To: The Pregnant Mama, Take The Picture

“I hate how much weight I’m gaining.”

“My stomach looks terrible.”

“These stretch marks are gross.”

“I look like a whale.”

“I’m going to hide under my clothes until I give birth.”

These are a few sentences I heard from pregnant mothers, some are already moms, and some of these women are moms-to-be. Copious amounts of females dislike their body, especially when they are pregnant and they hide their beautiful bellies and swollen feet in shame, they hide from the world until it’s all over and it’s unfortunate.

To be honest, I wish I documented my pregnancy journey with my first daughter, Anaís. I wish I got in front of the camera and celebrated my bump as much as it deserved to be. I was ashamed of how big I was getting, I was self-conscious about my stretch marks and how none of my clothing fit the same, it was difficult to accept and understand at the time. However, I am grateful I took the few pictures I did because I can now look back and show Anaís, “hey baby girl, this was when you were growing inside of mommy’s belly!” Because her life and the creation of her life deserves to be celebrated.

After becoming pregnant with my second born, I knew I had to document my entire journey. I had a whole new outlook on pregnancy and understanding the beauty that came with creating a child. I captured the monthly milestones, I celebrated trimesters, I embraced my bump, and I documented each new experience I had during my pregnancy with her. I was in love with my baby bump, I celebrated it in all its glory and I shared that joy with the world. I even had hubby join in on the fun for our halfway mark!

Anaís also took part in the fun of capturing these moments, we took selfies, and videos, she loved kissing mommy’s belly and talking to her sister. I told Anaís stories about what was going on inside of mommy’s belly and how she was going to be a big sister soon, she loved it! We would sing songs to Katya together and read books, that alone made me embrace my growing body even more because I knew I was creating another life, a best friend, a sibling for my love.

I may sound like a jerk for saying this but I don’t care if you feel “like a whale” or if you think that your stretch marks are disgusting, you should celebrate that baby inside of you and take that picture! Celebrate that trimester! Document your cravings, just do it! Because photos capture memories and moments and when we’re gone, that’s all we have.

I was told I was being too “showy” with my pregnancy pictures and that I’m “brave for posing with my belly out” or how I “look great for a pregnant woman” but I didn’t care about any of those statements or anyone’s opinion because all I kept thinking to myself is, “one day all my girls are gonna have is these photos.” So I got in front of my camera, I set that timer and I took pictures of my beautiful bump. I want my daughters to see how mommy’s body changed, evolved, and adjusted to create them, I want them to have those pictures in an album they can look at and show their own kids one day, because Facebook and Instagram may not exist when my great-great grandkids are born and pictures are wonderful to have when your loved ones are gone.

Please mama, don’t be selfish, don’t be shallow, don’t be afraid and don’t be self-conscious because you have no reason to be. Pregnancy is a beautiful, challenging, and life-changing experience which deserves to be celebrated! Unfortunately, not all women have the fortune of being able to go through this journey which makes it that more memorable and incredible! The female body is beyond amazing! We can create life inside of us and bring it into the world. There is nothing more badass then growing a tiny human inside of you with little fingers and toes, and a beating heart and a button nose, and then bringing it into the world! Celebrate your womanly power and celebrate that beautiful belly that is carrying your child.

You may not believe me now because you’re unsure of yourself or afraid of what people might think but, you will regret not documenting these moments with that bump, you will wish you took more pictures and captured the moments, you will wish you had something to show your children and to put in the family album, you don’t need to post these photos on social media, take the picture and keep it on the cloud or print it out and keep it at home, please take the picture.

One thing I always struggled with is body image and after having my girls, that all went out the window. I don’t want my daughters second-guessing themselves or the way they look, I want them to be proud and love the skin they are in. What happens if they ask me to see the pictures of them inside the womb, what will I say? “mommy hated the way she looked when she was pregnant so she didn’t want to take photos of her belly.” How do you think they would feel? Not great, and that unsettling feeling may stay with them.

Let’s be honest, sometimes pregnancies terminate. 1-in-4 women will miscarry or lose a child, those numbers are heartbreaking, mothers also lose their life during birth, accidents happen inside or outside the home, capturing memories and moments of the good times is important. Documenting as many moments as you can is how we remember things when our minds can’t, you never know what tomorrow may bring so to my pregnant moms out there, just please take the picture.

Love,

A mama who loved her bumps.

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