Sunday, December 25, 2016

Maternity Photos & Motherhood Musings

Dress: Sew Trendy Accessories (get it here) // Floral Crown: Amazon (get it here)

Merry Christmas, everyone! I wanted to share my maternity photos while I'm still pregnant and a few thoughts I've had regarding my pregnancy and this new phase in life. Here we go!

These gorgeous photos were taken by my friend Vanessa at Pearl Photo Design. She was one of the very first people I told I was pregnant because I wanted to make sure she had room in her schedule to do my maternity photos! She did an AMAZING job. They came out exactly as I was envisioning! I had SUCH a hard time picking just a few to share with you guys. Trust me, I thought about posting all 109 of them haha. The weather was absolutely perfect for November when we took these photos. The leaves were all such gorgeous colors and it wasn't cold at all. I couldn't be happier with how they turned out. She has taken so many wonderful photos of Chris & me through the years and I can't wait for her to take more of our growing family. I'm so grateful not only for her photography abilities, but also her friendship. She is the best!

So here we are. My due date! I honestly thought this day would NEVER come. I've been imagining what the holidays would be like this year for months and I can't believe they are finally here. We kept thinking the baby would arrive early, but of course he is still quite comfortable and not going anywhere. We optimistically bought a cute little newborn Christmas outfit for the baby to wear, but sadly it's looking like we'll have to return it :( I'm a little sad because it would have been an adorable photo, but my OB is out of town until Monday and in some ways it has been nice to enjoy Christmas with my family without having to worry about all the logistics of having a newborn around. Christmas has certainly been simpler as a pregnant lady instead of a new mom (even if I am more uncomfortable by the minute). If I had to guess at this point, I'd say he probably won't make his big debut until later this week. But who knows! Anything could happen.

I'm feeling all the normal emotions that are associated with such a huge life change. Fear, happiness, anxiety, joy, disbelief, etc. It seems like every five minutes I feel differently about it. It's like all these emotions are constantly swirling around inside me but the proportions are always changing. It's quite the emotional roller coaster.

One thing that's been a little hard for me is realizing that Chris & I's time as just the two of us is coming to a close. I know that parenthood will be wonderful and everything, but I will miss the simplicity and flexibility of our life right now. I'm so grateful we have had the last three and a half years to build a strong foundation for our family. I think we have definitely made the most of our time   without kids in terms of being spontaneous, going on trips, having adventures, etc. Having kids in our lives will just bring on a whole set of new and different adventures! I definitely think it's the right time for us to move onto this next chapter, but it is a little scary.

I'm scared that I won't be a great mom. I had the best example growing up from my own mother and I fear that I won't be able to be even half as amazing as she is. I worry that I'll be overwhelmed by everything and won't remember how to best raise a child. There are so many things to think about, keep track of, read up on and I honestly do not know how I'll handle everything and keep my life balanced in a healthy way. Parenthood just seems so overwhelming to me. I mean, this is a lifelong commitment. 24/7. There are no real breaks from being a mom. I hope I find enough joy and happiness in being a mom that it will make up for all the difficult moments. Deep down, I know I will, but it's still frightening to think about.

Of course, I'm also a bit terrified of childbirth haha. I hate pain medications and needles, so I'm going to try really hard to do it naturally. However, I fully recognize that sometimes epidurals are necessary to help move labor along so I am DEFINITELY not ruling it out. I just would rather not have to deal with the side effects of pain meds if I don't have to. It's just so hard to predict how I'll react to labor, how long it will last, if I'll end up needing a C-section, etc. and the unknown is scary to me. I just wish I knew everything that was going to happen haha.

I will also just genuinely miss some aspects of being pregnant. I love my round belly and feeling the baby kick, move, squirm, and hiccup inside. Some of my favorite moments from this pregnancy have been just laying in bed with Chris, watching my stomach shift and move, or giving Chris a hug and having him feel the baby's hiccups. It will be kinda sad to not have that anymore.

With all this being said, there is SO much I'm looking forward to! 

I'm incredibly excited to meet this baby boy. I can't wait to see what he looks like, what color his hair is, what his personality is like. I'm eager to hold and snuggle him and dress him up in all the adorable clothes he has. I want to smell that newborn smell (even if it does involve some dirty diapers) and get to know him. I also am really looking forward to just seeing him grow up and turn into the incredible person I hope he will become. I have a feeling that we will have so much fun together and make incredible memories as a family.

I'm also really looking forward to seeing my husband and family fit into their new roles. Chris will make an AMAZING father, I have no doubt about that. I also know that my parents and Chris's parents are going to be the best grandparents in the world. Our siblings will be such fun and loving aunts and uncles. It will be so great to see that new dynamic in our family.

Being a full-time mom is also something I'm eager to jump into. I know it will be hard at times and there will be days when I'll feel like I'm going crazy, but I also know that it will be so rewarding. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and it was exactly what I needed growing up so I'm looking forward to being able to (hopefully) give that to my kids as well. I will do some freelance work for the marketing company I worked for and I'll go into the office of my other job to update some projects a few times a year so I will still have some work obligations, but nothing too demanding. I'm really grateful my former employers are so willing to work with me and my new schedule so that I can continue to work with and contribute to their projects. Obviously, I'll keep up my blog as well which will be a nice creative outlet for me, as it always has been. Motherhood will always be my first priority, but I think it'll be really healthy for me to have some things outside the house that I'm working on as well.

I am beyond grateful for how easy this pregnancy has been. There have certainly been a few hiccups along the way, but nothing disastrous. The baby is healthy and won't be born too early, which is all that matters to me! I would do this all over again in a heartbeat. It has been an amazing experience that has forced me to grow and change in ways I never thought I could.

I am also so so thankful for all my wonderful family members and friends who have been nothing but supportive, loving, and generous throughout this pregnancy. Chris has been the perfect companion to have during these last nine months. He is thoughtful, attentive, and always trying to make my life easier. He has made me feel even more loved and valued and worked so hard to prepare our home and himself for this baby. My pregnancy has definitely brought us closer together. My mom has given me lots of great advice about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting. She is a fountain of knowledge and I have no doubt that I'll continue to turn to her as I encounter new challenges with being a mom. My dad has been so excited about this baby from the moment he found out I was pregnant. It's nice to have family that is just as eager to have this baby as you are. He has reassured me time and time again that all will be well, and that has helped me tremendously. My siblings have also expressed nothing but excitement and support. I love hearing them talk about spoiling the baby and what they are looking forward to doing with him throughout the years. My friends have been so kind and thoughtful. They've given me far too generous gifts, thrown showers for me, given me soooo many tips/tricks/pieces of advice, sent me tons of thoughtful and encouraging texts, and made me feel very loved. I am blessed to have such wonderful people in my life.

So I guess that's it! Like I said earlier, I'm reeeeally hoping I'll have the baby this week. In which case, this will likely be my last blog post before becoming a mom. If I end up still not having a baby by the end of the week, maybe I'll post again :) But hopefully it won't come to that! Thank you again for following along on this journey. I appreciate all of your pieces of advice, words of encouragement, and general interest and concern for the baby's well-being (and mine). It honestly means the world to me. I hope you will all continue to follow along as I embark on the next part of this journey, motherhood! I promise to keep doing outfit posts but also include some details and stories from my new life as a mom too. I'll try to keep it all balanced and write a variety of different kinds of posts.

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday weekend with family and loved ones! Thank you, as always, for stopping by :)

Watching: Home Alone with the fam.
Feeling: VERY full from all the Christmas goodies.
Happy: That the ice melted and I can safely walk outside again!
Days Until Christmas 2017: 365!
Days Until Baby: Who knows haha.

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