I am a woman, wife, mother, doula, childbirth educator and breastfeeding activist. Just this morning I tested postive on a home pregnancy test. We just started trying this month for our third child, so I’m shocked and elated that it happened so quickly.
This is me today, four weeks and two days pregnant. I am a size 14, larger now than at the start of all of my other pregnancies, despite giving hundreds of dollars to a Weight Watching company that came close but not close enough to satisifying my needs. In the last eight years, I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding for all but the last three months. I have oscillated between 145 pounds and 170 pounds not pregnant. But with my term pregnancies, I gained only 24-26 pounds and lost most of it. I blame the re-gain on too many Kit Kat bars and tall mochas. You might notice that my tattoo stretched and bounced back, but the appendectomy scar and lower mole were not so cooperative.
I decided to submit these photos because I want to celebrate this pregnancy in ways that I have previously missed. I have had two miscarriages, and the last pregnancy came and went without anyone knowing until the announcement was bad news. Both miscarriages have been before 12 weeks and even though they were early, they were still extremely painful with strong contractions and surges just like my labors.
I’ve never taking pictures of my body without clothes. My hubby is quite modest, and that spreads to his image of me as well. This time is different. I want to take pictures of my progression through pregnancy, do some maternity portraits, document the birth in both photography and videography, and do a belly cast. This will be my last child (and he says last pregnancy no matter what–his sensitive nature can’t take any more disappointment). I have so much love and energy and hope and joy around me for this baby that I can feel my apprehensions melting away, my anxieties fading and my spirit bouyed by optimism.
I hope to finally have my homebirth. To give my daughters the baby brother they have been requesting. To give myself permission to complete my fertility with a third child. To look forward to growing older with my family around me, whole and happy.
I give this pregnancy to nature, to God, and these pictures to the world. This is me and the microscopic baby is inside.