Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

When I was pregnant with our first son, Isaiah, I mentioned to a family member that I was planning on having maternity pictures taken. Their response was, “People do that? Why?” I was surprised by this reaction. As a photographer, pictures mean so much to me. Why wouldn’t I want this precious time of my life captured on camera? 

maternity02Photo taken by Elise Mickelson

Maternity pictures are something of a new trend. If you’ve ever been on Pinterest, you’ve probably seen maternity pictures or pregnancy announcement pictures. I think it is a wonderful idea for expecting parents to have pictures taken. Why?


You are probably tired and feeling anything but beautiful. I get that. I felt that way, too. But there are those moments when you think, “There’s a baby inside of me. A new life.” Those quite moments of excitement and joy are what make the months of exhaustion, the extra weight, and the stretch marks worth it. And it’s those moments that I try to capture in maternity sessions.

The picture above is my mom, pregnant with my sixth sibling. She would be the first to tell you that pregnancies in her forties were more exhausting and physically taxing. But I love this peaceful, prayerful moment that we captured. She told me the other day that she still loves her maternity portraits.


It’s scary to be pregnant. It’s not easy and life only gets more challenging after the baby is born. But it’s also a grand adventure! It’s exciting! My husband and I like to view our family as an adventure. There are ups and downs, but it’s interesting and meaningful. We know that God wants to use the ‘todays’ of parenting to shape the ‘tomorrows’ of our boys’ lives. We want to parent with that mindset. 

I love this image of the mother and father looking into the distance. It’s an image of anticipation and excitement for what God has in store.


For some couples this is a time of their life that is the culmination of months or years of waiting. Pregnancy is not easy but sometimes getting pregnant is even harder. I have personally known far too many friends and family members that have endured infertility, miscarriages, or infant loss. My husband and I experienced a small taste of the painfulness of infertility. We waited and hoped for eighteen months before we were pregnant with our first son. That is very short compared to many families, but it seemed like a very long road to me at the time. Whatever your story might be, this is a time of your life that is precious. It can’t be taken for granted. 

The picture above represents a journey of over four years. For this couple, maternity pictures can be a visual reminder that God is faithful.


A new baby means your family is changing. You might be pregnant with your first child or your fifth, but adding a new family member will mean a big change. Preparing older siblings to welcome the new baby might be part of your routine right now, or simply preparing your own heart and mind. A growing family is a blessing and each new addition is a blessing!


Some of my favorite pictures of my husband and I together are from our maternity sessions. It’s a precious time of life for a couple and those are memories worth keeping! 


I love being able to capture the relationship between a mother and father during maternity pictures. There is a sweetness and tenderness when they look at each other or at her baby bump. 


Why should you get maternity pictures taken? Because you’re beautiful. You may not see it or feel it, but I can see it. You may hear the dumbest comments from random strangers (‘Wow, you’re so big!’, ‘Are you sure you’re not pregnant with twins?’, ‘You look like you’re ready to pop!’), but trust me, you are amazing. Your body is changing in ways that make you cringe, but you are preparing a new life to enter this world. That is a time of your life to remember. 

maternity11Photo taken by Kylie Steiner

I gained more weight with my second son. I felt less ‘glow-y’, less energetic, and less pretty. My sweet photographer made me feel more. More beautiful, more excited, and more amazed with God’s abundant gifts.


I use pictures as a way to document the times in my family’s life. I remember things more clearly when I can look at pictures while I’m reminiscing. There are pictures that make me smile and there are some that make me want to cry. But in every picture I can see God shaping our family’s adventure. 


So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Rachel Gnagy

Rachel Gnagy is a wife, mother, photographer, coffee lover, and book nerd. She and her husband, Samuel, have four precious children, two boys and two girls. Rachel is a work-from-home-mom, running a small photography and graphic design business. She has been writing for Her View From Home since 2012 and loves the opportunity to communicate with other women.

You’re Learning Life by Watching Me

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child touching mother's face as they lie on a bed

Every morning my daughter and I go outside for some fresh air. She feeds her chickens and plays and explores and walks around with her dog while I follow her around and have a cup of coffee.  This morning, my girl grabbed one of her coffee cups from her toy kitchen and brought it outside with her while she walked with her dog and pretended to take sips out of it.  Guys. I stood there watching her with her toy coffee cup, walking around with her animals, and I cried giant baby tears.  RELATED: I Wasn’t Counting On You Growing...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Love Means Slowing Down

In: Friendship, Kids
Two boys on bicycles riding to park, shown from behind

Think of something faster than a 7-year-old boy on a two-wheel bike. Maybe a race car at the drop of the checkered flag? Perhaps a rocket ship blasting into space? Or how quickly a toddler mom books it out of the house after being told she can have a hands-free hour ALONE in Target. Yes, all of these things are seriously speedy, but I have still never seen anything quite as quick as a boy on a bike on a sunny day with endless open track ahead of him. Until today. Today, my 6-year-old son wanted to ride bikes with...

