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.
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?!
These photos betoken my welcome to that office.