Hey fam, today I wanted to share my intimate maternity photos and a little letter in the mix. As my photographer/friend Jon and I were taking these pictures (literally down the street from my house!), I found myself feeling so many mixed emotions. It really hit me in that hour that I’m going be a mom very soon. I think now that I’m at the finish line of pregnancy, I can look back and openly share some things I’ve loved and learned – and a couple of regrets?
LOVED: So many things! Being a first-time preggo, I am so happy that I didn’t experience morning sickness! Most of my girlfriends who were pregnant all got hit with it in some way so I feel like I won the lottery in that department! I definitely felt fatigue but nothing too extreme. Another thing – I love that I never used my pregnancy as an excuse to be lazy! Being pregnant actually challenged me to continue life as I normally would (with a few healthy modifications) I never tried avoiding my workouts. Getting in some level of fitness has always been important to me (even if it was just a 20 minute walk some days when I was fatigue.) In the end, I think this helped me experience less aches and pains (and hopefully it paid off in labor too!)
Don’t get me wrong though – I’ve also loved the amazing amount of REST I’ve been blessed with this season. Sleep yes! But also a spiritual rest from God that I’ve been praying about for YEARS. I’ve been living in a hustle and bustle busy lifestyle world for as long as I can remember and have struggled with taking time for me. I feel like this pregnancy has given me the healthy excuse to find balance and conquer it. Being successful and hard working is important, but I’ve learned that also having sanity, friends and doing normal things that don’t need to become an “instagram moment” is just as important to me in the end. For once, I’m really glad that this pregnancy forced me to say No to fun trips and a lot of work opportunities I had to decline. I’m okay not doing it all and enjoying time at home. 🙂
REGRETTED: At the end of the day, I have no REAL regrets but just for fun I’ll share a few things I’ll work on for my next pregnancy. One of the biggest regrets I’ve had is not eating that extra slice of cake at dinner. (JK I totally ate it.) Besides wishing I took more photos of my bump, I will say this pregnancy has allowed me to look back on pre-pregnancy photos of myself and think “holy cow girl, YOU WERE SO SKINNY.” And NOT in a cute way. It’s kind of embarrassing to talk about myself in this way, but before I got pregnant, I was healthy but also addicted to working out. I think at some point I wasn’t taking in as many calories as I was burning in those fun cycling classes and Kayla Itsines BBG workouts. I wasn’t keeping a close eye on my appearance because I was having so much fun with how far I could push myself in my workouts. LOL. So imagine when I started this pregnancy out at 98 pounds 5’2” height. My BMI was totally underweight and my doctor encouraged me to take it easy and EAT. I’ve gained a healthy 50 pounds now and my body and baby needed it. Safe to say – I’ll never not workout again because I love it, but after this baby arrives I’m going to get back in shape but do it right this time. My goal is to pay close attention to my diet but not be so strict like I was before (esp since I’m nursing and NEED healthy calories!) However, I do not want to be back at my pre-pregnancy weight, ideally 110 would be great! 🙂
LEARNED: I feel like I can write a book about all the things I’ve learned about pregnancy, babies, and coping with all the changes it brings to the body. lol! It’s been an incredible journey seeing what the female body can do and getting to know this little nugget growing inside of me. It’s made me appreciate myself more and respect the process. It probably took me somewhere at the end of my second trimester to finally just let go and trust that my body GOT THIS. I learned stress marks are inevitable so don’t drown yourself in cocoa butter. I learned it’s okay to eat the hot cheetos AND ice cream if you’re craving it. I learned on some days it’s okay to cry, laugh, fart, and scream (even if it’s at the same time LOL). And lastly, I learned that you’re only pregnant for the first time once so embrace the highs, lows, flaws, itchy boobs and everything in between. Most importantly, don’t compare yourself and your pregnancy to anyone else’s. Just like that sweet bundle of joy growing inside you, we are all on a separate journey growing in different ways. Oh and whenever hormones got the best of me, I learned to stop and breathe, count my blessings, and focus on the life growing inside of me. Enjoy the fluttery kicks and hiccups because It’s the closest you will ever be to your child. Don’t blink too fast because they will be here before you know it. 🙂
Before I go, I just want to give you an idea of what my “maternity leave” is going to look like. I decided like any normal person that I want to take time off to tackle the new responsibilities of being a mom and enjoying the precious moments with my newborn baby. I work from home so I don’t have a set date for when I’ll return in full-swing. Knowing myself, I’m not the type to leave my loving readers (you!) and followers hanging in the dust. I won’t be going completely dark thanks to a little strategy move. I’ve worked over-time these past few months to create an extra stash of content that my team can publish on my behalf. The goal is for me to stay off the computer as much as I can and focus on my girl! Depending how I feel postpartum, I will try my best to give little updates here and there (most likely through social media and our new family account The Hendrix’s.) I also want to take my time off as an opportunity to open my eyes and ears to this this new chapter in life and all that I’m going to learn/experience. When I come back to my digital life, I’m excited that I’ll probably have so much to share. I’ll also be more re-charged and inspired than ever before!
Thank you for supporting me every step of this pregnancy. Stevie and I were talking the other night about how lucky we are to have such an incredible support system. You guys are a blessing in our lives and we do not take that for granted! We are excited to know that this sweet bundle of joy already has so much love and attention! I know I say this a lot, but you guys really are the best.
I’ll be 39 weeks on Monday and my doctor said she can come any day now! (fun fact: I lost my mucus plus the other morning – dare you to Google it if you aren’t sure hahahaha ) and I’m over 1 centimeter dilated! My body is definitely getting ready to do its thing so I’m soaking up these final moments of freedom (hehe). I want it to happen how it naturally would, but are there any remedies or tricks to speed things up? If you can recommend something comment below! 🙂
Prayer request: Right now, I’m feeling so anxious/excited/nervous/a little scared! All to be expected before labor and contractions, right? If you’d like to keep me and baby Hendrix in your prayers, my request is to pray that our labor/delivery is smooth with minimal discomfort and ZERO complications. Pray that she comes fast and is healthy, healthy, healthy! Thank you so much!
Photography: Jon Volk / Dress: Ingrid & Isabel