Sometimes it seems like the second baby gets the short end of the stick. With your first child, everything is uncharted territory! Every body change or experience is scary and exciting because it’s never happened before. Baby clothes are unworn and squeal-worthy, baby gear is new and confusing and awaiting use. The nursery is set up and pristine long before baby will occupy it. Buying maternity clothes is fun! And if you’re like me, every tiny thing is documented, because, well, that’s what I do. With Oden, we asked our friend Idie to help make beautiful memories of my pregnancy, the nursery, and those first fleeting weeks of life. She did a glorious job- I treasure the images!
Having a second child is no less exciting, but let’s face it- we’ve done this before, so it’s not quite as scary. No pregnancy is the same, but I generally knew what my body would do. I dug out maternity clothes from storage. We found out Mo’s gender before his birth day- we’d already done the surprise route, right? Knowing we were having another boy, Oden’s baby clothes I’d saved would do the trick. I didn’t really consider a baby shower until a friend offered it, and didn’t register for any baby items until quite late. In the back of my mind, I figured that we were having another boy and we had everything we needed. This would be easy. Famous last words!
Lots of stuff about my second pregnancy was different. Mo’s arrival was different than Oden’s. His size and body shape are different. Some of the gear we had for Oden doesn’t work well for Mo. I breastfeed him, while Oden was fed formula from very early on. The personalities of my two boys are different and my post-partum experience is different. In short, I was wrong to think I had anything under control and my expectations were incorrect!
Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to realize that my second baby bump is no less of a miracle than the first and should be documented, too. Idie captured the magic of growing a baby and used some tricks to get adorable shots of Oden (despite him being in full toddler mode!). I enjoyed pregnancy and knew that I’d be nostalgic for this brief time period when it was over, especially because it’s our last baby. The photos below were taken in late fall and Oden has already grown up so much since then. I was right- I miss that belly and the pregnancy experience. I’m so thankful we have these visual memories!
There was never a question whether or not we’d have Idie take Morrison’s newborn photos. The trick would be the timing, since he was born right before the Christmas madness. Somehow, we were able to schedule a morning together. It’s been 4 months since these photographs were taken and Mo is no longer a newborn baby. Having two kids of the same gender means there will be unavoidable comparisons, whether it’s “He looks just like his brother!” or “He doesn’t look like his brother at all!” I certainly see similarities between Oden’s newborn photos and Mo’s, though they are very different children in appearance and temperament. Again, Idie entered our chaos and expertly extracted beautiful moments that are already gone, even as I write these words. The family portraits with Cholula and the ones with just my boys make my heart almost ache with love.
I try so hard these days to be in the moment and enjoy whatever stage each of my sons is in. Oden is talking away, so creative and chatty. He’s working on potty-training and starting preschool in the fall. Mo is teething already, and has located his feet. He babbles and shows off his dimples non-stop. These phases are so monumental as they are happening, and then suddenly, they are nothing but a memory! I’m beyond grateful to have these images to remember our first days as a family of four (plus fur-baby).
Stay tuned for a mini-tour of Morrison’s nursery!
Check out Idie Atencio Photography.