thoughts on pregnancy…{washington dc portrait photographer}

So I’ve been pregnant a whole 32 weeks now.  That’s 8 months.  2/3 of 1 year.  As you can imagine, or maybe already know, it is quite a unique experience.  Here are a few of my (possibly disorganized and incoherent) thoughts on pregnancy so far.

1. Pregnancy is obviously meant to prepare you for parenthood.

-the many trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night…I assume will be replaced by midnight diaper changes and feedings

-the new appreciation for large stalls in public restrooms (because the belly just doesn’t fit between the door and the toilet when walking in sometimes), probably becomes a new appreciation for changing tables while out-and-about

-the desperate need to always be equipped with the necessities (Tums, water bottle, a snack and tissue) before leaving the house (because you never know when heartburn, the sense of starvation, or tears might strike)…probably translates to the importance of having a purse/diaper-bag/backseat that is equally equipped with baby emergency tools like diapers, wipes, change of clothes, bottles, toys and so much more

2. Girls wear pink and boys wear blue.  period.  (not)

I love the fluffy pink tutu and hair-flower as much as the next girl, but I also love other colors!  While the onezie options are a bit limited, I plan to dress baby G in a rainbow of bright, funky colors…blue and green included!  Did you know that in the early 1900s the colors were actually reversed for boys and girls?  I think it’s time we mix it up again for the kids of this millennium.

3. Embrace the season

Embracing each season of life is something I constantly struggle with.  I’m always looking to next week, next month or next year.  So often I get lost in excitement and anticipation for the days to come, that I find myself missing out on today.  In pregnancy I think this is extra common.  It is easy to wish away the days of back-aches, diet restrictions and heartburn, yet every single day of pregnancy means another day that baby girl is growing and developing and I certainly wouldn’t take that away from her.  More than that, I want to get in the practice of holding onto these moments.  Soon she’ll be a little bundle in our arms, and then, again all too soon, she’ll be up and running around our house getting into everything she can get her hands on.  “Time flies” and “they grow up so fast” are lines I hear from parents all the time.  I don’t want to look back and wish I had been more present in the present.  So today I’ll choose to be thankful for my health (and hers), and rub my belly a few extra times so I don’t forget what this felt like.

4. Baby, Come Back

Yes, that’s me wishing for my brain to return.  I always assumed that “pregnancy brain” was an excuse to be a little more scatterbrained and ditzy than usual.  People, it is no joke.  Just ask Josue.  For the first time in my life, I think I can begin to grasp what someone with early on-set dementia or Alzheimer’s feels like.  I feel like I’m going crazy.  Yesterday I walked into Target and stood frozen in the entrance (by the $1-$3 deal corner of course) and tried with all my might to remember where to find the soap.   After circling the whole store with no luck, I actually had a conversation with myself (not audibly, that I know of) that yes they do still sell soap at Target, and no, it is not possible that they are completely out of all soap and house cleaning supplies.

5. Belly touching

I’m a toucher in general, ask anyone who knows me.  My love language is personal touch and chances are, I’ll probably hug you when I meet you and continue to do so through our friendship.  Needless to say, I don’t mind the belly rubbing (now that there is a baby belly to rub, of course).  I was one of those people who before pregnancy didn’t realize it wasn’t ok to just reach out and touch someone else’s baby bump (sorry friends).

I always wondered why pregnant women went around with their hands on their belly.  In my experience, it is one of a few things:

-checking to make sure it is still there (odd as it may sound, for the first 6 months I would wake up and reach down to touch my mid-section to remind myself that it wasn’t just a dream)

-fending off big kicks…I find myself pressing my hand against the area where baby G is kicking because it makes it less uncomfortable and surprising

-there’s nowhere else to put your hands(!)…as my hips have all but disappeared behind my rounded girth, hands-on-the-hips is no longer an option (and most maternity pants don’t have good pockets), thus leaving me to either fold my arms uncomfortably high and rest them on the belly (which usually merits an angry kick in response) or resting my hands atop the belly with elbows down by my side.

6. Life is precious and miraculous

I’ve always believed in supporting the life of unborn babies rather than accepting abortion or “terminating pregnancy” as an option.  Experiencing pregnancy has solidified that 100%.  I’m in awe that there is a living, breathing, kicking human being in my womb.  What a miracle!  Reading Psalm 139 has a whole new meaning as I think about the daily developments of baby G as she is being “knit together” by a Perfect Creator.

I remember listening to the radio just after my 20 week ultrasound (to find out we’re having a girl!) and hearing the commentators mention how terribly restrictive one state’s new abortion laws were that were not going to allow abortions after 20 weeks.  Having just watched my baby (still hardly visible to others) move around and wave on the black and white screen, I sat in my car and cried.  I cried for these women who have been told that this is their only (or best) choice, but also for the little ones who will never be given a chance to live.

I could probably write 10 more things but I’ll leave it here for now.  Less than 8 weeks til D-Day and I’m incredibly thankful to still feel so good.  I’m also super duper crazy excited that our maternity photos by Whitney Neal Photography (and styled by the amazing Jaclyn Journey )are almost done!  Here’s a little sneak peek from the film she shot!

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  • Big Sister Rachael - I LOVED every word! So precious! Made me cry! Only wish I could run over right now and hug you…will have to find a way to sneak up there for a visit SOON! Love you AND Baby G!

  • Echo - I adore this post and it is 100% true in every fashion :) {I’m still waiting for my brain to come back…I don’t think it’s going to!!} I too can’t wait to meet this sweet little girl and I am praying for your last 8 weeks as you continue to prepare for what lies ahead in your journey! Including the late nights and unexpected diaper changes :) XOXO!!

  • Hannah - SO BEAUTIFUL. Every word. And you and your face and that belly.

    Oh, and I will be buying your child pink. Tough.

  • Sandra Marlowe - Well written, Susannah. It is a joy to celebrate with you! What a privilege to nurture and love that precious miracle. Sure enjoyed reading your insights and observations! I agree about not liking your pregnant belly being “public domain.” I felt the same way.

  • Papa - Wonderfully written, sweetpea! Perhaps one of the greatest joys of a parent is watching your own children begin that remarkable journey. May the hand of the Perfect Creator continue to mold and make that precious life and bless and strengthen you in this next several weeks. Look forward to seeing you in a few weeks. Love you bunches!

  • Liz Whyte - Girl, you make pregnancy look so good. :)

    As you know, I’m a huge fan of your photography. I kinda feel like it’d be cheating for me to win Hannah’s giveaway but I love your work so much that I JUST HAVE TO enter. xoxxoo :)

  • Brittany Carlson - Susannah, thanks for your post. I’m hoping God blesses my husband and I with a baby in the near future, and definitely appreciated reading about what pregnancy was like for you. I also share your Christian perspective that all live, born or unborn, is precious and a gift from God. Beautiful photos as well!