Photographer captures raw reality of first year of motherhood

And photographer (and brand-new mum) Christina Riley has documented everything that newborn photo shoots don't show about new motherhood, and compiled all of her photos into an online photo book.

Christina, 34,  spent the first year of her baby's life capturing the isolation she felt – one that so many other new mums also experience, but aren't so quick to share.

She said, "Nothing can really prepare you for how you might feel or deal with the sudden change of having a baby. For me, the experience was a lot more difficult than I expected."

"I felt so much guilt for missing the freedom and simplicity of my old life. I felt so lost and alone.

"It was very confusing because while feeling all of those difficult emotions, I was also falling completely in love with my daughter."

Christina wrote: "When my daughter was born, all of the emotions I was experiencing made me feel so guilty because I didn't know it was normal to feel so displaced, confused and lonely."

After compiling her collection of moving, raw photos for a year, she put them all into a photobook – called Born.

"After showing the work to people, including other mothers, so many of them expressed how they could relate to my experience," she said.

"Not a lot of parents want to talk about what can be the darker times of parenting, but Born is an honest window into that part of it, as well as the journey through self-discovery and love.

"I think a lot of mothers can relate to the picture where I'm crying over my screaming daughter. It looks so harsh, but in that moment I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and frustrated. Things were so out of control."

"A photo which I believe is pretty powerful, is the one where my daughter is crying on a black blanket. I framed it so she's pretty small in the frame. To me this symbolized what I was feeling at the time. She was a stranger to me and I wanted to be far away." Christina added.

"Born is an honest look at my personal experience with adjusting to becoming a mother that one may or may not relate to."

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