Sunday, October 10, 2010


The afternoon photo shoot only went marginally better. The boys were just OFF. The most off they've been in memory.
We didn't get great shots and we spent a lot of money.
Word to the wise: Get your baby shots taken while they are still babies. After they've started crawling is TOO late.
I meant to do it. I did. I talked about it at the beginning of the summer. I contacted photographers. And then I stalled. I still very, very strange not having "my" money anymore and felt like it was an added expense that really wasn't necessary. But as time passed, I realized I really wanted these photos and it turned out Chicken was completely supportive of the cost. There was no need to worry.

Now, I'm just sad.
I'm sad because I never got those itty, bitty baby photos that are so gorgeous and serene and innocent.
I'm sad because I will never be pregnant again and I'll never get the chance to go back and get those photos.
I'm really upset with myself for not taking the time to get some better 'twin' shots of the boys when they were small. I'm ashamed that I thought I didn't look good enough to have my photo taken with the boys, so as a result I have very few photos of me and my babies.
The whole thing fills me with guilt and I feel like I let my boys down. That I didn't get those perfect baby photos.

I realized something today. I think I really did have PPD. I simply could.not.function at a level other new moms--even twin moms--seem to function. Poppy, I can't imagine taking a baby photo shoot at 3 weeks!
I have not been able to ever write my birth story because it makes me so sad and confused.
I spent months in a haze just getting by on a day-to-day level and I swear, if it weren't for Chicken, I don't know how I would have made it. There were horrible--so horrible I've never blogged about it and only Chicken knows--things going on in my head and so many tears shed.
I'm better now and I know things are going to be OK.
I wish I'd gotten help then.
I really have a lot of regret.

But you know what? My boys faces light up with smiles when I walk in the room so through it all, I must be doing something right. I haven't failed them completely. Sometimes, I just feel like a crappy mother for letting the ball drop and not getting things down. I know it's just 'photos' but it was really important to me and now I'll never have them.

At least I have these sweet faces looking at me everyday.


N said...


Please don't beat yourself up too much. We all do what we need to do, and you have gotten through this, and that's AMAZING. You have chicken and the boys, and they have you, and that is a wonderful thing. ♥

K J and the kids said...

I can HONESTLY say that my most stressful times with my kids has been over pictures.
SERIOUSLY! Even with the's like they know. Kind of like when they are SOUND can pick up an arm and let it drop like a bag of rice to their side...but as you slowly lower yourself to a chair they immediately start to scream.
Yip. just like pictures.

I have found that having ZERO expectations going in to it helps.
It helps me and I think the stresslessness of it helps the kids.
I'm SURE you will have some amazing shots to choose from. With your photographer I have no doubts. They have a way of making the mundane and cranky baby look like a super model for diapers with just some highlights and color variation :)
Keep the faith.

Hanen said...

Huge hugs xxx From what you are saying, that sounds like depression. Sorry to hear you went through that. But so glad to hear you are feeling better. And I'm with n - no point beating yourself up about it - you did the best job you did at the time, and clearly you are getting the important bits right.

If it is any comfort, my mum got photos taken of me before I learned to crawl and they were really bad! I looked like jabba the hut propped up on some lumpy bit of carpet. I'm not saying that in a self-hating way (I was a lovable little jabba) - just to say that even with the best intentions sometimes studio photographers get it very wrong. Whereas all your photos of the boys 'in action' are just beautiful.

Bridgwest said...

I think you've done an awesome job!

I can't imagine how hard it has been for you, having only had singletons, but I know how hard it was for me - there were days (weeks) that were a blur of despair and self doubt, showers missed, meals not worthy of being called that, a house that gave the kids every chance of developing a strong immune system (that is, not too clean).

I wish it had been easier for you, but you, Chicken and your beautiful boys have survived the hardest bit by far and you've realised soon enough the importance of being in lots of pictures. Sure, perfect pics, at all the 'right' ages would be great but in six months or six years (or more) into the future your snaps will be awesome keepsakes, and your yet-to-be-taken pics with you in them, whether looking perfect or not, will be a great gift to you all.

It wasn't until after my Dad died that we realised how few photos he was in... You have tonnes of time to make amends, start today and don't waste any more effort than you have to on what you cannot change. Use the photos you do have to make scrapbook type pages, we were pleasantly surprised how far ours went.

