I had big plans when I was pregnant to send out gorgeous birth announcements in the weeks after our son’s birth. In my mind the birth announcements would wing their way out across the world to friends and family in Australia and England showing off our new arrival and thanking people for any gifts and well wishes. Dean, while I’m not sure he really understood why I was so attached to the idea of birth announcements, was totally supportive but urged me to take it easy. We didn’t know what it would be like after the baby arrived. But the vision was there. A fresh, red faced baby wrapped in a stylish swaddle and adorable hat, tucked up in a hospital bassinet. I even took photography props and my camera to the hospital!
Well, need I say things didn’t quite go to plan. My birth left me bruised, broken and struggling to adapt to being a mum. Oscar ended up being delivered by forceps as we were both in distress, so my pretty hospital photos went out the window as he had enormous forced marks on his little face. Oh, and we got placed in a total cave of a shared room at the hospital so I couldn’t have taken a decent picture in there even if I had the strength to lift my camera.
Then we got home and spent weeks trying to find our feet. Being parents is hard work, and Oscar had his work cut out for him training us up for our new roles. I took pictures, of course, but none of them seemed quite right for the birth announcement that I’d had in mind.
Finally, after Dean had gone back to work and I was just starting to feel vaguely like I could figure this whole thing out, I tasked myself with taking some pictures. Oscar had just started to do little smiles, and his little arms and legs were chunking up faster than ever. He was growing up before my eyes. So I laid him down, got my camera out, and snapped some shots. As soon as I started shooting I knew one of these pictures would be the birth announcement photo. In the end I couldn’t decide myself what to put on there, so Dean made the final choice. I still love both the images, but the cheeky smile has certainly won me, and a lot of others, over.
We did the birth announcements with Snapfish, and they were great. Super good quality and we got a great deal (look out for their coupons they’re almost always running some kind of sale). There isn’t a lot of space to write on the cards, so we ended up leaving out his length (which ended up being wrong anyway) and his time of birth in favour of both the metric and imperial measurement of his weight, because with family and friends split between Australia and England, it seemed to be all people were asking about. We also wrote little messages of thanks on the back for people who had sent along well wishes and presents, and finally got them sent out around the 6-week mark. I never felt to successful and accomplished as the day I mailed the last of them off, waking out of the post office while Oscar napped in the pram. Sure, they weren’t how I had imagined them, but I’ll be damned if they weren’t perfect.