There's nothing more real as a woman than finding out your pregnant. You don't seriously contemplate all that comes along with pregnancy until you see that 'positive' on the stick. The experience isn't the same for everyone, so I can only speak to my story. I know there are women that struggle with fertility and miscarriage and that is an entirely different aspect of recreation I can't relate to. For those women, please don't give up hope. 

I'll start by saying this isn't the popular opinion. I don't enjoy the process that is pregnancy. The 40 weeks are hard for me. The physical changes and emotional rollercoaster are difficult for me to just step outside of and accept or embrace for the time-being. I don't recognize or feel the *glow* and serenity I know a lot of women do. I feel like I'm in a constant state of preparation. It doesn't always reach a level of stress, but there's not much relaxing. 

Emotionally I start off more "mindfully balanced." Instincts take over and planning begins - what needs to be done before the baby is here, how much do we need to save financially, what we we all need to purchase to be fully prepared...the real list making begins. Once those tasks start to get knocked off and Brandon and I have a plan of action we're following, my mind goes to the life changes. What I'll need to change and rearrange in order to make time for the new person I'm in charge of, what I might need to give up all together. As an ambitious, goal-oriented woman, that was difficult to accept the first time around. With this second pregnancy, those acceptances are familiar. The expectations are known. But the sacrifices are still real. I have no complaints, its a part of the process, its just not always an easy one.

Physically though, I don't think it gets easier regardless of what pregnancy you're on. Losing your body to another 'alien' being is a crazy experience, one that is in retrospect of course worth it, but during it - so hard. Becoming this new person in size and shape uncontrollably is a very out-of-control feeling. Your face looks different in the mirror, your geography grows with features that didn't exist in the same way as before, and your overall comfortably being inside your own body completely disappears by 9 months. It is difficult to feel confident in yourself when you're not just yourself.

I decided with this pregnancy I wasn't going to live in the misinterpretations of my own insecurities. I wanted maternity pictures. Not the typical family maternity style pictures, but pictures that made me feel something I hadn't felt in a long time - beautiful in my own skin. Skimming through Pinterest, the milk bath shoot continued to catch my eye. Who were these gorgeous women owning their pregnant bodies? I wanted to personally feel the confidence their photos made me feel, the confidence I'd been missing. 

I knew the women I wanted to work with immediately. Sabreena of Sabreena Frances accentuated one of my favorite features, my blue eyes, using a muted mauvy-matte palette. There's a feeling you get when your makeup is dead on - not thinking twice about what your face looks like in pictures is a pretty huge feat to overcome. If you aren't a makeup artist, it's 100% worth it to find someone that makes you feel that confident. As for location, I somehow talked a strong female supervisor and friend from the past into letting me use her impeccable bathroom - BIG thank you Lisa! For a photographer, Brittany of Brittany Elizabeth Images was the first on my list. I knew she would take my burgundy lace dress, quicksand roses and milky vision and turn it into something I didn't even quite expect. I was right. If you're pregnant and there's something you want to do to feel more like you again, make it happen. Forget the expense of the thing and just make it happen. This one wasn't for anyone but me.