Welcome, Little Brother Merritt

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Roscoe’s family has been pretty special to me ever since I photographed his birth back in 2009.  The plan was to photograph his little brother Merritt’s birth as well but Merritt had his own plans… he arrived 7 weeks early!  Safe and healthy, thank goodness, but definitely not a candidate for home birth or an ideal photography scenerio.  For over a month after Merritt’s birth, Jacqueline spent her days in the NICU doing everything possible to be there for her baby while Andy and Roscoe held down the fort at home.   It was an extremely frustrating and split existence for Roscoe’s family, both necessary for Merritt’s safety but against the grain of all parental instincts.  Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to jump in the car and make the drive to see this family reunited: healthy, happy, and adjusting well to a new life together.

Hey, Roscoe.  I love that his famous bunny is in the background of my greeting shot.

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Roscoe isn’t even two yet but he’s so enthusiastic about his little brother.  “Mairt!!!”, he cried and held out his arms to hold his little brother…  Merritt, however, may not be so sure about this.

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But it was all kisses.

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I remember the phone call well, I had called a friend to see how her family was adjusting to baby #2 and asked about her eldest.  “Oh, he’s fine most of the time”, she said, “but he has started nursing a stuffed shark.”  I remember laughing out loud but is it really any surprise when kids imitate their parents?  Its especially nice when children grow up knowing that breast feeding is just a normal part of family life, something that this country has yet to really accept in the public sphere.  So you go, Roscoe, you feed that hungry baby… anywhere you want, buddy…

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nursing

The past couple months have been a real bonding experience for Roscoe and Andy, who spent a lot of time together while Jacqueline tended to Merritt in the hospital.  I really enjoyed photographing the boys together.

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I love this beautiful portrait of Jacqueline because its also a beautiful portrait of motherhood.

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Ah, new baby smell.  It kicks new car smell to the curb every time.

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Its amazing how much Merritt looks like his older brother when he’s sleeping.  That’s newborn Roscoe, on top, and Merritt below.  Crazy, huh?

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But, when awake, Merritt has expressions all his own.  That, and a pretty cool baby mohawk.  He’s going to have a style all his own…

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spikeyhair

While the nursery, understandably, isn’t quite finished yet, its got such a cool star and space theme going on that I can’t wait to see it when its complete!  Andy and Jacqueline painted his zodiac constellation on the wall as well as the GPS coordinates of the house.  Which I hope they keep, because even though Merritt wasn’t born an Aries or at home, who would be the wiser?  Its so creative and full of love…  Oh, and a cool twist of fate: in the NICU, Merritt was given a blanket at random made by a volunteer which just so happened to have a space theme.  So the plan really was written in the stars!  I couldn’t help but include that blanket in few shots against the star wall, it complimented the sleepy little star gazer.

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happyjacqueline

Here’s a slideshow from the day and click here to view the online gallery.  Jacqueline and Andy, congratulations on yet another beautiful boy and thanks once again for bringing me out to document this little slice of life.  Its definitely the good life…

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goodtimes

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again

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