This was my first pregnancy. It would be an understatement to say that my expectations versus reality did not line up.
My story: choosing to celebrate a difficult pregnancy
When I first became pregnant, I immediately wanted to document my pregnancy and take photos of the bump growing and have a cute maternity shoot. I thought pregnancy would be tiring and I would be a little nauseous but would still be able to work through at least half of the year and enjoy all my regular activities. However, during the first trimester I became extremely unwell. It led to being diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, which I had never heard of before. For the entirety of my pregnancy I was vomiting excessively every day. I required IV re-hydration therapy four times a week, I was unable to work, socialise or prepare my own meals.
Pregnancy became more like an illness to manage rather than an exciting time to plan for the newborn and set up a nursery. I had heard of the benefits of pregnancy, such as thicker hair, longer nails, glowing and getting to shop for cute maternity clothes. Instead, I was bed-ridden for the majority of the first and second trimesters and was not at all looking forward to dealing with the third trimester.
By the time I hit 30 weeks and it came time to book in for a maternity shoot or miss out all together. I was strongly considering just skipping it. I didn’t feel like celebrating a pregnancy that had made me struggle to cope for months and I had yet to take a single photo of my bump. My partner was the one that told me that maybe it will help me prepare for the end of my pregnancy if I had the shoot to look forward to rather than labour.
Planning the Photoshoot
After consulting with Rachel about her availability I started to get excited, I booked in a date just before Christmas. I wanted to look good, so I booked in for a haircut, started looking at maternity dresses, hairstyles and nail colours. I enjoyed my consult with Rachel to plan the the style of the shoot, the location and expectations. She answered all my questions leading up to photoshoot. On the day itself, I felt comfortable and enjoyed the whole photoshoot with Rachel.
I now have these gorgeous photos to choose which ones to print and display in our home. I have zero regrets doing the photoshoot. It was well worth it to hire a professional I trusted and who made me feel confident even in front of a camera.
I now have evidence of this journey that I underwent to meet my baby and got to have a great day of feeling beautiful after months in pyjamas, sweatpants and messy buns.
Whether you are enjoying your pregnancy or counting down till your due date, pregnancy is different for everyone but one thing remains the same. It will come to an end! I would encourage others to consider getting professional photos to show what a journey it has been and have the mementos of changes your body underwent to carry your baby. I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to get these photos done and with such a lovely photographer.
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