated being pregnant, I was always so uncomfortable and worried about the smallest things so I couldn’t wait until I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I had a pretty straight forward pregnancy not to many issues so I really shouldn’t complain, but it wasn’t what I expected at all. So many people talked about how wonderful it was being pregnant – it just wasn’t like that for me. To be honest none of it was what I expected. If I could do anything differently I wouldn’t stress over all the things I did. It made the whole thing a lot worse then it needed to be… And to rest in the final few weeks. You really do need all the rest you can get!!
How is Elsie’s personality developing already? Elsie loves her sleep. Which is really good for us. She is quiet a talker. She loves to talk to you and interact. She also loves a bit of solo time to just sit and look around. But most of all she loves a good cuddle and kiss.
Please describe your new baby in three words… sweet, inquisitive and affectionate
Partners often get forgotten in all the excitement of a newborn so this is one all about the other half. How did your partner help you through this whole experience? Jonnie was just awesome through my labour. I couldn’t have done it without him. He was so supportive and wonderful. He also is so helpful with everything like bathing, nappy changes, house work. Pretty much everything he helps with and wants to be involved in. Which has been wonderful in so many ways gives me a bit of a break at times and he gets to have his own special time with Elsie. I could have not any of it without him. He really is my rock! When I go to have a shower he will play her his guitar and sing and she just loves it. The funniest accidents she has had with her daddy is the amount of times she has done an explosion of poos that’s have gone through her nappy and straight onto his clothes. It’s like she wait until he is holding her and then lets it rip…
What was your favorite part of your newborn photo session experience? Getting to watch Renee so calmly get Elsie back to sleep. She is such a pro! We actually learnt a trick to help her relax and go to sleep from watching Renee work her magic…
How did you feel when viewing your entire gallery of edited photos for the first time? Had you forgotten how small baby was in those first weeks? Was there a particular image that you immediately thought “that is so typical of Elsie” We were both so excited to see our pictures and we loved every single one. But we couldn’t help but laugh that Elsie managed to sneak her little arms out of the wraps. She always finds a way to get her arms out.
Renee did such an amazing job. I had seen her pictures before I fell pregnant and fell in love with her work. So as soon as I was pregnant I booked her asap, so we didn’t miss out. Visiting Renee was well worth the 4 hour trip from our home. We couldn’t have asked for someone better to take our newborn pictures. She was so wonderful with Elsie, and when Elsie was crying she was so calm and worked her magic and got the most adorable pictures. I can’t say it any better than she was amazing. We were so please with our experience. I have recommended her to quiet a few people wanting to have newborn sessions. Every one we know (including us especially) have commented on just how beautiful the pictures she took of Elsie are. We would recommend her to anyone.
It was so lovely watching Renee do her work and sit back and relax at the same time. She was so welcoming and warm. And never lost her cool when Elsie cried for an hour and wouldn’t go to sleep. But she persisted and ended up getting her to sleep and getting amazing pictures.
Anyone who wants to enquire about a session of their own can do so here
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Charlize’s turn for a blog post!!! Words by her mama Victoria…
Full of character from the day she was born (She arrived a week and a day early thankfully!), Charlize is such a beautiful, alert and curious baby, with eyes that seem to change from brown to murky blue and green. She is an old soul, content to sit an watch the world go by for stretches of a time. My favorite part of her is her beautiful little dimple on her chin, it was something we saw on the 3D scan at 30 weeks and were excited to see when she was born, it just adds something special to her face. I think she has taken most after her dad David from her beautiful brown hair to the dimple on her chin a characteristic running in the Campbell side of the family.
How did you come up with your babies name? We originally wanted to use Charlotte as a name we both loved however I felt after the ultrasound scan it didn’t quite suit her we came up with a similar alternative of Charlize – full of character and goes well with Xander, her big brother’s name. Her middle name Mary is after my grandmother who I miss a lot.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt since your baby was born? That a happy relaxed mother makes for a happy and relaxed baby. I’ve learnt not to sweat the small things, sometimes it won’t work out how you expect let it go and move on.
From pregnancy, to labour, to the little bundle you now hold in your arms, has this experience been everything you hoped and dreamed it would be or has it been the total opposite? Is there anything you would do differently? I admit I did struggle through the pregnancy from severe morning sickness to being in constant pain towards the end. I didn’t expect her to be a posterior labour either. I had a great midwife however throughout the pregnancy and labour and whilst the labour was long I got my waterbirth again which was fantastic. I learnt this time around as well to be more relaxed and just let things go if necessary. I have definitely enjoyed Charlize a lot more as a newborn then my first.
David was my rock during labour, it started early and being posterior the contractions kept coming and going, I was frustrated and exhausted and he kept up the support, my spirits and the back rubs. He’s a fantastic father to both our children, ensuring Xander doesn’t miss out and happily taking on Charlize for me when I needed five minutes.
