Newborn Session | An Interview with a New Mom | Jacksonville Birth Photographer
It has been so special to document this Jacksonville couple from bump, to hospital, to their new baby at home. Becoming a parent for the first time is such a huge change, but Ryan and Joy are adjusting beautifully and falling more and more in love with their precious Adaline every day. I asked Joy to share her thoughts about being a new mom. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!
What was it like to see Adaline for the first time? Did she look like you thought she would?
“I don’t know what I expected her to look like – in my mind, I always pictured Addie as a little girl with her hair pulled up on top of her head, toddling around. I didn’t expect that she would have so much hair at birth though! I think she has Ryan’s hair and eyes, but I’m excited to see who she looks like as she grows. I think her ears look exactly like my brother, and her lips and maybe her nose are mine. It’s been fun looking at baby pictures of us and of family members to see who she most looks like.”
What was your first day/night home from the hospital like?
“The first day home was quiet and cuddly, but the beginning of a new adventure! The first night home was our longest one (so far!), but we survived – now if a night feels long, I just remind myself that we have survived with less sleep and 20 more minutes of rocking won’t actually kill me. The biggest challenge at first was figuring out nursing; once Addie figured out how to eat (and boy, did she!), then days became happier and nights became sleepier. As we get to know each other, I am learning how to ‘hear’ what Addie is ‘telling’ me – a skill neither of us had that first night home.”
What is the best part of having Adaline in your life?
“Adaline is the best part. :) She inspires me to keep going and be strong when I want to give up or give in. She also has given me the opportunity to see Ryan as a father and see the love radiating from him as he looks at Addie. I love seeing bits of her personality emerge on a daily basis; each time, I get a new vision of what her future will look like.”
What is the hardest part of having a newborn?
“It is much more mentally taxing than I expected. Adaline needs a lot of care, but I am also very aware that I am shaping her future and her development each day. It can be hard, but also what keeps me going on the longer days when Addie doesn’t ever want to leave my arms. The responsibility feels enormous, but more manageable every day.”
What is Adaline's personality like?
“Adaline is smart, alert, and ever-changing. I see her learn and grow every day. When she’s awake, Addie likes watch everything and take it all in. If she isn’t observing the world (or her mobile), then she likes to engage in one-on-one ‘conversations.’ She is very happy, generally, and likes to be social. I’m interested to see how her baby personality grows with her.”
How are you settling into motherhood?
“Everything was a new thought process at first, but now I am getting settled in. Adaline and I each have a few daily goals that we make sure to accomplish – at some point in the day. I think by the time we feel like we have a ‘routine’ figured out, I will go back to work, and then everything will change again.”
How is it watching Ryan be a dad?
“I love seeing Ryan as a dad. His whole face lights up when he looks at Addie, and he completely melts if she smiles or coos at him. I always thought that I would be jealous if he ever looked at anyone else with that much love, but it is absolutely amazing to watch him with our daughter. I’m excited to see the daddy-daughter relationship grow as Adaline does.”
What was Lucy’s reaction to Adaline?
“Lucy was thrilled to meet our newest family member and couldn’t wait to sniff her all over. Sometimes Lucy wants more attention than she’s getting, but she loves Addie as much as she loves us. I’m so excited to see them snuggle and nap together when Addie gets a little older.”
Do you feel like her birth and newborn stage have changed you as a person?
“I see two main changes. First is one I think every parent experiences – suddenly everything you do is dependent on someone else – Addie’s needs, Addie’s 'schedule,' Addie’s safety. It is a huge adjustment to just being a part of a young adult couple – a great Saturday night is now a dinner at home where Addie doesn’t need to be held followed by storytime and cuddling until bed (hopefully by 10 PM). The second change has been a hard lesson for me – adapting to not being able to follow a schedule and accomplish tasks as I plan to. Some days my breakfast is at 6:30 AM, and other days it is at 1 PM. It doesn’t matter if I just got everything out to work on a project; if Addie wakes up after 20 minutes, then we will nurse/read/cuddle/play as she wants to and my project will wait. I’m learning to accept that what needs to happen will get done sometime, and everything else will be fine until tomorrow.”