January 18, 2017

Maternity Photos

I believe we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and each and everyone of us was created in his image. Our bodies are a gift from God and as such should be treated with the utmost care (diet, exercise, sleep, etc). Sadly society has decided that it is okay to pick people apart about the way they look, this problem only seems to be getting worse. Over the years I have heard: I am too fat, I have a tummy, I need to lose body fat, I sleep too much, I look anorexic, I need to eat more, I need to have plastic surgery, I need to dress more feminine and I need to wear makeup everyday. These kinds of comments have come from friends, family members, coaches and strangers alike. For the most part I have been able to let these kinds of comments roll of my shoulders. Other times I have heard these kinds of comments repeatedly and they have caused me to feel a little more self conscience about myself.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was excited but I was also nervous about the changes that were taking place in my body. I hoped to not get stretch marks, varicose veins and had dreams of putting on only 25 pounds. About this same time the prying questions began: How much weight have you put on? Do you have stretch marks? Lets see a belly shot. Next thing I know my pregnancy is being compared to my peers who are pregnant- this made me feel sad and at times very hurt. I don't believe that these people were truly concerned about me, they were concerned about my image. It wasn't too long before I began to feel self conscience about my ever changing body. I give props to those who are able to take a belly photo every week and post it online for the world to see. I am not one of those people.

As my pregnancy progressed, I found myself debating whether or not I wanted to have maternity photos taken. If I did have them taken, would I share them with others? In the end I decided that I did want to have some photos taken but I wouldn't share them with people.

As I have reflected on my pregnancy, labor, delivery and postpartum my feelings about sharing my maternity photos have changed. My body is amazing! It created a new life and brought a little one into the world- that in and of itself is miraculous! I find pride in my stretchmarks, they are a symbol of what my body has been through. Those extra pounds on my body and that little pooch- they will go away with time. I am more than my body. My body doesn't define who I am. It's what's on the inside that counts. Am I the person God intended me to be? I am sure trying and that's what matters most.

About two weeks before my due date (3 weeks before Bubba was actually born), our talented friend Kirsten took some maternity photos for us. We love how they turned out!