+
upworthy

pregnancy

New baby and a happy dad.


When San Francisco photographer Lisa Robinson was about to have her second child, she was both excited and nervous.

Sure, those are the feelings most moms-to-be experience before giving birth, but Lisa's nerves were tied to something different.

She and her husband already had a 9-year-old son but desperately wanted another baby. They spent years trying to get pregnant again, but after countless failed attempts and two miscarriages, they decided to stop trying.


Of course, that's when Lisa ended up becoming pregnant with her daughter, Anora. Since it was such a miraculous pregnancy, Lisa wanted to do something special to commemorate her daughter's birth.

So she turned to her craft — photography — as a way to both commemorate the special day, and keep herself calm and focused throughout the birthing process.

Normally, Lisa takes portraits and does wedding photography, so she knew the logistics of being her own birth photographer would be a somewhat precarious new adventure — to say the least.

pregnancy, hospital, giving birth, POV

She initially suggested the idea to her husband Alec as a joke.

Photo by Lisa Robinson/Lisa Robinson Photography.

"After some thought," she says, "I figured I would try it out and that it could capture some amazing memories for us and our daughter."

In the end, she says, Alec was supportive and thought it would be great if she could pull it off. Her doctors and nurses were all for Lisa taking pictures, too, especially because it really seemed to help her manage the pain and stress.

In the hospital, she realized it was a lot harder to hold her camera steady than she initially thought it would be.

tocodynamometer, labor, selfies

She had labor shakes but would periodically take pictures between contractions.

Photo by Lisa Robinson/Lisa Robinson Photography.

"Eventually when it was time to push and I was able to take the photos as I was pushing, I focused on my daughter and my husband and not so much the camera," she says.

"I didn't know if I was in focus or capturing everything but it was amazing to do.”

The shots she ended up getting speak for themselves:

nurse, strangers, medical care,

Warm and encouraging smiles from the nurse.

Photo by Lisa Robinson/Lisa Robinson Photography.

experiment, images, capture, document, record

Newborn Anora's first experience with breastfeeding.

Photo by Lisa Robinson/Lisa Robinson Photography.

"Everybody was supportive and kind of surprised that I was able to capture things throughout. I even remember laughing along with them at one point as I was pushing," Lisa recalled.

In the end, Lisa was so glad she went through with her experiment. She got incredible pictures — and it actually did make her labor easier.

Would she recommend every mom-to-be document their birth in this way? Absolutely not. What works for one person may not work at all for another.

However, if you do have a hobby that relaxes you, figuring out how to incorporate it into one of the most stressful moments in your life is a pretty good way to keep yourself calm and focused.

Expecting and love the idea of documenting your own birthing process?

Take some advice from Lisa: "Don't put pressure on yourself to get 'the shot'" she says, "and enjoy the moment as much as you can.”

Lisa's mom took this last one.

grandma, hobby, birthing process

Mom and daughter earned the rest.

Photo via Lisa Robinson/Lisa Robinson Photography.

This article originally appeared on 06.30.16

Representative image from Canva

Goes to show that it's often best to work on your own timeline.

With all the miraculous blessings that a baby brings, the life you had before it came into the world is gone forever. No more spontaneous outings, putting your own preferences first, being reckless and carefree. Of course these sacrifices are well worth it, most parents would agree. But that doesn’t mean they don’t feel some grief over their former selves.

And it’s this fear of missing out, aka FOMO, that has one mom thanking her lucky stars that she didn’t have her first child until the ripe old age of 33.

Style content creator and new mom Kristie shared in a TikTok video how having a childfree 20s helped her going into her pregnancy at 33 with zero worries of missing out.

“Becoming a first-time mom at 33, 10 out of 10, hear me out,” she said in the clip, acknowledging that pregnancies later in life aren’t without potential risks.

But, at least in her experience, having “15 years to be selfish” allowed her the opportunity to really become ready to be a mom on an emotional, mental and financial level.

So now that she is pregnant, she feels like she has “been there, done that” with the pre-mom activities, and can completely appreciate the new chapter of her life.

“This has been such an amazing time. I haven't done a lot in the past three and a half months. I'm just kind of soaked in the time with my daughter. Not watching everybody's Instagram stories, traveling or going out to dinner or going out on the weekends. And I'm not like, ‘I wish I was doing that.’ I'm like, ‘I've already done that. I've already done that a lot.’”

Nowadays, she’s perfectly content to “just enjoy the little things,” like the cup of coffee she’s about to have as her daughter takes a nap.

@astylechild

but also somehow simultaneously feeling like a teen mom

♬ original sound - Kristie

Kristie’s video clearly struck a chord with other moms who had their first kids later in life, and had similar positive experiences.

“34 with a 2 month old! PhD, JD done and more secure and no fomo! We lived and ate well!” one person wrote.

“100%. Had my first baby at 33 and I cannot imagine having one in my 20’s!! I’m glad I had my selfish time pre baby ❤️” another added.

Others simply agreed that just because our biology tends to favor getting pregnant in our 20s and even younger, life doesn’t often accommodate for that kind of timeline.

“I just turned 30 and the thought of having children anytime soon is WILD to me,” one person wrote.

As the Mayo Clinic explains, “The biological clock is a fact of life. But there's nothing magical about age 35. It's simply an age at which risks become more discussion worthy.” And that’s a great way of framing it. Sure, there are things to be aware of, like fertility issues, health risks, and potential complications—but that doesn't mean it’s unwise to hold off on starting a family until you’re fully ready.

