When we first found out we were having twins we could not have been more excited!. I was considered high risk early on and was constantly monitored. At 24 weeks I went into pre-term labor and was in the hospital for three weeks on bed rest. I ended up having an emergency c section at 30 weeks. The girls entered this world seconds apart, Savine weighing one pound fifteen ounces and Saheli two pounds three ounces. The girls were whisked away to NICU before I could barely lay my eyes on them. My first encounter with the girls was after recovery as I was wheeled down to the NICU. I was able to put my hands through the porthole of the isolette and placed my hand on their heads. Our NICU journey allowed us to witness the amazing strength of our twins as well as our own. It truly taught us how to be parents.
What was the first thing you thought when you held your new babies? Since the girls were in the NICU I was not able to hold them for a few days. However, that first day I was able to hold my girls I truly felt like a mom. It was the most amazing yet indescribable feeling in the world and for that brief period in the day I forgot about all the lines, beeping and overwhelming nature of the NICU. I thought about how resilient our daughters were and how absolutely perfect they were.
What was the first day home with (each, in your case!) baby like?
Our first day home with both of the girls was when we truly all felt like a family. My husband and I actually enjoyed our sleepless night, endless diaper changes and even cherished their cries, it meant they were finally home and healthy! Not to mention, we were able to see them any time we wanted without having to drive to the hospital.
What are your newborn must have purchase items? A sleep sac! These will save you so much time in the middle of the night even if you have mastered the art of swaddling. Burp Cloths are a must especially in our home and lots of them!! We have them in almost every room of the house. If you have a two level home I would highly recommend a changing table on each floor it saves you time from running up and down and makes life very convenient. And lastly, not something you purchase, (hah) but a great group of mommy friends that you can have for support, encouragement and tips/tricks.
What postpartum advice for women getting ready to have their own newborn? I would encourage moms to be not to worry about all the challenges and stressful stories you hear about having newborns and the endless amount of work it will be. Take the time to just enjoy having your little one(s) they truly are miracles and somehow you will figure it all out!
Something you wish you’d known before having a new baby? I wish I knew above anything else to trust my “mommy instinct” Being a first time parent you tend to second guess your decisions, just remember no one knows your children better than you do.
One thing that you believe is beautiful about being a mother? While you may feel gross, and sweaty after sleepless nights, lack of showers and spit-up stained shirts and what felt like a train wreck to your body, being a mother is beautiful, because you learn about strengths you never possessed and dealing with fears you never knew existed.
Kind words about your photographer? After our girls were both home I was looking forward to their first photo shoot. While most newborns have their pictures taken days after returning home our girls were nearly two months old. I had found Ellen Dykstra via the internet after reading a slew of stellar reviews on her work. After emailing with her our unique situation, she was incredibly understanding and flexible about scheduling a shoot and I knew she would be the perfect person to photograph our girls. Ellen was extremely professional, and created the most comfortable environment. She was able to capture our girls in way we never could have imagined. We joked about her coming at 3 am to help us out since she clearly had mastered the techniques of “baby whispering”. We highly recommend Ellen as her talent and images speak for themselves. They say “a picture is worth a thousand words” and thanks to Ellen’s creative mind this could not be more true. We go through our pictures often and are thankful for such a memorable experience
Hi, I’m Ellen, and I love babies. Photographing newborns and expectant moms makes my heart sing, and I’ve been lucky enough to do that for the past 10 years. My style is organic, pure and stylishly simple, focusing on the baby’s beauty and the parents’ love for their new little one.
As a former RN and mother of four, I have lots of experience handling babies and have been asked more than once to use my ‘baby whispering’ skills again at 2 a.m.! I’m a Certified Professional Photographer, traveling to baby’s homes for photography sessions. I live in Kalamazoo, MI and photograph moms-to-be and babies there and in surrounding West Michigan communities.
*** Ellen Dykstra Photography is a member of The Bump Society, an elite community of motherhood businesses selected by the editor of Beauty & Lifestyle Mommy ***