When I was pregnant with Abel, we hired a photographer to do maternity pics, but she ended up having a family emergency last minute and cancelling our shoot. To be honest, I was relieved. I was enormous, had severe swelling that caused my doctor to run a bunch of extra tests to make sure I didn’t have preeclampsia, and I just felt self-conscious and gross. I really wasn’t excited to have my picture taken or to document the way I looked and felt. But after Abel was born and my body went (mostly) back to normal, I regretted not having the photos done. Pregnancy is such a special time and, even though it doesn’t always feel like it, it’s so fleeting.
So, this time when the opportunity arose to have some maternity pictures taken, I jumped on it.
I look at these pictures and at first what I see is what I see every time I look in the mirror these days — a version of myself I hardly recognize. I see swollen hands, a plump, round face, and a belly so large its size draws comments from strangers every time I leave the house. To say I’m self-conscious would be an understatement. I wish I was one of those women whose body stayed exactly the same throughout pregnancy except for a cute little basketball-sized bump, but I’m not. And that’s ok. Because when I really look at these pictures I see something wonderful. I see a mother radiating love for her children, a little boy thriving in the arms of his parents, a proud and loving father, and a family about to burst at the seams with happiness. And those, I think, are the important things to document.
Photos by Kali Tisdale