Describe Charlize in three words. Calm, peaceful and happy…
How things have changed since Charlize’s arrival. How is big brother Xander coping with a new sister? Xander has surprised me so much with his happy acceptance of his sister and his loving touches and want to cuddle her constantly. I do feel sometimes for him in he does get less attention whilst I feed her but I look forward to them growing up together. For a 22 month old he surprises me at times, I walked in on him feeding her her bottle 🙂 Xander I would describe as trouble, loving and fun…
This session was actually a few months ago, but since Audrey had her first birthday yesterday, I thought it was a perfect time to share!!
Here is a recap of Audrey’s first year by her mama, Natalie…
So it’s been a while since we saw you last. Tell us how your day to day life has changed now you have this extra little person in your life, and she is growing so rapidly. Life with Audrey is amazing. Everyday she’s learning something new. Everything fascinates her which makes life exciting, interesting & exhausting! Life will never be the same, although we can’t really remember life without her. It’s like she’s always been here.
This is about the time when babies and toddlers start to discover their own little personalities. Has Audrey developed any cute little personality characteristics over the last few months? Tell us about them. Oh yes! She’s super cheeky. Her tongue is constantly on the go, whether she’s “talking”, singing, twisting it, or just poking it in & out. She babbles when she’s tired & butts her head into my chest while rocking backwards & forwards. She’s very determined. If she something she wants she’ll do everything in her power to get it! Since about the three month mark we have managed to develop a nice routine that ensures we are all happy. Dinner, tv, playtime have all been fitted into our evenings neatly.
What has been your favourite part of this adventure over the last few months/ years? Watching our little tiny newborn turn into a boisterous, crazy crawler! All the little milestones, first smile, first sounds, sitting up, crawling, have been the most amazing moments I think I’ll ever have. She astounds us everyday.
Was there anything that you were told would happen when baby arrived that you didn’t believe at the time but do now? Not that I didn’t believe it as such but every other parent tells you how much love you feel for them when they arrive, but you are never truly prepared for it. Every time I look at her I feel as if my heart will burst!
[you’re funny] What is one thing your child does that always makes you laugh? Everytime she laughs! It’s unbelievably infectious! Audrey is very cheery & happy most of the time. Will go to just about anyone, anytime.
What has being a parent taught you about yourself? Being a parent has taught me that I can do just about anything! I think parenthood makes you feel a little invincible.
Our world is large and mostly a mystery but what have your children taught you about this big wide world. An awakening, a life lesson, a new view or opinion… I have always known that there is nothing more important than family, however, having Audrey has had a profound effect on me emotionally. I feel even more connected to my family, & I didn’t even think that was possible. I am more health conscious & I am more environmentally aware. I want her to grow up in a clean, healthy, harmonious environment.
What is your favorite physical feature of Audrey’s and why? I love everything about her but I guess if i had to choose it would be her face. I know all parents think their child is gorgeous, but Audrey’s face takes my breath away. Well, when she’s calm & happy, anyway 😉
Is your child your whirlwind, your sunny day, your rain storm or maybe even your snowman. If you could describe Audrey as a weather phenomenon what would it be? An unexpected tornado that’s blown in on an otherwise perfectly still sunny day. She’s constantly active & there’s never a dull moment.
Describe Audrey in only five words Crazy, Beautiful, Sweet, Amazing, Clever
Audrey’s favorite colour ~ Orange; favorite toy ~ Duckie; nickname ~ Auds, Audrey Strawberry, Orjy Porjy, Pickle; quirkiest habit ~ Head butting my chest when she’s tired
and a little share of what they thought of the photos…
Of course, once again, Renee’s images have taken my breath away. Each one has captured at least one aspect of Audrey’s personality & the pure innocence of a 9 month old at the same time. After our forth session with Renee I think it’s safe to say she is now our official family photographer. Big love, Renee, & many, many thanks x x
After photographing Natalie and Drew’s engagement and wedding photos a few years ago, then Audrey’s newborn session, and these family photos – I am truly honored to be a part of this family’s life! Audrey is such a delight – with an infectious smile and a personality that just draws you in and Natalie and Drew you guys are all around fun and amazing people. I cant wait for many more photo experiences in the future! Thank you so very much, for choosing me as your official family photographer!
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[words by Caleb’s mama, Naomi]
Even when you’ve been there before, you forget just how tiny and precious they are. So perfectly formed in fine detail, with that newborn smell that you just wish you could bottle and savour forever. Just one look from his all trusting, all knowing and inquisitive eyes makes you melt!
Welcome, Caleb Isaac, born April 19 2013
Caleb loves to be free from his wrap and snuggle into your chest. He would be happiest if he got cuddles all day long! And like all boys he loves his food…
It’s crazy how much Caleb looks like his brother Noah. Sometimes you have to do a double take and you get that strange feeling of deja-vu, but you’re quickly reminded he is a unique individual with a whole little personality of his own. We loved the name Caleb for several years but started to doubt it when it came down to choosing boys names. So we did our research and after spending many hours going through multiple name books and online name sites we knew if we had a boy he had to be called Caleb. Caleb means loyal/faithful & Isaac means laughter. We loved the meaning of both. It was just perfect!
