Oh man, I have been wanting to write this for awhile. We have been holding our pregnancy close, keeping most things private. This was for no reason other than it has felt so special to only share details with our closest friends and family. Pregnancy is a wild, emotional, intimate experience that has truly changed the way in which I view everyday life.
Our pregnancy was planned due to Duke’s career and the constant curve balls that it seems to throw our way. If you are a military family, you know how important it is to try and plan big life events around deployments. I also want to add that I never want to come off as insensitive or unaware. If you are unable to plan having a baby, I am so sorry. Pregnancy is such a sensitive and triggering topic for so many, which is another reason that I feel like I have avoided talking about it.
Having an early spring baby seemed like the most calm time to take on the role of new parents. In typical fashion, God laughed at our plans and decided that we needed a bit more growing to do. SO….we will be moving cross country at not even two months postpartum for Duke’s job. We will be living on the east coast for about 8 months before coming back to Washington! This has been stressful and not at all how I envisioned my “cozy newborn season”, but it has also felt like the biggest blessing. If you are a fellow military family, you know how important it is to keep your family unit together. The fact that we even have the option to tag along with Duke on this assignment is such a gift that is not lost on us. Plus, we get to be closer to grandparents and all of our VA people…praise!!!
We will be living in South Carolina with the frequent trip to VA to see our favorites! I will still be taking on work during this time, although it will be very limited due to having to take care of a little one. Keep me in mind if you are located on the east coast and need a photographer! I have a feeling this will be a year of family photo sessions for me, but if the right wedding pops up, I may be your gal!
My Spokane clients….do not worry about my maternity leave and now my relocation for a few months! I will miss you dearly, but this is why I have an associate team! My team will still be serving my PNW clients while I am “away” but email communication and editing will still be done by yours truly! 🙂 You can’t get rid of me that easily! It takes a village, and I am so grateful for mine!
So…let’s talk about why you are really here…a little pregnancy recap!
Oof. I had no idea how much these first 13-ish weeks would suck. You know how meal trains are a thing after the baby is born? Well, I think there needs to be a “first trimester meal train”. Everything involving food and my kitchen absolutely disgusted me. Poor Duke took on the role of house wife, making me food and keeping our home clean. I felt so drained, both physically and mentally. All I wanted to do was sleep, and feeling so sluggish definitely made me feel depressed.
Those first few months I survived off of pretzels, chomps sticks, and liquid IV. I highly recommend seasickness wrist bands, the Unisom + B6 combo, and Zofran (the only way I made it through wedding season).
Snack 24/7. As long as I did not let myself get hungry I felt okay-ish. I literally ALWAYS had a bag of pretzels with me. Having something in my mouth helped so much with the nausea.
I would make an adrenal cocktail every morning that would help me get the day started without gagging my brains out. It was so simple and helped SO much. I would do fresh squeezed orange juice, coconut water, and pink himalayan salt over ice. It was a salty treat that literally took my nausea away and gave me some energy. The key is fresh squeezed juice! We went through a lot of oranges, haha.
Be mindful of what media you consume. Instagram can be overwhelming with mom content. I really limited what I exposed myself to in the first trimester, and honestly my entire pregnancy. The same goes for books. Do not feel the need to read every single book. Not all books are equal, and chances are a lot of them do not align with what is best for your family. If I could recommend any that we frequently reference it would be ‘Babies are not Pizzas’ and ‘Expecting Better’. It is also important to note that everyone is different, therefore everyone is going to do things differently. It is okay to have different opinions than your family and friends. It is okay for them to not agree with you. It is okay for you to do things completely opposite of them.
I know there are so many women who struggle more than I did in those first few months – you guys are the real MVPS. I am so thankful to have had a mild first trimester compared to some, but dang it still knocked me flat on my back. Again, I have gained a whole new appreciation for women.
