This was supposed to be my very first session for the "Celebrate Motherhood" campaign back in May when I started with those special sessions. Unfortunately, we got rained out a few times over the summer and then Erin's son Ethan got sick and we had to reschedule another time.
We finally got together in mid-July at Cauble Park Beach / Lake Acworth and the weather was just beautiful. Ethan was in a good mood and happy to put his feet in the water and play in the sand with his mom.
He was not much into smiling or looking at the camera, so I just documented his interactions with his mama. We took a good amount of pictures and it was so much fun watching Erin and Ethan just having fun in the sun together.
Please read about Erin's Motherhood journey here and how she overcame PPD:
"I always knew from the time I was a child myself that I wanted to be a mom. That felt like a purpose in my life like what I was meant to do. My husband and I met when I was only 18 and we got married when I turned 22. I wanted to start trying for a baby right away but my husband wasn't ready yet and to be honest, it probably wasn't a good time for us to either as much as I wanted it. We had disagreements over the years as I waited semi-patiently (okay not really patiently) until he was also ready. Towards the end of 2020, we decided we were in a good place to maybe start trying. We said we weren't going to track anything but if it was meant to be then it was meant to be. I stopped taking my birth control in November of 2020 and imagine my shock when I found out I was pregnant in Feb 2021 and due in October of that year! I couldn't believe it - I took 4 pregnancy tests to make sure I wasn't dreaming! It felt so surreal at first. I kept having to make sure I didn't just dream it, that it was really happening! I was very fortunate to be able to get pregnant quickly and carry the baby to term with no complications.
My baby decided to come at 40 weeks and 1 day. When he was coming, the midwife said he had his fist out first. I think he was excited to come into the world. This did cause me to have a 4th degree tear though which was quite painful! That was hard for me because I like to be very independent and have a hard time asking for help (something I'm working on improving on) and I wasn't allowed to lift anything heavier than my baby for 6 weeks and I was supposed to avoid stairs as much as possible. Hard to do considering we live in a split-level house! I loved our boy instantly. I never wanted to put him down.
But when we left the hospital, I ended up getting PPD (Post Partum Depression) once reality set in.
I still loved our boy so much and never wanted to set him down but I felt lonely even in a room full of people and if I had to leave our baby's side, I would make someone else hold him so he wouldn't feel lonely too.
We didn't use our very nice swing until someone gave me no choice but to use it when our little boy was about 3 months. I cried but I saw how happy he was and it helped. I was so nervous to pull out the pump and start pumping. I exclusively breastfed while on maternity leave. I didn't start trying to pump until a week before I went back to work and I wish I would have started sooner. I have Hypothyroidism and my body wasn't producing enough milk. We had to switch to formula and sometimes I still wish I could have breastfed for longer but the most important thing to us was having a healthy, well-fed baby.
And I'm not going to lie my husband being able to do some of the night feeds was so nice! I remember when we first came home from the hospital questioning if this was right for us, how would this new person fit into our relationship, would we ever sleep again.
Now our little one is almost 18 months and I couldn't imagine life without him. Becoming a mother is the greatest thing I've ever done. It's so fun watching him run around and explore the world and now he's talking. He loves bubbles and vroom vroom (any kind of vehicle) and seeing the preferences he loves is so fun! I love hearing him say new words every day. While sometimes I long for a little more me time than I get these days, I wouldn't change a thing! I'm very fortunate to have such a great relationship with my mother-in-law that she keeps our son one night a week so we can have time just the two of us and also get some good sleep!
She also helped me a lot when I was struggling with PPD.
I will never forget her telling me:
Whatever you're feeling is valid and it's okay, it's a big change and it's okay to ask for help
and then she would ask if she could hug me..."
After the photo session Erin left me this review and it makes me so happy that I could provide her with some images with her and her son that she will cherish FOREVER!!! ♥️