the beginning of mamahood

in the days following alba’s birth the world was a different place. in many ways we had been reborn and all was new again. we lived in a warm haze that had settled softly over our family. we felt there was nothing in the universe but us and all was as it should be. when alba was hungry in the middle of the night we’d both wake (bright-eyed like we’d never been asleep) and watch her. we’d watch her for hours on end, quiet smiles playing on our lips, taking all of her in. sometimes i’d burst out crying because she was so tiny, fragile and helpless and i couldn’t bear it. for the first time in my life i felt completely selfless.

my breasts filled with milk and the heaviness added a few faint stretchmarks to my collection. these are my mama lines, and the oils i bought long ago to make them vanish have been left alone. they are a reminder of who i am, and i am proud. m traces these lines often and tells me how thankful he is that i grew and nurtured our little light.

in the early weeks our girl began smiling sweetly, and soon those smiles had become giggles. at 2 months she would give the most delicious deep belly laughs to her papa, who may well be the silliest man she’ll ever know. people in the streets would remark on what a happy baby she was. we began to learn her cues, and soon we could help her before she had any need to cry.

we kept waiting for the sleepless nights we’d be promised but thankfully they didn’t come. instead we all oversleep late into the day, feeling too comforted to leave our cosy bed. this is the beauty of sleeping together.

even from the beginning it was like alba had always been a part of our lives. in a way she has, the little blue-eyed girl i had always dreamt about. when i was younger i’d press a doll to my heart and pretend it was my baby, now i press alba to me. how many times i had imagined doing the things i do now. kissing her nose, bathing her, waking up to her smiling face.

i feel impatient at times for her to grow into a little girl whose hair i can plait, who i can have whimsical conversations with and bake with. but i know that time will come and for now i treasure her complete dependence.

in the past my want for a baby had led me to read hundreds of articles and books on babies/parenting. but now that i am a mama, i realise all i needed to do was trust my natural instincts. we discovered we were what most would call attachment parents and regardless of the label, can’t imagine not breastfeeding, babywearing and co-sleeping.

slowly we have watched her eyes focus, her dancer hands steady and her weight double. she is still only three months old but has already made so many friends, been photographed by a fashion photographer for a jewellery campaign, travelled on a roadtrip interstate, had a lullaby written & recorded for her by elle graham, watched her papa shoot a music video & mama shoot a myer campaign and had gifts sent to her by strangers all over the world. she is a very lucky girl, and we are even luckier to call her our own.

life (for the first time in years) is idling by. the airport no longer feels like home. we miss it but we know our next overseas adventure will come before we know it. in the meantime it’s nice just watching alba grow, reading on the balcony, cooking with veges and herbs from our garden, writing and making up our own rules to scrabble.

the things that alba likes best: the glowing moon, falling asleep milk-drunk against my chest, family showers, laying with her ear over her papa’s heart, being worn, laughing when we are laughing, stroking her own head when she is sleepy, any and all lights, papa playing guitar, mama making up songs about her, playing piano on the ipad, holding my hand while breastfeeding, squealing like a crazy animal and being naked in front of the fire.

79 love notes

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  2. Hello! You photos are so wonderful. So is you baby. All the love in the world for you, thank you for sharing these beautiful lines and pictures.

  3. i absolutely love your blog. you’re a very great artist and an inspiration for thousands of young photographers.i wish the best for you and your little family.

  4. Nirrimi,
    Your photos have inspired me since we were both such young girls on dA. Four years ago I gave birth to my sunshine Lylia Jude and then 20 months later to my Scarlett Ameli. I want you to know that you are an amazing mother and an extraordinary human being. Your words touch so deeply into my heart that you’ve made me your friend. I hope if you’re ever in Arizona or Las Vegas that we may meet someday. I know we would be fast friends.
    By the way, the photo of Alba where the sun is kissing her face she is Nirrimi II! Amazingly Beautiful. And please let Matt know He is wonderful as well. His photos are pure and touching.

  5. Nirrimi,
    When I read your birth story I cried. Probably cause I also was pregnant and I was very senitive at that moment. It was so beautiful so I had to let my boyfriend read it to. He was also very touched.
    Now our little baby boy Sonny Lou is 6 weeks old. We are enyoing every second of this little angel.
    I wish you and you family the best! You are so beautiful together!

    Have a look at my prince here,

    Anna in Paris

  6. Nirrimi,
    You are so beautiful! When I first came across you blog, I was so refreshed at your love for life. I even cried reading your ‘about me’ section. Thank you for sharing your life with the world. You are truly an inspiration. You are an incredible mother. I am a young mother too and a photographer. Your success in photography has encouraged me. Thanks again.

  7. This post is truly amazing I have two little girls and reading this made tears pour down my cheeks as I was flooded with memories of their baby-hood. You are simply exquisite and I am so excited to have stumpled on your blog. Enjoy her baby days although it is a lovely gift to watch them grow it happens in a flash! Congats<3

  8. What a beautifull little story about your little daugther!
    I really enjoy reading your blog because you write with soo much love.. Thank you for reminding me what really matters in life..

  9. such an amazing written text and such a sweet little girl! one can feel the love you have for her in all the words and all the photos – thanks for sharing these feelings! <3

  10. Amazing photos and a beautiful baby girl! You are by far one of the most talented photographers I have ever stumbled across. All the best to you and your family.

  11. Such beautiful pictures & a wonderful and inspiring story!
    She’s such a cute & perfect little girl, no doubt you’re happy & love her with all your heart.
    But I really want to ask how old you are. You look really young. (I don’t think it’s something wrong with that, just so you know)
    I really wish you all luck & think you will have a wonderful life with her.