The golden second trimester, oh how I miss you. These are the days!! Don’t get me wrong, there are still aches, pains, and heartburn…but the these few weeks are when I felt my best! I used this as a time to travel, not be overwhelmed with “baby stuff”, and take lots of maternity pictures! Taking pictures before the potential of turning into a beached whale was super important to me! However, we are still doing pictures right before baby comes because it is impossible for the photographer in me to not have every single moment documented, even if I don’t feel as confident in my body as I did a few months ago.
The second trimester is also when I had to start wearing some maternity clothes. I bought two pairs of jeans, one pair of leggings, and everything else I rented from Nuuly to save money! Thankfully we live in a time when oversized clothing is in style anyways so a lot of my sweaters and dresses still fit totally normal and worked all the way through the third trimester! Also, Baby G hung out super low the entire pregnancy and a belly band saved me on the daily — I def recommend getting one!
What I loved + prioritized: My number #1 recommendation is to invest in YOURSELF and your birth/postpartum experience. We hired a doula who also does postpartum care AND lactation consulting. I will link her info here if you are local to Spokane/CDA. Megan has been a dream, and truly helped to ease all of my fears throughout the entire pregnancy experience, especially since we are so far away from our support system. If you aren’t in the Spokane/CDA area you can still give her a follow on instagram! She posts tons of educational content!
On the same note, look into chiropractic care and pelvic floor therapy! Worth the money, and a lot of times your insurance will cover it. I am currently dealing with SPD pain, and therapy is saving me. I had no idea that this kind of care existed, and now I want every female in my life to go! It truly is a game changer.
Move move move!!!! I stretch daily, multiple times a day, sometimes even in the middle of the night. Prepping your body for birth is so important, plus at this point, everythaaaang hurts and sleep is not always the easiest. We also do lots of walking + curb walking!
Prep freezer meals. I prepped about 10 nourishing freezer meals that just need to be dumped into the crockpot. These meals will be easy for Duke to make for us during those first few days in-between friends bringing food and my family getting into town.
Organizing. Ooof, I have been nesting since day 1. Moving temporarily has not helped the nesting phase. We are preparing to rent out our home in Spokane while we are away, so there have been many ongoing projects that come along with getting ready to list our home, deciding what we are putting in storage, and packing up the things that will be going with us temporarily to the east coast. Despite how much work all of this has been, purging and organizing as we prepare to add to our family has been so nice! Babies don’t need a lot, yet somehow the baby stuff just keeps piling up. Getting rid of stuff that we no longer have a use for has been so good for our sanity.
Making a birth plan and postpartum plan has helped me feel in control of something that normally lacks control. Although my plan has changed multiple times, and will probably continue to, knowing what is important to me has been a game changer. I recommend researching the heck out of everything. Know the pros and cons of every situation and stand firmly by what you want. Do not go into pregnancy, birth, or postpartum trusting that the healthcare system knows what is best for you and your baby. Education is your biggest asset, and preparing for this major life change is not a good time to “go with the flow”.
I am by no means an expert, and we are just taking it day by day. Pregnancy is a lot harder than I thought it would be, but in the same breath it is a lot easier than I thought it would be. I am so thankful to be able to do this, while also wanting it to be over. Thank you for being here and reading this rambling brain dump! If you are in a similar season, I am sending all the good vibes!!
Oh also! Supplements! I took a lot of supplements during pregnancy which is not at all necessary. It was something that was important to me, but I recommend doing your own research and talking to your provider before taking anything.
Dissected Beef Liver
Unisom + B6 (first trimester only)
Alfalfa (third trimester)
Wild Yam Root (third trimester for heartburn)
Magnesium (helped with anxiety + digestive health)
In the third trimester I also started incorporating lots of dates into my diet as well as herbal teas specific for birth prep!
Most of these things are linked on my Amazon Storefront.
Some of my favorite pregnancy/birth accounts to follow on Instagram:
Stay tuned…Baby G will be here soon and I hope to keep you updated as we head into this next whirlwind season of life! xo.
I want to document the moments that you will cherish for a lifetime. From the mundane moments to the elaborate, big aspects of your story -- I will be there, camera in hand!