With my first child I went into pregnancy blissfully unaware. I was pinning cute maternity clothes, nursery decor, and designer diapers bags at 8 weeks. I was so ready to embrace the whole pregnancy world. Then, the morning sickness started.
It wasn’t fun or pretty. I had no idea how to function with a 24/7 need to puke. At 16 weeks my doctor finally looked me in the eye and said “You may just be one of those woman who feels this way her whole pregnancy” and I think that made me so frustrated and angry that my body got the memo and finally started to come out of its funk. By 20 weeks, life was more manageable except my clothes weren’t fitting the way they had BP (before pregnancy) and yet, I wasn’t into maternity wear. Picture your clothes post a large Chicago deep dish pizza binge – it ain’t pretty or comfortable, but you don’t regret it.
As maternity clothes entered the picture, I realized that this whole pinterest world of dressing the bump was a lot more difficult than I had previously perceived. Not only were some types of clothing hard to find in maternity wear but they were expensive! I realized very quickly that this short period of time in my life couldn’t break my budget. Enter Target and Gap’s maternity sections, combined with a little jacket every color of the rainbow. I was able to feel good about my outfits and in turn, better about my growing self!
After finding a pregnancy style that worked for me, I got serious about the nagging voice in my head telling me to have a pregnancy photo shoot done. I’m extremely self-conscious and hard on myself when I was in photos in the BP stage of my life, so I worried that seeing myself in photos when I am a lot rounder would bother me. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing other ladies in maternity shoots. So many times I found myself gushing over how beautiful they looked and how amazing their pregnancy sessions turned out. I wanted to have something to take with me even after that baby was here to remember that time, but I didn’t know how to do that in a way that I would be happy with the outcome. Self-consciousness rears it’s ugly head a lot in my world and it had me thinking of all kinds of reasons not to do a maternity session.
Now, if this is you – you slap that self-consciousness in the face and you take those photos. I ended up having my cousin-in-law, who just takes great pictures, shoot a quick session of my husband and myself and I loved the results. I told her going in that I knew her photos would be good, but if I didn’t like myself in them they would never be seen by anyone other than her and me. Of course, they turned out even better than I expected and they are still all over my house today. I love looking at them and remembering that time before baby. It goes by too quickly.
Now, talk about regrets. With my second, I just didn’t get around to it. I thought about it a lot and I’d think “I need to get that scheduled” but it didn’t work out. Chasing a 2-year-old, keeping a home, being a wife, working full-time, and just good old regular life got in the way. Now, I think I have 4 or 5 photos of myself pregnant with my second child and most are early in the pregnancy, before the roundness really set in. Looking back, I wish I’d documented more of those days.
Moral of the story, it’s a different scenario when you are pregnant and you think of being photographed professionally but, it’s so worth the results when you can look back and those photos bring you right back into that era of your life, that feeling of anticipation of becoming a Mom. I have two beautiful boys now, and I wonder how many more times, if ever, I’ll feel that pregnancy glow and roundness again.
It’s true what they say, all you have are the memories. So my advice is, take the chance to document them.