Many families in the Groton and New London, Connecticut area have one thing in common: they're either in the military, or they know someone who is. The former is true in the case of the Lewis family. And that is exactly how Amber found me. Since we are both active members of the local navy wives Facebook group, often making recommendations of various services for other navy spouse members, she was able to find my photography page fairly easily.
Amber and her husband, Spencer, invited me to their home to photograph their beautiful newborn daughter, Sparros, just three weeks new, and their family. As you'll see in the photographs and video in this post, Sparros is endowed with the most beautiful ginger-colored hair. She's also blessed with an older brother, named Ankor, who's shaping up to be an amazing big brother already, and sure to be a huge help to his mom in looking after her (someday, if not just yet, at 4 years old ;))
Ankor and I became instant pals when I arrived to the Lewis home. He immediately asked if he could show me the train tracks he and his dad had worked so hard to build prior to my arrival. I was there taking photographs for over two hours, and only towards the end did this sweet little boy start to get tired of having his picture taken. Even then, all it took was a smartie or two to set things straight, and suddenly all was right in the world again (for you child and/or family photographers reading this, bribery is where it's at folks, always carry a package of smarties in your pocket, the kids will love you, and the parents will thank you for it).
When asked what it's like to be a big brother, Ankor excitedly responded: "Big brother's are cool, and they take care of their baby sisters and brothers."
Ankor, do you love your baby sister? "YEAA! But a long time ago, we were going to call her Sparros, but that didn't work out, because daddy didn't like Sparros. So we named her Sparros Estelle." Haha! I admittedly did my snort laugh when he blurted that out. Kids are so honest.
Before we got started with the picture portion of the session, Amber and I got to talking about being parents to newborns. I asked her what her pregnancy and birth experience was like: "My pregnancy was pretty easy. No major medical issues or scares. Towards the end I was more than ready for it to be over, I was HUGE and very uncomfortable...but I would do it again in a heartbeat. It's such an amazing experience and I'm so thankful I've had the privilege of bringing now TWO little humans into the world. Her birth was very empowering for me. I had her without any medications or medical interventions, which is exactly what I had hoped for!"
How much did Sparros weigh when she was born? "8 lbs, 12 ounces. Smaller than I anticipated for being 10 days overdue!"
How did you feel when you found out you were having a girl? "I thought, 'Oh, here we go!' A little girl. A mini me. We are in trouble! All the bows, all the glitter and pink and sparkles...bring it on!"
How about you, Spencer, how did you feel when you found out you were having a girl? "I was excited. I got what I wanted. A boy and a girl."
What's the most exciting (or scary) part of having a second child, or having a daughter as opposed to having a son? "I think I have more fears than anything else! I've only been a mommy to one for so long, and he's literally been the center of my entire universe. All my attention, all of my everything has been him. Only him. I'm worried I won't be able to delegate time and attention between them. I want them both to feel equally important and loved at all times, but it's already been hard. Not so much with Sparros, she's fed, changed, and she's good to go. But when I'm nursing her and Ankor wants to play and I tell him I have to wait until his sister is done, or if I can't lay down with him at night because she's screaming and needs a diaper change...I'm scared he sees it as me putting her before him, not me just taking care of one of her basic needs. But we will get through it. Most families with 2+ kids eventually figure it out, and we will too!"
I think just about every mom can relate to feeling inadequate at times, we can only stretch ourselves so far! But it's easy to see through these photos, and the loving connection of this family that Amber's doing an amazing job, even if it doesn't always feel that way. (Sleep deprivation messes with our minds like that, amiright??)
What's the most exciting part for you Spencer? "Seeing their interaction day to day and their relationship with each other as they grow."
How has Ankor adjusted to having a baby sister? He loves her so much. Watching how sweet he is to her makes me so happy and proud. He tries to calm her when she's upset, always wants to know what she's doing, or what she's 'saying' when she's making noises. He is the best big brother to her already."
Welcome to the world, baby Sparros! You've been blessed with the sweetest family and big brother a girl could ask for!