Darling Farmhouse Newborn Session
by Christy McKee
We had a beautiful natural birth. On the day I went into labor I spent the day at home, snuggling my dog, snacking, and hanging from my husband through contractions. Once contractions became more difficult I moved to the bathtub, which helped me to relax. My husband brought a pillow and blanket to rest on the bathroom floor next to me. Around 12:30 a.m. we decided it was time to head to the hospital, a 40 minute drive from our home. We met our doula there and she immediately set up flameless candles around the tub. We spent the night mostly in the tub, listening to music and trying to relax between contractions. When it came time to push we moved to the bed, which had an amazing view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was around 8:00 a.m. and during the stillness that comes just before pushing we watched the most gorgeous sunrise I have ever seen while the song “Let’s be still” by The Head and the Heart happened to be playing. My husband and I knew these were our last moments as just the two of us and we said a little prayer. Our Sullivan Harper arrived twenty minutes later.
What was the first thing you thought when you held your new baby?
As soon as she heard my voice she strained her neck to look up at me. The room of nurses were in awe over such a distinct gesture from a newborn, and all I could think was: “She wants to KNOW me!”
What was the first day home with baby like?
We were excited and nervous to bring Sullivan home. Previously, our only baby had been our dog Emma, and we weren’t sure how she would react. Emma sniffed but was mostly excited that we were back! Sullivan slept so much those first few days that I recall wondering if it was supposed to be this easy! (That soon changed!)
What are your newborn must-have purchase items?
A baby carrier! I found it so relieving to still be able to get some things done around the house.
What postpartum advice for women getting ready to have their own newborn?
Set up ‘diaper stations’ in the rooms you use the most. You will be amazed at how frequently newborns need to be changed and if I had to go upstairs to the nursery each time I would have gone nuts! Don’t be afraid to stock it with some healthy snacks for you like granola bars. Having them close by and frequently visited is easier than making special trips to the kitchen to put something together to eat. Also, keep a large water bottle next to you. Its so important to stay hydrated and you genuinely won’t have time to get up and refill a glass of water twenty times a day. Sometimes those little things help make a difficult day manageable. Not having them can make a difficult day feel 10x worse!
Something you wish you’d known before having a new baby?
There is no magic algorithm to getting your baby to sleep through the night! Despite all my research, we did what was best for us and though it is still imperfect, at least we stayed sane!
One thing that you believe is beautiful about being a mother?
When the sight of my face brings a smile to hers.
Kind words about your photographer?
Christy has a magic touch with babies that a new mom can completely trust. You would never know from our amazing newborn photos that Sullivan refused to fall asleep and cried for most of the shoot! Christy kept calm which helped us to keep calm, and she took full advantage of any peaceful moments.
Christy McKee is a newborn and family photography based in Staunton, VA. She has three daughters and therefore has a lot of experience making little ones comfortable in front of the camera. Christy’s style is candid and authentic. She enjoys capturing real family moments where everyone is playing, interacting, and having fun. She has a studio for newborn sessions but does in home lifestyle sessions as well. Christy’s photographs are filled with rich colors and textures. When Christy is not taking photographs she is outside playing with her children or indoors baking yummy treats! WEBSITE