Almost two weeks old, little Jesse was such a little ball of newborn joy when I went to visit him and his mammas in Stockholm in August. He was perfectly behaved, eyes open at all the right moments, stretching his fingers and toes in wonderful baby poses, and cuddling up to his grandmother and mammas as sweetly as could be.
Skrinkly fingers and toes, little gasping yawns, chubby cheeks and fingers; those first weeks are so powerfully blissful and exhausting in equal measure.
Thinking back to my own newborn days, I remember the haze of sleep deprivation, a sea of hormones, the crushing love I suddenly felt for someone so entirely dependant on me, and my complete inability to comprehend the shift – physically and emotionally – that had taken place in my life.
I remember the endless laundry, the heaven of a shower taken in peace, the reheated frozen dinners we took turns eating while the other parent held the baby. The first smile, the endless feeding and nappies, the strange noises and the total relentlessness of the feelings.
The total sense of bewilderment that people routinely had babies and then rejoined the real world, the workplace, the community. That something so earth-shatteringly transformative could be so desperately commonplace.
I was entirely unprepared the way a baby would turn life on its head, but in the most amazing ways.
What a lucky little baby to have such baddass women to raise him, love him, and teach him all the right things about the world. I hope you treat your mammas well and that we meet again sometime very soon.
Thank you so much for letting me photograph this fleeting time and step into your baby bubble for a couple of hours. I hope these images bring joy for years to come.
September 26, 2022