As for PPD, I think the big trick with it is that you get sooo far down that you can't even comprehend that it is possible to feel better but you don't realise it at the time. This is awful, but normal too, not a failing - just traumatic beyond words.

I seem to have waffled alot but I really want you to know that I'm extending you a 'pat on the back' for a job well done (not perfect, perhaps, but there's no requirement on you to be perfect), and a sincere wish that you can move on from your regret so you can fully appreciate those precious little boys (who DO think you are perfect!!)

Keep up the great work and don't put too much pressure on yourselves, give yourself credit instead for surviving the most difficult six months your family is likely to face.

And keep blogging when you can, as you bring hope and comfort to many of us, some who have already survived and some who can't see how we might.

Anonymous said...

Great big hug. I think you are a MAJOR trooper and you inspire me.

Heather said...

getting professional pictures taken of a baby is very stressful! i don't think you're too late though. have you gotten even a sneak peek of the pics your photog took this weekend? you might be surprised at what she was able to capture. i had some pics taken of my babe awhile back, and the day went horribly. the baby was so cranky, wouldn't put up with any of the photog's ideas, we couldn't use any of the cute props she brought along, and i was a sweaty mess by the end of it. i had to call my partner partway through for a pep talk, because i thought i was going to have to just call the whole thing off. after the photog left, and for days and days after the photo shoot, i lamented over how bad the whole thing went and how i felt guilty we spent so much money and i KNEW the pictures were going to be so bad. and then i got the pictures. and my god, the photographer knew what she was doing. the pictures were beautiful, breathtaking, gorgeous and some of my most treasured things to date. they still make me cry every time i look at them. they're the only professional pics we had taken of the baby, and i am so glad we spent the money and that i didn't give up on the dreaded picture day. anyway, all of that is to say that you're not the only one who felt overwhelmed about a baby photo shoot! it's really hard to do! and i really hope your pictures turned out. i bet you will find some keepers to treasure!

tbean said...

Oh Puff. For what it's worth, reading this post, it seems to me not very much about the photos at all. I think your realization about ppd is a huge one. I remember reading your posts in the winter and thinking how much you didn't sound like yourself. I'm glad you are able to see it more in perspective now and I hope that leads to greater healing and forgiveness and gentleness to yourself. Take care of you, babe!

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

I'm so sorry to hear how tough it's been. For what it's worth, I've been in awe from afar at what an amazing job you're doing.

I hope you're feeling better these days. Those handsome guys certainly are a reason to smile! xo

Anonymous said...

Oh Puffer, I saw the pictures and they are so beautiful. You, Chicken and the boys all look wonderful. This is a great age for pictures - the boys are so engaged and smiley. I was really torn about whether we should have done pictures while they were newborns or waited until they were bigger and able to be interactive and show their personalities. The secret to us getting the 3 week pics done was a great photographer. She did our maternity pics and offered us a discount if we got the newborn package too. She then called us after the kids arrived to schedule the shoot instead of waiting for us to call her. Being the mom of twins herself, she knows it might not happen if she doesn't help make it happen.

As for the guilt and regret, being a parent means shouldering the weight of both - x2 if you are parenting twins. While I don't think I have PPD (hindsight may reveal otherwise later down the road) I do relate so well to how overwhelming it is. Let's just go ahead and infer all the wonderful and beautiful things about parenting twins. Let's get out of the way that we feel all those magical things we always imagined we would, because we do. The other reality though is that there are daily tears (mine, Cat's theirs), there is resentment, there is inadaquacy, fear, regret and loss of self. There is pressure to be the mom you want to be being undermined by the limitations of being a new parent and of just being human. It's so much harder than anyone can imagine. I struggle not only with my failures and limitations as a parent but also with my image. I have 3 inches of grow out on my hair color and cut, I have a body that is misshaped by pregnancy, I've lost the gorgeous complection and hair of pregnancy and none of my clothes fit right anymore. Being a parent is everything I hoped it would be and, unfortunatly, so much more difficult. Try to let yourself off the hook mama and I'll try to do the same. We deserve it and we are great parents despite the small mistakes and disappointments and regrets. We have taken on a challenge bigger than nature intended and we're doing it as well as we can - and that IS good enough - I promise.

Call me if you want to chat. I'll try to catch your call if I can, otherwise, FB me.

