An Open Letter to New Mothers | Seattle Newborn Photography

Photo by Della Chen

Photo by Della Chen

I have exactly one photo of myself with my twins from when they were babies.  


My friend Della snapped it when I was sitting on the floor in my living room, unaware of her camera.  If I had been aware, I probably would have told her not to take it.

I would have told her that I wasn’t ready to be in photos yet.  That I still had too much baby weight. That I didn’t like my hair that day and that the babies were cuter then me anyhow, take their picture, not mine.

You see, my pregnancy was not an easy one.  I went into labor the first time at 22 weeks and was put on hospital bed read until I delivered at 36 weeks.  Being in the hospital for that long saved my babies (for which I’m eternally grateful), but it wrecked me.

My muscles atrophied.  I gained over 100 pounds.  I was scared and depressed.  

Once the babies were born, I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital until I could walk on my own around the hall- it took me a week to get there.

By the time I got home, I didn’t recognize myself.  

I was weak.  Exhausted. Heavier than I’d been in my life.

And I didn’t want my picture taken.

I didn’t like the way I looked postpartum.  And I didn’t like the way I felt. My pregnancy had been hard.  And it left me with a lot of emotional pain that I saw when I looked at photos of myself.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because I want you to know I get it.  When you come in for your newborn photos and tell me that you don’t want to be in any pictures, I get it!  100%.

But this is what I want to say to you, and what I wished someone would have said to me when my babies were little.

The photos we take are not for you.  

They are for your baby.

And when that baby grows up and looks at those pictures, they are not going to see that you are tired, or that you look heavy, or that your hair wan’t perfect that day.  

They will see their mother, who they love.

That's it.

I have exactly one photo of myself with my twins from when they were babies.  


And it’s my biggest regret.

I wish I had photos that told my story to give to them.  

To show what I went through because I loved them so much and wanted them so badly.  

Was I over weight?  Yep! Because I had made TWO people… at the same time!!!  That is nothing to be ashamed of!

Was my body weak?  Yes!! I had spent almost four month in a bed in an effort to keep them safe.  That is was mothers do!

Was I exhausted?  Absolutely. I had two newborn babies!  Being tired is normal!

I wish I had photos to show what a warrior I was.  

I wish I had been proud and brave instead of feeling like I needed to hide myself until I was perfect.  

There is no perfect.  

Especially when you’re a parent. And thats okay.

My children deserve to see that.

Yours do too.

So when you tell me you don’t want to be in the photos, I get it, but I will urge you to be in them anyway.

I will remind you that these photos are for your baby, not for you, and that they will want them someday.

And I will let you leave, knowing that I’ve done my job.  You may not like your photos now, or even in a year or two… but someday you will cherish them.

I promise.