HV Parent Visits Winner of "Expectant Mom" Contest

HV Parent visits our new littlest resident

Dylan Corey Rheal has arrived. And last March, when he was roughly six weeks old, HVParent visited him and his parents for his first photo shoot. His mom, Marci, had entered HV Parent’s “Expectant Moms” competition, and won.  The family, in their Sunday best, were in the good hands of photographer Loretta Wolff, of Wanamaker Photography, as she set up blankets and specialty lighting in the Rheal’s baby-friendly, comfortably-warmed family room.  This professional photo shoot – one of four – is part of the prize package.  

Both parents doted over the now sleeping Dylan, lying in a battery-operated vibrating carrier.  He was as serene as can be as the adults moved about making sure all is ready.  Occasionally, he hiccuped, which coming from a six-week-old baby is just the cutest thing. 

(Left: Dad holds his newborn as Loretta looks on)

Dad, Corey, remarked at some of the changes his new baby boy has brought to their lives, “Before, it was all about us,” he says, his hand never far from the baby carrier, “Now it’s all about him.”  It’s very clear Dad is hands on, and has been from the start:  “The OB/GYN office was near my job, so I could go along,” he says.    

Marci remarks that she had no idea what to expect during her pregnancy, and continued to work at her full time job as a school psychologist in Orange County to the very end. There was little distress, except for an odd aversion to chicken breasts.  “To me,” she said, “they smelled terrible.”   And during the middle of her pregnancy, for some reason, she could not eat salad.  But as she tries to lose some of the baby pounds, she’s eating both again, but avoiding gassy foods and citrus.  “I love orange juice,” she said, “but it gave Dylan acid reflux.”  So out when the orange juice for awhile.      

There is one thing Marci finds challenging: the simple task of going out.  “We were told not to have him in public for awhile,” and says she is only taking him for short walks with him in a baby sling.  Where is the carriage, we ask.  “Still to be put together,” she says. Their comments are typical of the new parenting world:  not knowing what to expect, working out new schedules, trying to keep up with all the work that has to be done, and most of it coming without a manual. 

Except, maybe, the carriage. 

Enjoy the shots of our newest little resident, Dylan, as he grows and changes.  We will be back with new ones every three months, until his big blow-out of a first birthday party.   

Let’s talk about new parenting.  What was the one thing that totally floored you about parenting?  Was it the lack of sleep?  Was it easier than you thought?  Was it frightening on some level: taking care of a baby?  Was it the constant advice from well-meaning friends and family?  You tell us.  I’m sure there are great stories out there.