Frankly, the societal pressure to have a baby before 30 might be due in part to the medical risks, but let’s be honest: it’s also another way women are taught to feel "past their prime" after the first quarter of their entire life. Luckily, women like Kristie sharing their stories helps break through that kind of stigma.

Family

12 hilariously relatable comics about life as a new mom.

Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

Some good not so good moments with babies.



Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

Illustrator Ingebritt ter Veld and Corinne de Vries, who works for Hippe-Birth Cards, a webshop for birth announcements, had babies shortly after one another.


In the series "#ThingsOnlyMomsKnow" Ingebritt and Corinne depict the reality of motherhood — with all the painful, funny, and loving moments not always talked about.

1. Pee-regnant.

pregnancy, family, bathroom breaks, comedy

Expectant moms plan for the bathroom.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

2. How (not) to sleep.

sleep habits, body changes, hormones, relationships

Learning how to go with the flow.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

3. Cry baby.

mood swings, empathy, relationship advice, funny

Moms can be emotional... and dads too.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

4. The new things that scare you...

maternity, prenatal care, postpartum depression, raising kids

Falling in love with the necessary conveniences.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

5. ...and the new things that give you the creeps.

gender roles, social issues, respect, pregnancy

People have the ability to make normal situations feel weird.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

6. Being a new mom can get a little ... disgusting.

pregnancy test, birth control, moms, relationship advice

The convenience of a pregnancy tests is also peeing on a stick.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

7. And every mom has experienced these postpartum horror stories.

bladder control, body transformation, human miracles, body positivity

Taking advantage of two bodily functions at one time.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

8. There are many, many memorable firsts.

infants, adults, baby poo, intestinal gas

Walking into a house with babies... yep.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

9. Getting to know your post-baby body is an adventure.

lactation, friendship, me time, breast pump

Have a spare shirt ready to go.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

10. Pumping ain't for wimps.

convenient pregnancy aids, pumping, breast feeding, baby formula

Looking behind the magic of a breast pump.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

11. You become very comfortable with spit-up. Very comfortable.

possetting, infancy,

No need to duck.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

12. Your body, mind, and most importantly, heart, will expand in ways you didn't know possible.

body and mind awareness, love, family, mothers

There are going to be changes.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

This story first appeared on Hippe Birth Cards and is reprinted here with permission.


This article originally appeared on 09.13.17

Health

5 things I didn't want to hear when I was grieving and 1 thing that helped

Here are my top five things not to say to a grieving parent — and the thing I love to hear instead.


In 2013, I found out I was pregnant with triplets.

Image via iStock.

My husband and I were in shock but thrilled at the news after dealing with infertility for years. And it didn't take long for the comments to begin. When people found out, the usual remarks followed: "Triplets?! What are you going to do? Three kids at once?! Glad it's not me!"

After mastering my response (and an evil look reserved for the rudest comments), I figured that was the worst of it. But little did I know I would be facing far worse comments after two of my triplets passed away.

On June 23, 2013, I gave birth to my triplets, more than four months premature.

My daughter, Abigail, passed away that same day; my son, Parker, died just shy of 2 months old. Before then, I didn't know much about child loss; it was uncharted territory. Like most people, I wouldn't know how to respond or what to say if a friend's child passed away.

Image via iStock.

But two years later, I have found that some things are better left unsaid. These comments come from a good place, and I know people mean well, but they sure do sting.

Here are my top five things not to say to a grieving parent — and the thing I love to hear instead.


1. "Everything happens for a reason."

It's a cringeworthy comment for those of us who have lost a child. Sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason for why things happen in life. A parent should not outlive their child. I don't know why my body couldn't handle my pregnancy or why I went into labor at 22 weeks.

This phrase goes along with another I often hear: "God only gives us what we can handle." I remember talking with my childhood rabbi the night before my son passed away, and I asked her, "Why me?" Her response is something I now live by every single day. She said, "God doesn't give us only what we can handle. He helps us handle what we've been given."

2. "They are in a better place."

Instead of comforting, this is a phrase that makes me feel down in the dumps. I longed to be a parent for so many years. And children are meant to be in the loving arms of their parents.

I think I speak for every grieving mother and father when I say, we would give anything to hold our babies again.

3. "At least you have one survivor. Count your blessings."

I like to think of myself as a positive person. But even two years later, my heart still aches for Parker and Abby. And on the most difficult, dark days of grief, it's hard to "count my blessings."

Yes, I am blessed. I have a gorgeous miracle child who is the light of my life. But Peyton should be playing with her brother and sister in our home, not just waving to their pictures and blowing kisses to heaven.

4. "You are still young. You can have more children."

It doesn't matter whether or not our biological clock is ticking. Many people have no idea what couples go through to have a child: Some can't have children of their own; others may face years of infertility or miscarriages. And for people like me, trying for more children may be something too scary to even think about. I came close to death after delivering my children — that's enough to scar me for life.

5. "I don't know how you do it. I couldn't imagine losing two children."

Some days I don't know how I do it either. But we learn how to live with it. We learn a "new normal," and in those tough moments, we celebrate that we survived the day. This comment is a difficult reminder of our grief and the children who were sent to heaven.

So, what should you say to a grieving parent?

Image via iStock.

There are no words to take the pain away, of course, but simply letting that person know you are there for them is more than enough.

For me, the best thing someone can do is to talk about my angels. Say Parker and Abby by name, and don't be afraid to ask questions about them.

While they were only here for a short time, they left a huge imprint on this world. I love talking about my angels, and simply hearing someone else mention them by name is enough to wipe away the grief and warm my heart for days.


This article was written by Stacey Skrysak and originally appeared on 7.15.16