Buckle up, mama-to-be. I’m about to drop a few truth bombs about those first 48 hours that may come as a shock to you. This is the messy stuff, the HARD stuff, that no one talks about at baby showers.
Day 1 will seem like a breeze. You’ll be riding a high of hormones (and probably pain meds). You’ll think you’re invincible, and that you got one of those GOOD babies that never cries. There’s this fog of perfection and the pain feels like it’s an arm’s length away. Life is good on Day 1.
Day 2 might be the hardest day of your life. There’s this thing called cluster feeding. The baby will probably start nursing around 1AM, and won’t stop for like, fifteen hours. You’ll think the baby’s broken. You’ll think YOU’RE broken. (Neither of you are.) You’ll beg a nurse to take the baby for just a few minutes, because that hormone high has worn off and you just need to not be touched for a minute. They might not oblige. Your partner will feel helpless. You might cry, a lot.
I met Amie, her husband Pete, and baby boy Thomas on Day 2. We’d been planning this Fresh 48 session for months, and he was finally here! But it was Day 2, and it was hard. Amie must’ve been on hour 12 of cluster-feeding and she needed a break, but Thomas was only content in her arms, nursing. At one point, she looked at me and simply said that it wasn’t what she envisioned. I had to hold back tears in my own eyes, because those few words took me right back to my own experience in L&D.
That’s kind of a metaphor for parenting itself, isn’t it? It’s not what we envisioned. It’s harder, and messier, but once we get a moment to catch our breath and look back – it’s even more beautiful than we imagined possible.
Thomas will be back in the studio soon for his newborn session, and I can’t wait to see these three again! Thank you so much for inviting me in to document this time for you, Hall family. You’re doing great!