hazel june (yes, she shares a name with my own daughter!) was the first baby born in the birth suite at Grand Rapids' first free-standing, midwife-staffed, out-of-hospital birth space, Cedar Tree Birth & Wellness, a place i'm so excited now exists. hers was a quiet and smooth birth, two adjectives that you could also use to describe her parents.
dana is a counselor and russ is a musician. together they've made this nurturing and peaceful home, filled with the sounds of records playing and the wild greenery of growing things. two times i came into their home to photograph them in their newborn haze. the first time we had grey skies and funky moods, and though we still got some lovely shots out of it, i asked them if i could come back for a supplemental session when there was some sunshine streaming in the windows. from that session came even more loveliness. my favorite: the ones in which russ is playing his cello for his wife and daughter. i actually would have been quite happy to take off my photographer hat in that moment and just linger a long while in the music.
i love this little baby girl's wild blond hair, and her wide eyes. i love the way she is being held in quietness and affection. and i especially love what her mama had to say about her experience of motherhood thus far:
I believe four weeks of motherhood can only be described in moments. I have felt much gratitude for a healthy baby and supportive husband, awe that this beautiful being grew inside of me, disbelief that I was ever pregnant, overwhelmed, isolated, speechless, in love, humored, lucky, and definitely blessed to be a mother.
these early days with a newborn are a story worth telling, a sliver of life that feels both eternal and fleeting. have me come by and catch it for you, so you can revisit it whenever you want.