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Newborn Photographers Rogers Arkansas | Zane

Sweet baby Zane came to my studio for his newborn session when he was just shy of two weeks old, while he was still so tiny and sleepy. I loved getting to know his sweet mom and dad, hearing their love story, and learning all about their sweet boy and how much parenthood has changed their lives already. (It’s amazing how quickly and drastically your life changes when these little people join your family.)

Zane was such a good little guy during his very first photo session. He was such a widdle squish and I fell completely in love with his little cowlick. He was the sweetest!

Meet my new little friend, Zane Alexander.

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Newborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Claire

I  met Brittany and Don when we got together for their maternity session at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville. They drove up from Fort Smith for that very special night where we could photograph and celebrate their joy over their sweet, growing baby. I just completely fell in love with their little family that night and couldn’t wait to see them again with baby in tow and hear all about how magical parenthood was with a brand new little babe.

When their little Claire was just shy of two weeks, they came up again for her newborn session. She may have given us all a run for our money that day, and proved how patient you have to be as a newborn photographer :) but she was soooo worth it!

Allow me to introduce you to my little friend named Claire along with some of the sweetest stories and sentiments from her beautiful mom and dad.

Newborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasClaire is our rainbow baby, so we actually kept our news very quiet for a while. As the pregnancy progressed, we slowly told people, and the genuine excitement and support we received meant a lot to us.

“From the very beginning, I just knew she was a girl! In January, we had a friend look at the results gender and call a local bakery. I picked the cake up (But didn’t peek, promise!) so Don and I could open it together. As soon as we saw the pink writing, Don laughed and I started jumping up and down yelling, ‘I was right! I was right!’ and we shared a big hug.”

Newborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest Arkansas“Claire Ann was always our first choice for a little girl name. We tossed a few others around, but deep down I think we always knew we would come back to it.

“Claire is my maternal grandmother’s name, and she was named after HER grandmother. She is one of my very favorite people and has always said that she and I both ‘march to the beat of or own drum.’ She is smart, talented, lovely and kind, and has been a source of love and support in every phase of my life.

“Ann is Don’s late mother’s name. I never had the opportunity to meet Don’s mother, but she is very special to him and he was excited when he learned that Ann is my middle name. She was very generous and made everyone feel special and important, so it was very easy to come to an agreement that we would have Claire Ann. My mother and Don’s oldest daughter also have Ann as their middle name, so there are even more family ties!”

Newborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest Arkansas“My pregnancy was relatively uneventful, and I was fortunate that it was quite easy. I worked until the day I went into labor, and pretty much lived life normally (sans sushi and wine) until she was born!
There was one morning that I woke up, and Don had his hand on my stomach. He told me that she had been twirling and twisting, and he had just been laying there, feeling her move. That is one of my fondest memories, because it was the first moment he and Claire shared between just the two of them. I loved feeling her move inside me, and after she was born it was fun to actually see what she had been doing in there!”

Newborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest Arkansas“There were a few things about parenthood that I was most excited about, but the big ones were having her fall deep asleep on my chest, and feeling her sweet, little fingers wrap around mine. The first time each of those happened, I cried big, fat, happy tears. They seem like small moments but, after years of wanting a child, they meant the world to me.”

Don: “I was most excited (and scared) about being a stay at home dad. I knew it would be rewarding, but also challenging.”

“Parenthood is nothing like I expected! Can anything really prepare you for it? Some days I feel overwhelmed with gratitude, other days, just overwhelmed. ;) The first few weeks were an exhausting, emotional blur, but as Claire grows, it gets easier and we have somewhat found our groove. Seeing a person basically learn everything from scratch has been incredible, and watching Don immediately fall in love with our daughter has brought me an immense amount of joy. Some days it still feels like a dream, and I can’t believe this perfect little person is ours!”

Newborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest Arkansas“Labor didn’t go as planned, but we still have very fond memories of those days. Yes, days. I went into labor on July 11th at 11 pm, and Claire was born 1:30 am on the 14th. I didn’t even realize I was in labor until my water broke, and had been trying to convince Don they were just Braxton-Hicks contractions. He was very nervous that I was going to have Claire in the tunnel on 540. ;) I labored for 18 hours at the Birth Center, then had to transfer to Mercy Rogers, where I labored for 18 more until she was finally born! Labor in the hospital was no big deal, and I remember feeling very proud of myself when a nurse told me that I was so composed, she was surprised that it was my first child.

“Don was unflappable during the whole process. At the only scary point in labor, we were almost done and Claire’s heart rate plummeted while I was pushing. The doctor told me to rest for 3 contractions and give her a break, and I became very frightened for her. The nurse put an oxygen mask on me and I started to panic, until I felt Don squeeze my hand and looked him in the eyes. He was calm and collected, and I knew that it was going to be ok.

