big news! i'm pregnant!

Well, here it is. Some wild, scary, exciting, thrilling, pop-the-champagne-but-don’t-drink-it news:

🎉 we’re having a baby! 🎉

Stevie and I are super excited (and, admittedly, a bit overwhelmed) about this next season of life, and we can’t wait to welcome this little babe into our family that we’ve already fallen so in love with. We’re due August 17th, so I’m about 17 weeks along in this pregnancy journey. It’s been a wild ride, so here are the details so far, as well as what you can expect from me in the months to come.

How we found out…

Unbeknownst to me, I enjoyed my last glass(es) of wine at my birthday dinner on December 10th. (It was a great bottle too, friends. I went out the next day and bought three more. Guess those’ll turn into hostess gifts!) When December 13th rolled around and I still hadn’t started my cycle, Stevie suggested I take a pregnancy test when he got home from work that day. One of my strongest memories from that day was that I was cravinggg a spicy tuna roll, but I resisted the urge to run out and grab one for lunch and figured I’d treat myself the next day if the pregnancy test was negative.

Welp, I took the pregnancy test and sat there on the sofa with Stevie waiting for the result as our Christmas tree twinkled behind us. And. There. It. Was. Pregnant. No doubt about it. Of course I only had one test at the house, and of course we had to leave immediately after to go have dinner with Stevie’s parents. We snapped a quick picture to remember the moment and raced out the door with the promise to each other that we’d stop by a pharmacy on our way home to grab a couple more tests. (Ya know, just to be reallyyyy sure.)

Sitting on the news for about 10 days was surreal; it was our little secret and hardly felt real. We confirmed the pregnancy a few days later with my OB/GYN, and decided to reveal the news to our families as a Christmas present since the holidays were upon us!

How we told our families…

We didn’t have any ultrasound photos to share by the time we told our families, so we decided to wrap a letter board for each of them as a Christmas present. We prefaced the gift by saying their “real” gift would be coming a little late, so this was a placeholder while their real present was on the way. They unwrapped a letter board that said “GIFT ARRIVING AUGUST 2019.” This is the first grandchild on both sides, so the news was received with so much joy and excitement—and lots of tears from both of our moms.

Reflections on the first trimester…

I had been feeling pretty good until Christmas day, when I woke up with some general nausea. Stevie and I had planned a ski trip with some of our best friends from college in Whistler, Canada, and left super early on December 26th. He had sweetly packed me a big bag of saltine crackers for our long day of travel—which I promptly threw up into during the entire Uber ride to the airport. Y’all, this was my worst day in recent memory. I was so nauseous, I couldn’t keep anything down and felt like I could hardly walk, and we had a 12 hour, international travel day ahead of us. After our 5:30 am Uber ride, we had a 3 hour flight to Toronto, then a 5+ hour flight to Vancouver.

Due to some weird glitch in the system, Stevie and I didn’t have seats next to each other on the longer flight, and the people next to both of us were families that, understandably, didn’t want to switch seats. So, there I was all alone for 5 and a half hours just trying to keep some fluids down and not die of nauseousness before we landed in Canada. And once we reached Canada the fun wasn’t over: Rory and Kerry picked us up in the mini van rental and we had a 2.5 hour drive up the windy mountain roads to Whistler Village. By the time we reached our cabin, I christened it with my pregnancy glow threw up profusely.

Apparently pregnancy symptoms and extreme altitude changes don’t mix. I knew I wouldn’t be able to ski anyway once I found out I was pregnant, but I figured I’d spend my time exploring the village, maybe making a Whistler travel guide, and doing some lighter activities like snowmobiling or snowshoeing.

Um, no.

I spent most of the week laying down on the sofa with a trashcan close by and Netflix streaming in the background. I’d sip on ginger tea and try to convince myself to eat when I could. The normally-glorious smell of a pine cabin was almost revolting as my sense of smell was going whack, so I’d sit there like a crazy person sniffing lemon slices to combat my strange aversions.

Long story short, Whistler was by far my worst week of symptoms. Weeks 8-11 were pretty rough overall, though. I came into January thinking I’d be so productive and on the ball, and honestly I spent a lot of it draped over the toilet. I know everyone’s experience is different, but I certainly felt like my body was being hijacked and there was nothing I could do about it.

Amid all of this (at about 9 weeks) I started yoga teacher training. I didn’t feel great most days, but it has taught me the valuable lesson of just being on my mat today, taking what I need and giving what I can. As someone who always opted for the “advanced” variations throughout class, it’s been a humbling and enriching experience to look at yoga not as who’s doing the hardest pose in the room, but instead asking myself: “Am I giving myself what I need today, regardless of what’s happening around me?” That extends far beyond the reach of my mat, and that one mental shift has been so life giving.

My last “incident” was on February 7th, so I’ve gone about a month without feeling debilitatingly dependent on the proximity of a bathroom. Praise hands! And with that newfound freedom I feel like a totally new person. It’s great to have the first trimester behind me, where my only real worry is how much longer I’ll be able to button my jeans. I’ll take it, folks. I’ll take it.

My maternity leave plan…

Oh boy, it’s been hard to turn down so many inquiries for the Fall season, but I’m committed to taking a maternity leave and spending a few months diving headfirst into my new role and learning the ins and outs of what motherhood is all about. With that, I’ll be doing minimal shooting in July (8 months pregnant. In July. In Georgia…can you blame me?) and taking August, September and October off almost completely—aside from a couple of commitments I’ve made that I just can’t bear to pass on to someone else. November and December will remain pretty low key with just portrait and holiday sessions.

It’s scary to turn work down, but I know it’s the right call for our family. And I’m excited to soak in this next season without the added burden of trying to be on my feet for 10-hour wedding days. I’m just going to be trying to keep a little life alive and learn what it’s like to change a diaper when I’m half asleep, you know? My goal is to keep blog content comin’ atcha by creating and scheduling it in advance, so hopefully it won’t be radio silence around here!

So, now that the secret’s out…

What do I need to know? Any mama birds out there with advice on what I definitely need to register for? A book that particularly helped you prepare? Heck, ways to stay comfortable(ish) along the way? Let me know in the comments!


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