It’s difficult to talk about my struggles with pregnancy, because I know that it’s a gift — I’m growing a new life in my body.
I’m acutely aware of this as I know so many women who struggle to conceive, or miscarry. But I have to face my own truth, which is that being pregnant is very difficult for me – physically and emotionally and mentally. I struggle.
The first question everyone asks when you’re pregnant is, how are you feeling? For the past 8 months it’s been vaguely the same answer: I feel okay. What else am I going to say? I feel miserable? Maybe the real answer is I feel blessed. Blessed because you can be blessed but not happy. Blessed but not comfortable. Blessed but in pain. I am blessed by this new life growing in me, I am amazed and still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we are going to have two children.
It’s a struggle to document the process of growing a baby myself. Most days I don’t make it much farther than the couch. The only reason I found the energy to schedule, shop for and execute a maternity photo session is because I myself am a photographer, and I know I will want to look back at these photos. The photos themselves are a celebration. And friends who didn’t do maternity photos have told me they regretted it.
I’m grateful we made the effort to take these images, because I need to find ways to connect with the beauty of this time in our lives. It’s truly beautiful, and I want to celebrate how my body is growing this life. Each day I find myself dwelling unintentionally on the hard parts – the fatigue and aches and pains. It’s easy to lose sight of what a gift this is.
As we make space for a new baby to enter our world and throw everything into even more chaos, I am trusting that God will make space in my heart for our son. When I saw our daughter Charlie for the first time my heart grew ten sizes. It was just like in How The Grinch Stole Christmas.
I am excited to be a mom to a boy, and at the same time I feel the weight of responsibility to raise him into a man of integrity. I am grateful Aaron got to be in the photos this time because he is going to be instrumental in modeling this for our son. More than ever I am grateful that I married a man of integrity who does what he says he will do and is kind and honest.When I look at these photos I’m able to look past all of the hard parts of pregnancy and remember the ways that being a part of a growing family is teaching me about myself, what I want for our world, and how I can be a better person.
Thank you to Elizabeth Messina for photos we will always cherish.