“I honestly don’t remember my first thought after Claire was born. She was placed on my chest, wailing her little heart out, and as the nurses rubbed her I just kept saying, “Oh. Oh. Oh” with my hands held high. I think I was in shock. I didn’t touch her until one of the nurses told me that I could, and shortly thereafter I asked the room, “Is this normal?” The nurses laughed and said that her crying was a very good sign.”
Don: “My first thought after Claire was born was relief that she and Brittany were ok. My second thought was that Claire was perfect, her cone head excepted.”

Newborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasClaire is good-natured and easy going, but can have quite a temper. Snuggling is her love language! She is happiest on my chest, nuzzled into my neck, or in the crook of Dad’s arm and his side. After twilight nursing sessions, when I am lying next to her waiting for her to fall into a deep, she will reach for me and finally rests when we are as close as possible.”

Newborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest ArkansasNewborn Photography NWA & River Valley | Erica Kirby Photography baby girl newborn session in Bentonville Northwest Arkansas“I have very little advice to offer new parents, as I feel like I am still figuring things out. :) But, definitely have pictures taken when they are still very small! I was so tired, I only vaguely even remember Claire’s shoot with you! I am so grateful to have photos that help me remember the details of when she was itty-bitty.

“The only other piece of advice I have is to let go of any expectations of what parenthood will be like, and just roll with the punches. Oh, and let your housekeeping and laundry slide as long as you can. Babies change so quickly and time goes by so fast, and no one treasures the memories of all the laundry they folded.”

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Newborn Baby Photographers NWA | Brady

Sweet little Brady and her gorgeous mama (who bears a striking resemblance to Blake Lively – amiright??) came in for a short and sweet swaddled newborn session when baby girl was a little over a week old. She definitely showed up to the party ready to play and suck on those perfect little fingers but eventually, with enough swaddling, she took just enough of a nap for some sweet sleepy images.

I love the simplicity in her session. The soft muted tones, the effortless swaddled posing, and some sweet mama snuggles. It’s all just the most perfect way to remember her when she was brand new and so tiny.

Allow me to introduce my newest little friend, Brady, and her beautiful mama, Callie.

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Newborn Photographers Fayetteville AR | Briella

I met Briella’s gorgeous mom and dad when they came to my studio for their maternity session just a few months ago. I love getting to spend time with these little families, before their babes arrive, and experience their excitement and joy over this amazing time in their lives. Then, to see them just a little while later with that sweet one in their arms during their newborn session, it’s the most beautiful thing.

Briella was even more adorable than I thought she would be (and that’s saying alot because I KNEW she was going to be gorgeous!). Her perfectly side-swept blonde tresses were just too much, and those cheeks and that little button nose, I mean, common! She was so perfectly squishy and such a good little sleepy girl.

Allow me to introduce, sweet baby Briella (along with some sweet thoughts from her mama).

Newborn Photographers Fayetteville AR - Baby girl newborn photography photo session studio styled natural session - erica kirby photography“We first shared the news with family with custom footballs I had made.  We shared the news publicly at our annual Football Banquet in December 2016.”

Newborn Photographers Fayetteville ARNewborn Photographers Fayetteville AR“We learned the gender of our baby in the privacy of our home, just the two of us. We had a date night and came home to cupcakes that revealed the gender (pink inside meant Girl!). It was an emotional and special moment I will remember forever.  I never thought I’d cry over cupcakes.”

Newborn Photographers Fayetteville ARNewborn Photographers Fayetteville ARNewborn Photographers Fayetteville ARNewborn Photographers Fayetteville AR“Our daughter has my middle name, Nichole. We played with names for a while.  One night my husband suggested Bella.  We liked Bella.  The next night we were talking outside by the pool and I suggested Briella.  We both loved it, and knew that was it.  I liked that it shared some of my husband’s first name, too. We call her Bella a lot at home. So I can see us calling her Bella for short.”

Newborn Photographers Fayetteville ARNewborn Photographers Fayetteville ARNewborn Photographers Fayetteville AR“[When I was pregnant] I was most excited about holding and nursing our baby girl.  It has been such a wonderful bonding experience to nurse our daughter and I’m thankful for that. “

Newborn Photographers Fayetteville ARNewborn Photographers Fayetteville ARNewborn Photographers Fayetteville AR“I loved Nesting! I feel like I’m a nester anyways, but during pregnancy I cleaned out every room and every drawer in my house and was able to donate a lot in the process.

“Baby prep went well.  I started early.  We demo-ed a guest bedroom/bathroom and started fresh so that was a lot of fun to pick things out for her.
I spent hours online shopping for baby essentials, reading reviews and blogs from other mommy’s.”

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