This sweet family welcomed their second baby into the world a few weeks before our photo session. They invited me into their home to document this fleeting stage of their lives, in the beautiful home they built in mom’s home town. Mom’s not a huge fan of having photos done of herself, but expressed her desire to capture some of the newborn sweetness of their new addition, and get some natural, un-staged and unscripted images of them all together as a family. Photos of their first born bursting with personality and energy was really important too, so we made sure to capture plenty of all of it. Mom was happy to share with us some of her experience leading up to baby’s birth, and her life as a parent so far:
Can you share with our readers a little about your family? Where are you from originally? How did you and your partner meet and end up living in Preston, Connecticut?
I was born and raised in our quaint little Connecticut town where everyone knows everyone. Zack is from just outside of Baltimore. We met at the University of Hartford where he was recruited to play baseball and I was, well, I’m not sure exactly what I was doing there. He says the first time he saw me freshman year, from across the cafeteria in the chicken finger line, he knew I was going to be it for him. I initially turned him down several times. He decided to stay in CT with me and my family after college graduation and we dated for 7 years until he finally proposed. We ended up building a house in the same neighborhood I grew up in, just a few doors down from my parents. Clearly I am codependent.
How did you break the news to your partner that you were expecting a baby?
My first pregnancy was the result of years of trying and eventual medical help. Anyone who goes through that understands the extreme emotional roller coaster that comes with that every month. It is EXHAUSTING mentally, emotionally, and physically. I was on the fence about having a second child, but it was something that was very important to my husband. So, with reluctance I conceded that we would TRY, but I would absolutely not be going back to the doctor… and what do you know? The first month it just happened. I didn’t think it would happen for us, so I didnt get my hopes up and I wasn’t super emotionally invested. I had no idea I was even pregnant until about a month in when the morning sickness hit. So it was a huge surprise to me and I broke down. I couldn’t even tell my husband myself. I made my 3yo give him the pee stick, He was cooking breakfast and wasn’t paying attention to what she handed him, He put it on the counter and carried on with the eggs. It took him about a half hour to catch on.
How did you break the news to family and friends that you were expecting?
I didn’t really. I am a very quiet person and most people didn’t even know I was pregnant. Obviously my immediate family knew– I told my parents shortly after I found out. I mean I see them everyday, so I kind of felt obligated to share the news in my very own boring and mellow fashion. “Oh yea, im pregnant. I feel like shit, please keep your distance with that tuna sandwich”… and my husband told anyone that would listen to him.
What was your pregnancy with baby like? Did you suffer from any morning sickness? Have any strange cravings?
Both of my pregnancies I had 24/7 morning sickness for 8 months. Pregnancy is just not my thing. There are women who love being pregnant and who thrive and glow. I am not that person. I was absolutely miserable. I had also managed to avoid Covid entirely since the beginning of the pandemic. And then just my luck got it at 4 months pregnant. It kicked my ass for 4 weeks and pretty much lingered for the rest of my pregnancy.
Did you do a gender reveal? Find out the sex during pregnancy? Or at birth? What was your first thought when you found out the sex of your baby?
HAHA! Do you think I did a gender reveal?
We were eager to find out the sex, so I did the blood test as soon as I could. My husband was REALLY hoping fora boy. He has 4 sisters and all female cousins, making him the last male with his last name in his family. He
was hoping to have a boy to pass down his family name (and to maybe not be surrounded be even more women! lol)… Tough luck, buddy; and F the patriarchy. Your TWO daughters can keep their last name should they chose to get married. We are raising two totally rad girls and they will be strong, and kind, and smart.
Which part of your pregnancy did you enjoy the most? And the least?
Nothing. Nothing at all. The end result is the only good thing about pregnancy.
What made you decide to follow your specific birth plan? (if you had one)
I didn’t have one. I am a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl, and a “birth plan” wasn’t important to me. I left that up to the doctors.
What was your birth experience like?
Hectic! I started having contractions around 5am and assumed I had all the time in the world. It was a school day and my 3yo depends heavily on a set schedule. I knew the baby was going to throw her all out of wack, so I was hoping to send her off to school with her normal morning routine… well I nearly keeled over in pain while I was helping her brush her teeth and I realized that I needed to GO. But let me tell you, there was no sense of urgency with the hospital staff. As soon as we go there, I was screaming for an epidural and the nurses all seemed to be walking in slow motion. I was only 3cm when they checked me in… a few minutes later I was telling them that I needed to push (while also still screaming for that elusive epidural). The midwife told me “Rachel, please don’t push, try to relax” and had me stand up for my “comfort” *eye roll*. The minute I stood up, my water broke and I yelled in that bitches face, “I AMGOING TO PUSH RIGHT NOW!” She kneeled down to look up my sexy hospital gown and screamed right back at me “RACHEL! Get on the bed NOW!”… 2 pushes later out flew Prue. Less than an hour and only 2 pushes… and I am still waiting on that epidural.
What’s been the grossest thing you’ve experienced since becoming parents?
Boy do I have some pictures. Never in a million years did I think I would be taking pictures of poop and sending them to people. What has my life become?
What’s the sweetest, most memorable moment of parenthood for you so far?
for the one that talks- whenever I ask her who her best friend is: “you, Mommy!”
for the new one- when she holds her big sister’s finger so tightly
What feelings came up during your pregnancy about your baby?
Do I have enough in me to give her what she needs? I was petrified that I was already spread too thin and I wouldn’t have the capacity to give her my 110% percent that I gave her sister. But the answer is, “yes”. The limit does not exist.
What were you most looking forward to about the arrival of your new baby?
I was dying to know what she would look like. Rain is my husband’s twin in EVERY way. Would this one have red hair like me? My nose? Or are we going to have another mini-Zack running around bulldozing their way through my house demanding snacks?
What tips or advice would you give other parents as they experience their first few weeks of parenting and welcoming their newborn into their family?
Ask for help if you need it. It’s freaking stressful and over whelming. Lean on people and let them help you. Talk to people; don’t isolate yourself in your little baby and me bubble. It can be nice and cozy there, but you need to talk to grown ups and get back to feeling normal.