Caleb’s big brother Noah is almost 3 now, and we would describe him as determined, gentle, and a character! There’s always an adjustment when there’s a new addition to the family. Trying to coordinate different routines and finding ways to smooth the transition is always fun. But Noah is absolutely loving being a big brother! He is always looking out for Caleb, offering a helping hand and smothering him with loads of cuddles and kisses! It is the sweetest thing. Noah is so excited that he has someone to play soccer with, he just doesn’t realise quiet how long it’ll take before Caleb can kick a ball and we don’t want to burst his bubble. Noah doesn’t stop talking about Caleb and its the cutest thing. Particularly as Noah hasn’t fully got a handle on the terms brother and sister and uses them interchangeably, often referring to his brother as “my sister Caleb”.
My husband is the best and it’s impossible do justice to explaining just how incredibly supportive he has been through this whole experience. We do everything together, our journey is a partnership and I’d be lost without him! I’m blessed!
Pregnancy and babies are the greatest blessing and the ups and downs of the journey are all worth it. I just wish I could slow it down and enjoy it all for longer. Time goes way too fast!
Now here is a spin out for you… The below images are Caleb’s brother Noah, photographed 3 years ago as a newborn…
They are SO alike!
Isn’t Bonnie just the most adorable little girls name! Bonnie came in to the photography studio for her newborn photo session a few weeks ago at just 4 days old. Actually, I don’t think she had technically even met the official 4 days old mark. Regardless, an adorable little girl, and family…
Bonnie Maree, April 24 2013
Sarah, tell us about your new baby in your own words.
She is so peaceful and always just having fun figuring out whats going on. She looks like a girl version on her brother Hamish when he was born. Babies always have this newborn smell and soft skin that I think everyone just loves… She is perfect!!!
Babies are made up of everything soft and sweet and delicate. What is your favourite part of your bubba and why?
It is her feet! Not only are they at the end of her chicken legs but then they have the little toes that she curls up all the time and the cute little wrinkles on the sole of her foot.. They are so ticklish too!
Who does Bonnie most look like?
I think her brother Hamish. Matt thinks his sister when she was a baby.
How did you come up with your babies name Bonnie?
I’ve never been one of those people who have names picked out when I’m 15, and I didn’t actually have any girls names I liked at all so once we found out we were expecting a girl I had to go searching. Hubby liked Chelsea for his choice and out of my top three names I had he liked Bonnie so then we left the choice between Bonnie and Chelsea to our 3 year old son Hamish.. He chose Bonnie! (without too many subtle hints from me, lol)
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt since your baby was born?
Let your 3 year old help in ways that occupy him. He feels like his contributing and keeps him occupied for you!
They say that sleep deprivation is a form of torture. How’s the lack of sleep working for you?
Sleep deprivation is torture! But second time round coping quite well. When I’m tired the most I do is say my words backwards…
So in saying that.. throughout our relationship I’ve always been a pest to Matt about not remembering my birth date and year, he never gets it right! Midwife comes round for Bonnie’s check up and among all the other questions I was asked Matt’s birthday (while Matt was standing right there) and I said 11-8-91… instead of 11-9-81… anyway he laughed and said see its hard under pressure isn’t it.. I’m never going to be able to pick on him about my birthday again.. DEVO! lol
From pregnancy, to labour, to the little bundle you now hold in your arms, has this experience been everything you hoped and dreamed it would be or has it been the total opposite? Is there anything you would do differently?
This pregnancy wasn’t much different to my first so that was good but my labour for Bonnie was like a summer holiday compared to Hamish’s! Towards the end of my pregnancy I started to remember what Hamish’s labour was like and I started to get really nervous.. But it was seriously awesome!
How is Bonnie’s personality developing already?
I think all breast fed babies like to feed… all the time! Wake up = feed, going to sleep needs a refill, tired she thinks she’s hungry and of course for comfort!
Bonnie is scared of her hands… Getting better now but she still hates them so she loves her wraps! She prefers hot then cold, hates getting dressed, likes a deep bath and is a very loud for such a little thing.. Can’t call her a dummy lover cause she has not been exposed to one! Staying strong about that still!
How is Hamish coping with his new sister?
At first Hamish really wasn’t sure and didn’t like her because she had “yucky hair and a yucky belly button”. Now he loves her and wants to help and hold her hand and kiss her all the time, always lets me know as soon as she even remotely sounds like shes going to start crying. He tries to calm her down “ohh, it’s ok Bonnie bon bon, I’m here” #socute! She looks so much like Hamish and every facial expression I can just see him.
How did Matt help you through this whole experience?
Matt was a massive help with Hamish understanding all the new rules and kept him under control. He always seems to be the one who gets weed on or vomited on when he has his work clothes on!!! He had to dress her for the first time in hospital and as you do you totally forget how to do that… Nearly rolled her off the bench lol and he is the worst at putting on a singlet! But he changed poopy nappies, dresses her, puts her to sleep and always loves talking to her and laughing at the funny faces she pulls at him.
Isla Mae arrived almost 2 weeks early on the 3.5.13. 7lb 1 oz and 50cm long…
congrats Katrina and Stuart!
Katrina and Stu’s maternity photos here
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