Keep Reading

I Am a Wrestling Mom

In: Kids, Motherhood
Three young boys with wrestling medals, color photo

As the sun is rising on a frigid winter morning, a brave and determined group of athletes are weighing in at a high school gym. They are physically and mentally preparing for a long day spent at a tournament where they will spend only minutes wrestling, despite the hours they sit and wait all day. Their sport uses offense, defense, and mental strength unlike any other sport. My sons and nephew are wrestlers. They are part of a special team of athletes who work together but compete as individuals.           Their youth team is run by all volunteer coaches with...

Keep Reading

3 Ways to Help Your Firstborn Embrace Becoming a Big Brother

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Pregnant woman holding toddler son, color photo

My oldest son turned four right after his first brother was born. Four years of alone time with his parents. Four years of extra mommy time during the week. Four years of having toys to himself, extra attention from family members, and more. I didn’t plan a four-year age gap; it took our family a lot longer and a lot more help than we expected to have our second son, but age gaps aren’t everything. When my second son was finally on the way, I heard a lot of opinions about how our oldest son would feel once he finally...

Keep Reading

Dear Busy Sports Mom: It’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mom watching soccer game, photo from behind

My daughter stands on the front porch every morning and waves goodbye to me as I pull out of the driveway to go to work.  She is 11, and recently eye-rolling, long sighs, and tears have become more commonplace in our daily interactions. But, there is also this: “Bye! Have a good day!” she calls to me in the quiet of early morning, neighbors not yet awake in their still dark houses. “You are AMAZING! You got this!” she continues in her little adult voice, sounding more like a soccer mom than a fifth grader.   Her hair is still a...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the Baby Hangers

In: Kids, Motherhood
Shirt hanging from small hanger, color photo

You bought them when you first found out you were pregnant. It may have been one of the first items, actually, to hold all of the precious new clothes. The smallest ones in your household. Do you remember that first newborn onesie you bought? It was one of your favorites. You couldn’t fathom you would soon hold something so small that would fit into that onesie. You washed all of the new clothing in preparation and hung them up in your baby’s closet. You know the item. A miniature version of the ones in your closet. Baby hangers. “Do we...

Keep Reading

Take the Trip, You Won’t Regret It

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood

Two years ago, in the middle of a snowy, windy, Colorado March, my husband and I made the spontaneous decision to road trip to Arizona with our three very young kids.  Even though I was excited, the nerves were so very real. Over the next couple of weeks, I literally lost sleep worrying about the logistics of our trip. My late-night mindless scrolling was replaced by searches like “traveling with toddlers” and “keeping kids entertained on road trips”. We already had our hands full chasing kids at home in a familiar setting. Were we crazy to think we could just...

Keep Reading

They’ll Remember the Love Most of All

In: Kids, Motherhood
Woman with kids from above, pregnant mother with kids hands on belly

You lie in bed at the end of a long day, the events of the day flashing back through your mind. You do this a lot—recap your day as a mama. How did you do? Did you maintain your patience? Did you play enough? Did you limit screen time? Did you yell less today than you did yesterday? You saw a really neat toddler activity in the group you’re a part of on Facebook . . . you should have done that with the kids. They would have loved it. There wasn’t enough time though, and you didn’t have all...

Keep Reading

He’s Slowly Walking Away with Footprints As Big As Mine

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Teen boy walking along beach shore

The true measure of a mother’s love is her willingness to wake up before the sun on vacation. On a recent trip to the shore, my youngest son begged to walk the beach at dawn to look for shells. So, I set my alarm, tumbled out of a warm, king-sized bed with extra squishy pillows, glared at my dead-to-the-world husband, and gently woke my 11-year-old. Without so much as a drop of coffee, we headed out into the morning, the sun still below the ocean horizon. With each step, I shed my zombie-like state and took in the quiet, salt-kissed...

Keep Reading

Dear Son, Raising You Right Is Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
little boy walking in sunlit field

You were the baby who slept nights. You were the infant who quietly stacked blocks one on top of the other. You were the toddler who watched other kids go down the slide at the park 20 times before attempting it yourself. You were the preschooler who hunkered down quietly and patiently when meeting your grandmother’s chickens. So I assumed you would be a gentle boy. And you are.   And yet, now that you’re eight, I’m beginning to understand the meaning of the phrase, “Boys will be boys.” I had my first inkling that day when you were five...

Keep Reading