Friday, September 23, 2016

Why I Chose Maternity Photos After All

It was once against my better instinct to have anything to do with maternity photos. Well, the nice-looking ones, anyway. Taylor and I did our own maternity session back here, and trust me, you'll want to click on that link! In pregnancy #1, I felt too frumpy & grumpy about everything preggo-related, so asking someone to photograph evidence of that little fact seemed ridiculous. I've never hired anyone to take pictures of my family when not pregnant, much less a special session featuring my tired face and swollen tummy.  

Up until a few weeks ago, when I hired a photographer to take pictures of said tired face and swollen tummy. 


Casually standing in a field of giant sunflowers. Casually.

Darlings, I was a miserable thing to be around in the 1st pregnancy. Truly. I threw up every day, had infections up the wazoo (literally), and was open to share every negative emotion I felt. Yikes! Adjustment to pregnancy and motherhood was rough stuff. Some of that adapting wasn't in my control, but some of it was, like letting a black heart take the steering wheel on emotional reactions.
Anyway, a couple years later, pregnancy #2 came into picture. That experience can be summarized by my announcement to Taylor: I came into the kitchen boasting a big smile and holding up a positive pregnancy test at eye level. He was delighted! And, so was I.


A few months later while basking in the glow of morning sickness & bloated feet, I noticed a blogger's recent birth photography photos. I had never heard of such a thing. What madness! To my surprise, the photos were beautiful. The intimacy of mom & dad meeting their new little son was too sweet to handle.

But.


That same night, when I thought back on the photos, I had my first ever panic attack. The panic stemmed from harrowing post-hospital memories from baby #1. I think I may have gone into shock that it might just happen again. Once my mind was finished with that, it fed from useless, sporadic fears of C-sections or breaking bones in labor (???). For the life of me, I could not quit sobbing over these fears. There was no good reason for me to worry about any of those particular things, but panic does not need a good reason to fret. :)


That was a little turning point for me.


From the start of this pregnancy, I wanted to have a different experience. I had hated being pregnant the first time. Part of that was sickness, but most of it was my endearing bad attitude about everything/anything pregnant. All those bad feelings rooted from some serious fear, and 
I didn't want to be scared anymore.

After that panic attack, I resolved to at least try to have a good experience. Although I don't know what will happen once the little dude comes, I see there isn't a point to being miserable while awaiting doom that might, maybe happen. Possibly. Out of all the X amount of years I get to live, I'd rather spend most of those being happy. Choosing happy meant getting out of my own head and being deliberate about making the most of it. 




Changing up an attitude is no small feat, especially with roadblocks like daily morning sickness (again!) and giving your body emotional peace as it goes to make room for the new babe. It was hard work to choose the high road on the daily, but it was possible. It was done.


After working on the attitude, the next step to choosing happiness was to own the pregnant life, as far as appearances go. For whatever shallow reason is in me, I feel SO much better when I feel pretty. In my book, the standard of "Feeling Pretty" means anything better than the look of suffering. There's something about feeling and looking sick that makes me feel much worse than what reality dictates. Feeling pretty has a lot to do with disowning that black heart's sass, and a little bit to do with wearing pretty clothes that actually fit. 


So I got cute clothes. A good number of them.

Finally, all those little, deliberate changes gathered together for the big story arch of Chaun's magical adventure: I hired a photographer. In fact, I hired that same photographer of the birth story photos. Beka has a beautiful soul and talent. Please check her out , even if you're not in the market for baby pics.

Did I mention that she made the dress?!

Sometimes I go back and forth between feeling comfortable in motherhood or feeling so out of place in it. Owning up to the fact that I am a mother makes it easier to slip into that title and fully accept its responsibilities. Sure, it's taken a few years getting there BUT!- the process of "becoming Mother" is getting easier. 

These photos betoken my welcome to that office.

7 comments:

  1. LOVED this post Chaun!!! I love your attitude. With the birth of Emmy and all of the events following it, I've just had a "come what may and love it" attitude, or at least tried to. I had little to no control over the situations, so I embraced the good and dealt with the bad. Your pictures are GORGEOUS!!!

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    1. I love this line right here: "Embraced the good, and dealt with the bad". That's a pretty solid life mantra right there, sister.

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  2. Chaun, this makes a beautiful and well-written case to embrace the journey into motherhood and to focus on all the good while accepting the not-so-good parts! For that matter, you make a great case to be positive in ANY phase or condition of life- thank you for sharing your insight. ��

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  3. Chaun, this makes a beautiful and well-written case to embrace the journey into motherhood and to focus on all the good while accepting the not-so-good parts! For that matter, you make a great case to be positive in ANY phase or condition of life- thank you for sharing your insight. ��

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  4. Those photo's are so beautiful! Most of my prego picks are in my house against the wall to show the growth...and I have never posted them...haha. I have also been sick and throwing up every now and then and I only have four weeks left! Ahhh! I am nervous and terrified but ready to maybe actually like food again? and stop feeling nauseous all the time?? :) I think you are a great and beautiful mother!

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    1. girrlllllll I am so with you on the food thing. Nothing but ice sounds good. If you ever felt comfortable sharing those pics, you could make a darn cute collage of them in a single photo to highlight the pregnancy :)

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  5. I had a lot of unspecified fear with the births of my first 4 children. I don't even know why, it always went just fine. But by #4 even hearing the sound of the fetal monitor on a YouTube birth video practically gave me panic attacks. I decided I wanted to do things differently, totally naturally, and let go of the fear. Of course I ended up having a highly medicalized pregnancy and a C-section (haha, Universe, I got the message) with #5, but finally with #6 I did it without fear and it was a billion times better. I recommend reading Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. Best of luck and thanks for sharing your pretty pictures.

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