This was my first pregnancy so I had a lot of fears and questions but I learned very quickly that listening to my body was key. I followed that idea throughout my entire pregnancy and enjoyed every second of it. I decided early on that I wanted to go all natural in my delivery process and bringing our little boy into the world that way was nothing short of incredible. He’s 4 months old now and it’s extremely true what they say, “don’t blink” they grow up too fast”. I’m so amazed by the amount of growth and personality that has happened just in that time. Motherhood from pregnancy to now have been two different worlds. Pregnancy was a season of intimate growth with my boy. You’re constantly questioning if you’re eating the right things and buying the right things in preparation. Turn 360 to now and it becomes ALL about the little nug; when’s nap time for him, is this the right toy for him, is he at the right development stage, should he be putting that in his mouth…? The list goes on and on. But something I didn’t have as much of when I was pregnant was a selfless sacrifice. I’m willing to give this little miracle the world (those eyes do it) because he’s my flesh and blood and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of holding that in your hands. And when it grabs your hand back or smiles at you for the first time…you’re done.
How did you find out you were expecting?
I had been sick for a couple days and got to the point where I felt like I needed to see a doctor. I was in between health insurances at the time so being a card carrying Cherokee, I headed to a hospital 2 hours from our town that provided healthcare for Cherokee Indians. When we got there the nurse asked me if there was a chance I was pregnant, which there definitely was, but my husband and I were not trying to get pregnant at all, so I told her possibly. She went ahead and gave me the cup to pee in and off I went. We waited patiently in the room and when she came back she handed me a piece of paper that said pregnancy test: POSITIVE! I was in such complete shock and excitement that I started crying immediately. My husbands mother had made the trip with me so she joined in with the joy-crying. I got whisked away to an ultrasound right away and determined I was 8 weeks along already so the heartbeat and little arms and legs were already in place. It was absolutely surreal.
How did you tell the father?
My husband had planned to come up to the hospital after work and was already on his way when we found out the news so his mom and I put our heads together to find out a way to tell him. We decided to circle the area on the piece of paper with the results of my uralysis that said pregnancy test: positive and just hand it to him and film his reaction. The plan went accordingly and his reaction was very shocked but quickly turned into tears of joy. I’ll never forget the moment
Did you find out the gender of your baby? Is there a name picked out yet?
We wanted to wait until the birth to find out the gender but caved pretty quickly into the pregnancy. His name is Henry Clay
How has pregnancy changed you as a woman?
Pregnancy overall was such a humbling experience. To be giving up your body in a sense so that you can nourish and grow another is an absolutely amazing feeling. I loved every aspect of it, even the swollen feet towards the end.
What advice do you wish you had known before getting pregnant (even if it’s something gross)?
I wish I had known NOT to eat spicy chicken wings….don’t eat the wings ladies.
What is one thing you find beautiful about being pregnant?
A woman’s body is just incredible to me during pregnancy. The fact that she’s providing for two while getting ready to go through one of the scariest/best moments of her life to bring the little miracle into the world…it’s stunning. I find it amazing that our bodies know exactly what to do and how to prepare for that spectacular moment.
What would you tell someone who just found out they were pregnant?
You don’t have to read all the books, articles and web pages. In fact, limit yourself. Rely on doctors for medical advice, and as far as being prepared for everything else, it will come. You will NEVER be fully prepared for this little babe which sounds so scary. But I promise it’s not, it’s actually liberating. The journey of motherhood for me has been finding out how I react in certain situations and how I take care of things. I’m not saying I never need help, but sometimes we rely too heavily on other sources around us when it’s really inside of us the entire time waiting to come to the surface.
What has been the hardest part of pregnancy?
The hardest part of pregnancy for me was remembering this doesn’t last forever. I so wish it could. Everything was so simple when he was in there, I had him to myself, no scheduling feedings or naps, no diaper changing.
Did you have any pregnancy cravings or aversions?
I craved lots and LOTS of root beer!
What are your beauty must-haves while pregnant?
I used my cocoa tummy butter every single night and swear to this day that’s why I never got stretch marks
Do you have any favorite maternity items you couldn’t live without?
Later in my pregnancy when I started leaking colostrum, I used “Bamboobies” (bought at Target) to prevent milk from getting on any of my bras. They worked like a charm and were extremely comfortable
Can you share with our mommies where you purchased the items you wore for your maternity session?
The emerald dress is from the Loft and the floral was from a local thrift shop
Tell us about your Maternity Photography Session and what the images mean to you.
My photographer is actually my best friend!! She was there for every second of the pregnancy, birth, and delivery and now is the best aunt to our little guy. She is an amazing photographer professionally though and takes her sessions with such grace and excitement. Our first experience with her as a photographer was for our baby announcement photos and it was honestly one of the best phot sessions I’ve been through. The images from this maternity shoot mean so much to me because we got to make a whole day trip to this amazing destination and had a blast doing it. Plus who doesn’t love going to the beach? These pictures are definitely keepsakes in our family now and we are so thankful for who Sam Shaw is and has been to us.
Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer based in the Upstate of South Carolina