Nikola is a writer, volunteer, mother, partner and friend. You can catch more of her musings at The We Spot here.
During the winter of 2019 I shared that we were expecting our third and last baby and I was so excited to book my first ever maternity and newborn photography package. Then it was April 2020. The month that never seemed to end for most of us, but for me it was speeding by. I was getting closer and closer to the baby’s due date and the unknowns of delivering a baby during a pandemic.
I had purchased the maternity dress for my photo shoot months ago. As I grew large with child I wondered if that beautiful dress would even still fit. I knew that our early April photo shoot date had to be canceled. There were just so many unknowns back then. Information was still quickly coming and changing. But I couldn’t let go of my wish to have this one last opportunity to document my pregnant body and I shared my feelings publicly with the Northern Colorado Moms Blog. Thanks to the encouragement of the women in my circle and my precious photographer a new date was set for May for an outdoor shoot.
I got dressed, did my hair and put on makeup for the first time in months. And then a fierce rainstorm blew in and persisted until the light was almost gone. I could have taken it as a sign that this was not meant to be, but instead I stood in front of our pond in our backyard and had my husband capture a few shoots with wet feet and fading light. Amber graciously offered to edit the photos my husband captured as we organized a new date yet again.
When the new date came, I got to dress up, do my hair and makeup again. I felt beautiful. I got in my car to drive to the scenic spot and everything felt new. This was my first ever maternity photo shoot. It was my first time driving in weeks. And it was one of the first times I remembered to take with me my now trusty face mask. New and different.
The whole experience was lovely and so memorable. The location Amber picked out was perfect. The light was beautiful. The water glistened. Amber helped to ease all my awkwardness with guidance on how to pose. The conversation was so needed and comforting that even if we were six feet apart, I felt close and seen.
When I got back in my car, I didn’t want to go home. I had been home for almost three months at that point outside of a grocery pickup here and there. I looked back at the water where I had been made to feel like a queen and I took three deep breaths. Amber did more than document my third and last pregnancy for me that day. She gave me space to breathe.
Nikola is a passionate writer and strives daily to be an exceptional mother and partner, respected friend and an engaged community leader. She also contributes to the Northern Colorado Moms Blog and The We Spot Blog.
No matter how grateful we may be, new or experienced, strongly supported or strongly solo, pregnancy is hard. Here’s the good news, self-care is trending. It’s no longer shunned to follow the airline rules in everyday life of putting your oxygen mask on first before helping others. But how does that translate when the other is growing inside of your very own body?
Learning from past pregnancies
I’m currently pregnant with our third child. It was unplanned, but let’s get real, so was our first and we kinda love her to the moon and back. So after the hardest first trimester I’ve ever experienced, I’m ready to show myself and this sweet growing bump some serious loving care.
During my first pregnancy I was so busy with my career in New York; I do remember having fun dressing my growing body, highlighting the miracle that is motherhood, but I also remember being so focused on work that I didn’t really pay much attention to my body until my back pain was so bad it became a challenge to walk.
I definitely learned from this and during my second pregnancy, now as a stay at home mom, I took my daily exercise time seriously and prioritized it like a champion. Also during that time I was adjusting to moving cross-country, starting an early intervention journey with my first child and buying a home. So, no, no stress at all. I know I could have managed that stress better.
So, what’s on my wish list this time around? All the self-care and love practices! However, after 36 years I thankful have learned to be a bit more practical and move out of the all-or-nothing mindset. So, here are the top five must-do’s to show myself love during this pregnancy. Because if I can count my must-list items on just one hand, they are more likely to happen.
Keep yourself glowing while you’re growing
What are your favorite self-care practices while pregnant? Let us know in the comments.
Amber Sullivan- Northern Colorado Photographer
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