Once upon a time, my firstborn was so little and fragile I was scared and unsure how to hold and care for him. He was lean at 6.44 pounds and 51 cm, cutely wrinkled and peeling that we had to wait and give him a few more weeks before we had his newborn shoot. Normally, these are done on the baby’s first 10 days but for Elian’s, we only decided to have his when he was almost a month old.
25 days to be exact. And still at that time, he was little enough to fit atop his little board books. In fact, some of his books were even much bigger than him.
Way before he was born, I started collecting books for him, mostly travel ones. Both Ken and I are bookworms and I’ve always collected books since I was a little kid. Plus, I’ve always been that kind of adult who enjoys reading children’s books so I was pretty much excited to build his own little library. That became my project while I was pregnant. I researched for unique children’s travel books and ordered it thru friends and thru special book dealers on Instagram and by the time he was born, he already had more than a dozen books. There’s still a lot more I’d like to get for him. More than toys, I believe that books are more special and lasts forever. It tells you different stories, brings you to different places, makes learning fun and can be preserved and passed on to other siblings and other generations.
So for his newborn shoot, I wanted it to be personal. I gathered his book collection and the white faux sheepskin rug I got for his room and used it as his props. I wanted it to be sort of travel-themed as it’s his first shoot and it’s about bringing him out to the world.
I get sentimental looking at his newborn photos now that he just turned 6-months. I remember this time in our life when I was a nervous wreck first-time mom. I was breastfeeding yet had a hard time at it. It was painful for me then and couldn’t figure out if I had enough milk for this tiny little creature who cried day and night. I was sleeplessly and tirelessly caring for him with just Ken by my side everyday. We didn’t have a nanny then (and until this day). I was at my wits’ end and though I’ve always wanted and waited for the longest time to be a mom, I found myself totally unprepared for the hard reality of Motherhood. I would cry to Ken at night and worry endlessly if I was doing right with Elian. He would only get to sleep latched on to me, lying on my chest. I remember telling my sister that I didn’t want to have his newborn family shoot anymore as I was a mess and could barely do anything much more fix my hair and do my makeup for the photos. And she told me, “You will never be this haggard again in your life, do it. You’d want to capture this moment.” And so we did. And I’m glad we did. Thankful for this very raw family photo of ours. 25 days after I gave birth. It wasn’t physically our best (Ken and I were zombie parents complete with eye bags, I look sore and still had my pregnancy fats and my hair hasn’t properly been treated for almost a year since salon treatments aren’t allowed during pregnancy) yet this was our best photo ever. Our first one as a family.
During this time, I couldn’t write about these things as it was too fresh and I was still struggling. The first months were the hardest. But it does get more manageable as you continue to learn. It’s still hard but motherhood really doesn’t come easy. But all these doesn’t compare to the joy of everyday waking up beside your little love, seeing him grow and enjoying every cute and happy moment of him as a baby. Every time he smiles and laughs or makes a sound or an expression so cute, our hearts just melt. And Ken and I just find ourselves thanking God and all the angels above, over and over again, for him. There’s just no way to describe the feeling of fulfilment and happiness that comes with parenthood. It’s just all too precious and we will always be grateful we were blessed to experience this.
Now that he’s halfway to his 1st birthday, there are more and more milestones and exciting first experiences coming everyday. I get emotional thinking of how fast we moved from one stage to another. From being newborn to now being halfway to toddlerhood. I wish I can just pause moments or slowdown time but I can’t so I try to capture each moment with photos. Something to remember each moment by. Just like this, when he was our littlest love, newly born.
Mum & Dad loves you Elian.