Anonymous said...

Lurker here...I don't have twins, was spared the fertility odyssey, have a male partner, and my two are out of baby and toddlerhood--in other words, I have seemingly nothing, on the face of it, in common with your family. But I came across your blog about a year ago while googling for something else and come back often because your observations on pregnancy and parenthood sometimes make me laugh out loud! The Club of the Sleepless comes with a life-long membership card, honey: mine are in elementary school and yet I remember how bad it was (and don't worry, they have matured into wonderful sleepers). Two observations on the pictures: your babies seem so big and grown up now, the days of tiny infant-hood gone forever. But guess what? Six months from now, THIS stage will seem far away and the babies teensy and adorable. It's a moving window. Short of hauling them to the photographer's once a week, you will always "miss" something... Second, I thought of your lament when I came across deeply discounted photography services on our school auction site. At the risk of sounding like I'm here just to sell something, here is the link where you can find (under "Services") at least two gift certificates for photography studios (and also many for kid's classes, etc):
But don't knock yourself out. Later you'll have not just photos to take, but first words to record, artwork to file, etc. And you will fail there too, sometimes--somehow we forgot to write down #2's first word, and there are pieces of artwork I was intent on saving that wound up in the trash. Oh, and did I mention we never got videos of #1 learning to speak, which everyone told us to record because it was so cute? It is what it is. The standards we set for ourselves are impossibly high. We do our best. Good luck to you and yours.

Next in Line said...

I am thinking that all those snap shots when they were babies and the wacky professional shoot you just had have really captured the up and down craziness of having babies especially two! Puffer you are too cool for school. You went to Argentina with twin babies. They have been on tv. You seriously rock. These boys are going to have so many adventures with you and Chicken. I can't imagine that they will look back as adults and complain because they didn't have a professional photo shoot earlier.

Anonymous said...

Hey Puffer, I've been meaning to comment on this post for a while. One of Rose's very best friends - she gave birth in August - had a horrible birth story, and it's been on my mind a lot over the past weeks and months, and your realization that you were left sad and confused after your birth rang a little bell for me. She has been struggling a lot with what I think is probably PTSD rather than PPD - I can't even begin to list all the things that didn't go her way and all the physical pain and confusion that she suffered - and it was followed by a belief that all the reasons her child was difficult was because of how she came into the world. Guilt. Regret. Sadness. Helplessness. I'm so sorry it had to go that way for you (and her). You clearly have a natural ability to keep things in perspective and look on the bright side (one of the reasons your blog is so readable!), and it sounds like the boys' birth was a hard one to work through, but it's okay if you're still working through it. Anyway, I was glad that you were able to share that it was hard and be honest about your regrets - we are told to be so freakin' happy about being a new mom that there isn't always room for complicated feelings.

Marcia (123 blog) said...

I am so with you.

I have a single friend (donor sperm) of twin boys who managed not one, but two photo shoots in their first 3 months.

I told her she is a rock star because for me, the first 4 months were a blur.

I finally got my A into gear at 4 and a half months for a photoshoot and then nothing again (it's been too busy chasing them around) until next Sat (9 days and counting :)) This time I hope they smile and do their thing but my expectations are fairly low. All I know is if she manages to get both of them looking in the same direction and CUTE all at the same time, she's doing TONS better than I ever did :)

TBG said...

I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!! I didn't do any pregnancy pictures... nor newborn pictures.... and I didnt even do their hand or foot prints.... I'm so sad about it but my mom has been good to remind me how crazy newborn life with twins is and the fact that my twins came home 6 days apart, which entailed me going to the hospital 3-4x a day to visit the one still in the NICU while also taking care of the one at home. Then, after getting 2nd at NICU home, the 1st got sick with Pyloric Stenosis (nightmare getting to a diagnosis!) and ended up having surgery and I spent a week with him at the hospital. all of those photo shoots and hand/foot prints kind of got lost in the midst of it all. I understand your regret, i have it, too. Like you said, you have happy, healthy babies, so you must have done SOMETHING right. :) Plus, fortunately I think boys are a little less into seeing all of those pictures anyways haha... lucky us ;o) hehe Our saving grace.

Eva said...

Wow. You really are too damn hard on yourself. You are a great mom and your boys will always know that and cherish you and everything that you did to get them. They are very lucky. xo