Bare Your Belly And Get Those Photos Done

The night of my scheduled maternity photo shoot, I found myself dragging my feet. "I'm so tired," I whined to my husband, "I don't want to do this!"

Chaunie's Maternity photo shoot | PregnancyAndBaby.com

Photo credit: Chaunie Brusie/j&j brusie photography

Excuses flashed through my mind — the kids were sick, my dress wouldn't fit, I was having contractions — but in the end, I threw on the last outfit that still fit me, sucked it up (because I couldn't suck it in) and packed up the kids to meet the photographer.

Pregnancy isn't always pretty

Call me crazy, but I am just not one of those women who feels beautiful when I'm pregnant. Heck, I'm not even one of those women who enjoys being pregnant. I gain a lot of weight, swell up more than I think would be humanly possible and no matter how many pregnancy exercise videos I do, still resemble a large, beached whale in a bathing suit.

So the thought of taking maternity pictures makes me want to cringe. Not only would I have to find something that would resemble a flattering outfit, but I'd have to actually pretend to be the glowing, beautiful pregnant woman other people expect me to be. The horror.

But it's always beautiful

Even with my hatred of maternity pictures in mind, I let myself be talked into getting a few snapped from my cousin — a professional photographer home from Florida for a visit — while pregnant with my son two years ago. After getting her to promise me she would only take one or two and absolutely no hands-shaped-like-a-heart-over-my-belly shots, I relented.

And much to my surprise, I loved the results.

Chaunie's Maternity photo shoot | PregnancyAndBaby.com

Photo credit: Chaunie Brusie/j&j brusie photography

Somehow, over the camera, my extra pounds didn't matter. The back fat I fretted over wasn't the focus of any picture. My swollen feet disappeared. (There may have been some careful camera angling involved on that one, I admit.)

All I saw in the pictures was the beauty of pregnancy that I had somehow been blind to before.

You won't regret it

This time around, pregnant with baby No. 4, I knew that I would regret passing up pregnancy portraits. And although once again I felt huge, gross and as completely not beautiful as I had in my entire life, I posed in a field of mustard flowers and tried to think serene, growing-a-baby pregnancy thoughts. But in the end, it didn't matter. In the end, when I ended up being induced three weeks early due to some complications with my pregnancy, I was overcome with emotion when my CD of pictures arrived in the mail a few days after I got home from the hospital.

Because suddenly, I wasn't sure if I would ever have the chance to be pregnant again. And to have that moment captured forever suddenly became priceless.

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