  12. You take the most breathe-taking pictures I’ve ever seen, they all look like they’re from a beautiful film. I love them all, and wish your family all the best!

  13. She is so beautiful and you guys are so happy together! I love your blog and read it almost every day. Your life seems to be so perfect. I wish you and your little family so much luck from Finland <3

  14. just so so beautiful…what a muse she is and will be for the two of you in the years to come… 🙂

  15. Beautiful pictures – I used to have a little smocked dress just like that pink one when I was her age, there are photo’s of me in it. I’ll be dressing my daughter in them someday.

    She’s so gorgeous.

  16. You’ve described the magic of those first weeks so beautifully… and illustrated with such gorgeous photographs. I especially love the one of you breastfeeding during hair and makeup… sweetness.

  17. This is so beautiful…you’ve described being a mother for the first time perfectly. There is nothing quite like it! Your Alba is beautiful! x

  18. Mumahood is an honour and a privilege and you have described so eloquently the beauty wrapped up in the everyday with your baby. There is nothing quite like the newborn haze and the stillness and quiet it brings. But you know what….it just keeps getting better. Just when you think it couldn’t be any more beautiful, there’s new growth and change that leaves you in awe. That is the blessing of being a Muma x

  19. Loving your marks and forgetting your oils…I am so humbled. I am also a young mother and I found losing my abdomen to marks surprisingly upsetting. I try to be proud, I know what they mean and why they are there…but they also make me afraid. Afraid that if I ever end up alone, no-one will love them like N does. That if I ever expose them young girls will be afraid to get pregnant for fear of ruining their bodies. Afraid that I care too much. You have inspired me to move on and to embrace them. Perhaps if more women like you and I see the beauty in them, others will too.

  20. Your photos are breathtaking, I’ve read everything you ‘ve ever published on your former blog and you inspire me every day. I feel so grateful that my friend sent me a link on your blog one rainy day while i was living in Paris last year. Yesterday I started my own blog and that would have never happened without having read yours. Stay happy and smile, life is so wonderful we don’t wanna die.

  21. She is so beautiful. She looks just like you. What a beautiful life you will all have together. So excited for all of the pictures to come.

  22. your family is so beautiful, your love for one another is so beautiful, the photos you take to document it is so beautiful.
    my heart swells with every photo
    thank you for sharing, these pictures always make me feel hopeful
    happy mothers day to you!

  23. Nirrimi, your words are so beautiful and these photos are incredible. Alba is precious and has so much beauty. Those bath pics are my fav, you can tell she loves water. x

  24. this was so beautiful to read !
    such a sweet and tender hearted family
    Happy mothers day you beautiful soul !!

  25. This is beautiful, nirrimi. May alba grow up into a healthy, wonderful girl, and happy mother’s day to you!
    Much love, xxx

  26. Dear Nirrimi,
    Thank you so much for sharing these moments of Alba’s joy! She is the sweetest little bean to behold, and she must be even more of a sunbeam in person with those belly laughs and sleepy smiles. So much love from me in New Zealand being sent your way on this mama’s day. I can’t wait to be a mother myself; I have my lover and I have my love of life and words and I feel so blessed, so I know that any time will be the right time for a little one to join us. I am 20, and seeing you blossom and follow your heart has been such an inspiration. Congratulations on the beautiful new blog space! x

  27. It’s hard to think of a more popular, well-loved baby. She is beautiful – just like her parents, like her home, like your photographs. I can’t wait to watch her grow and laugh and love. ^_^

    Your readers are eager for more! Thankyou for sharing and delighting with you the marvel that is your daughter.

    Much, much love,
    Jessica xo

  28. Nirrimi, you and M. are a true inspiration to anyone out there. Your lives sound like a fairy tale. The happiness and how thankful you both are for the lives that you lead and (even better) for each other, this is just something so amazing!

    I’m a little surprised that I didn’t cry reading this blog post, it was so beautiful and full of love. I remember reading your other blog before you even were pregnant and I remember how you have then always wanted to be a mother and how much then you sounded like a very good one. I’m the same age as you and I don’t yet want to have a baby (for a few years) but I now, similarly to you then, think and dream of a lovely little child that I can love with all my heart one day. I would SO love to be half as good of a mother as you are. Wow, I cant quite believe I have just written all this, I haven’t told anyone any of this. Sorry for pouring everything out here like this!

    I wish the three of you a wonderful day!

  29. I already know all of those pictures but I never get tired of looking at them with a big smile and just being totally amazed by your little girl and all this love in every single detail. My favourite photo is the one where Alba looks over your knees with these huge curious eyes- still makes me giggling 😀 Have a wonderful mommas day!

  30. oh my god, i feel like crying, she is so so so so beautiful! her smile is gorgeous. thank you for sharing these beautiful moments with us. happy mother’s day to you!

  31. I love your new blog, everything about your life always takes me away from the dull life I live. I enjoy taking in everything, everytime you post. Alba is GORGEOUS! I cannot wait to see her grow up!

  32. I cannot wait until she grows older and you can plait her hair!! She is just so astoundingly gorgeous, words cannot describe the beauty of this life! I just cannot wait!
    She may be like a delicate flower nirrimi, but she gets it from her mother, through and through!

  33. Dear Nirrimi,

    She is so overwhelmingly, heartwarmingly, smileinspiringly beautiful. I feel blessed to be able to read about your little family and to see these photographs that are just bursting with love and light. You are extraordinary parents, and Alba is indeed one lucky girl. It is amazing to think how many of us (around the world!) feel such love for her and for the three of you.

    Thank you for this.

    Love, Abigail

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