Photographer Jenny Lewis Takes Gorgeous Portraits Of Women On Their First Day Of Motherhood — PHOTOS

I know it's a cliché, but next to the existence of queso, motherhood is pretty much the closest thing we have to actual magic on earth. The fact that a woman can cook up and shoot out a brand new human being blows my mind every time I think about it. Talking with my sister and good friends who have all given birth, they're pretty glib when sharing the gory (OK—downright nauseating) details. Birth is a wonderful, impressive, awe-inspiring this, but it's not exactly a pretty process (also confirmed by Drew Barrymore). From what I can gather, it's incredibly painful and soul-consuming. Portrait photographer Jenny Lewis (nope, not that Jenny Lewis, which is also very rad) wanted to shift the focus of birth away from the "hard work" part of it, and onto the "basking in triumph" part of it. As a mom herself, she decided to embark on a project, called "One Day Young", which features photos of women on their first day of motherhood, posing with their very new newborn babies.

The series, which was also made into a book, is a wide-reaching, varied collection. Lewis found volunteers for the project via flyers around her neighborhood. She says she did no screening prior to the shoots, so the results are naturally diverse. Lewis uses natural light as a spectacular tool to highlight the sheer joy laid across these new mothers' faces. And the teensy, tiny newborns? The way they cling to their moms they look just as much a part of them as they were the day before when still living on the inside...it's pretty wild.

Theresa and Tommy

Shenelle and Arissa

Liana and Archer

Marley and Etta

To be honest, looking through these and considering all that pain and gross body stuff—seems like it might actually be worth it. That bliss is palpable, and truly gorgeous. Congrats to all the new moms!

Images: Courtesy of Jenny Lewis (5)