Maternity portrait sessions are so beautiful, but what makes it even more special for me is the stories of the women I photograph. I decided to give my blog a new life by asking the amazing women and mamas of the children I photograph to share their stories with us.
As beautiful as motherhood is, it also has it's challenges. I hope that you will find comfort and inspiration by reading about the experiences of other moms and moms-to-be. And, maybe get to know the woman in the portrait, or the mother who was standing right outside the frame of the baby's photograph, a little better.
Today, I have beautiful Amy sharing her pregnancy experience with you. Thank you Amy!
I'm still in awe of how I was able to grow a baby in me...
" I met my boyfriend Vic through a friend who invited him to our group dinner on one of my trips to Los Angeles. Couple days later, I was still in town and we had our first day date to the LA Zoo and the Griffith Observatory, both of which I've never been. It wasn't necessarily a date, but looking back we considered it so. It was one of the best, no pressure, hang out with a new friend type of day. We talked about everything and got to know each other. From that moment on, we began our long distance relationship, me in Seattle, him in LA. I would fly out every 3 weeks or so to visit, and even early on we talked about moving in, starting our lives together. I knew if it was meant to be, nothing would have to be forced. Five months later, I had two interviews scheduled during my already preplanned visit to LA and was immediately offered the higher paying job, also my tenants in my Seattle home decided to all move out on the exact date, which freed the house to get rented out - everything just fell into place for me to move. To top everything, my psychic told me I should be expecting a baby 2019-2020, that I would get pregnant soon after I move to Los Angeles. Whatever she tells me, I always take with a grain of salt and keep it in the back of my mind. Soon enough, I moved to LA end of January 2018, found out we were pregnant May 2018, and our baby was born January 2019!
I was in shock and disbelief after taking a home pregnancy test,but I also bought it from the dollar store. Vic knew without a doubt that I was pregnant as soon as he saw the faded pink line indicating a positive pregnancy test. The next morning, I decided to take another one per guidelines, and again saw the faint line, still in disbelief. Later on that day, I decided to buy a $20 test that says "pregnant" or "not pregnant" and sure enough it said pregnant. In that moment I thought "holy sh*t this is really happening!" I've always wanted to be a mommy, but wasn't sure if it was for me as I get older and older every year, so it was really exciting and overwhelming at the same time. I think often people expect you to feel just happiness and that's what social media/movies depict, only the pretty side of things. Along with joy, I felt fear. I remember thinking "maybe this is too good to be true?" and "well this isn't promised, it's still so early to know for sure." I also remember immediately thinking "am I capable of raising a human", questioning myself, and trying to stay positive at the same time! Every feeling you can think of, I'm sure I felt.
Funny thing is we bought a 1942 Baby ABC's book at a festival couple weeks before we found out we were pregnant and the week before, his sister gave us baby shoes. To our surprise we were already pregnant! But the very first thing I ever bought, were baby Jordan's and 3 other pair of baby sneakers. I use to work at Foot Locker in 2005-2008, decided to use my employee discount thinking "One day I'll have a baby!" Here we are, and she was able to wear her Jordan's when she was 5 weeks old!
We didn't do a gender reveal, we didn't find out the sex of the baby until she was born but we did have dreams that it was a girl. We told his parents we were expecting on Mother's Day, we took a picture of us holding the positive pregnancy test inside a how to wrap a baby burrito card and they cried as soon as they realized. With my parents, I told them over the phone since they were far away. His family absolutely wanted a little girl, as did Vic, since his sister has 2 boys already. For my parents as first time grandparents, they had no preference, they hoped for a healthy baby, whatever it was going to be.
There were many different moments in my pregnancy that made me realize I was actually going to have a baby. The first one being the 8 week ultrasound, up until then from the positive test, I was still in disbelief. Seeing the little "bean" in the ultrasound and hearing the heartbeat for the first time brought tears to our eyes and made it more real. Another moment was when I felt the first flutter around week 13 or 14, then actual kicks later on pregnancy. I remember couple weeks before I gave birth, I turned to Vic and said "I'm so scared, I'm really going to have a baby come out? Am I really going to do this? Is this real?"
Pregnancy definitely taught me to trust my body. I'm still in awe of how I was able to grow a baby in me and that my body knew exactly what to do. It made me feel powerful as a woman and beautiful. It also really taught me to trust myself. I delivered her naturally and that made me realize "I am strong, I am brave" it was a wonderful experience. Being pregnant wasn't all happy feelings, there were many moments of feeling fearful, scared of the unknown, but throughout it all, I learned to find courage within myself. More importantly, pregnancy and everything taught me to trust the process of life.
We really had to support each other during this transition. Being pregnant was completely new for the both of us. It brought us closer and made us feel like family, whereas before we were a couple. It made us more responsible. I don't know if it's because I'm a woman that the idea of pregnancy and all that it entailed was easier for me to understand, or whether it was because I'm a nurse so I'm more familiar with the idea of birth, but I know it was harder on him to understand everything that was happening. We both found a new type of love for each other, a deeper love that just happened from being pregnant and having the baby.
The love I have for our little Kai is indescribable. I would do anything for her, to protect, to provide, to love. Right when I held her, I was still in so much shock I just pushed a little baby out of me! Hearing her cry and feeling her warmth on my chest was unreal. I knew without a doubt in my heart the moment she came out that I loved her, but it was the strongest the first time when we finally brought her home. That's when it really hit me this was our baby from now until forever, and I couldn't be happier.
I think we get so caught up in our day to days that time passes so quickly, and before you know it, the 9 months will have passed and the baby's here. Taking maternity portraits allowed me to be present in the moment, regardless of how busy other areas of my life were. I'm glad I can look back at these beautiful photos and remember exactly how I felt in that particular moment. It's a memory I'll cherish forever. "