2 years ago when I was pregnant with Nala, I did a maternity shoot shot by Niceprint Photo. The shoot was dreamy, having done a girly, princess-y themed maternity shoot was all I could ever wish for to memorialize my pregnancy journey with Nala. Especially because I was carrying my little princess.
2 years after, I am once again blessed to carry another baby, this time a baby boy. Nearing towards the end of my 3rd trimester, I was contemplating if I should still do a maternity shoot when the last one was only 2 years ago. Most likely I'll end up looking exactly the same. But I also didn't want to let this moment pass coz in my head, this MIGHT be the last time I'll be pregnant (ahem, please don't quote me on that) coz at this point, VJ and I are talking about not having more children. So of course I would want to have nice photos to remember my "last" pregnancy!
So while I was browsing through my phone, I came across an article that talked about real pregnancy struggles and right away I knew I wanted that as my theme.
Pregnancy is indeed a wonderful journey, the miracle of growing a human being inside of you is undoubtedly one of God's amazing gifts to women, but let's face it, IT IS NOT EASY AND NOT AT ALL GLAMOROUS.
The first trimester is the moooooost challenging of all. Morning sickness, for some, all day sickness, nausea, sleepiness, sore breasts, enhanced smell of everything especially garlic, perfume etc. This is the time when the things you used to do are slowly being taken away from you. You can no longer cook, eat, focus, work and do anything else. You just want to lay down all day in between trips to the bathroom to puke even when there's no food left to let out. I was diagnosed with "hyperemesis gravidarum" or in other words, excessive vomiting during my 1st trimester and was hospitalized a few times for dehydration. It was not pretty at all.
The second trimester is the honeymoon stage of pregnancy, I was sleeping fine, eating more than fine (uh oh!) and was really doing great. Going to work and doing what I had to do was a breeze, no problems at all except for developing aches and pains on my lower back due to my growing belly. But all in all I was feeling great. This was also the part when I really enjoyed eating, I felt like I was stripped off my rights to eat during the firs trimester so I think I had too much fun devouring and giving in to my cravings this time around.
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Now on my last trimester, lower back pain has been a constant companion. I've been doing pregnancy yoga stretches to help release it and so far its really helping me. I struggle to get out of bed and would often need a little push or pull from VJ to help me stand. My legs and feet now expand at night especially when I do too much standing and walking. So flats out, rubber shoes in! most preferrably laceless coz tying shoe laces have now become a struggle too.
I have become someone I am not while my belly grows, all in just 9 months. Lets not even talk about weight gain coz that still shocks the hell out of me but it is what it is!
Soon we'll have a pre teen, a toddler and an infant, VJ and I are bracing ourselves for the changes that are about to happen as our family grows.
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Pregnancy taught me to embrace and continue to love my ever changing body. It taught me to be selfless and think about my baby rather than how I look. To accept what happens and be joyful about it. Pregnancy feels like forever when in fact, I think 9 months is quite short to actually grow, mold and form a human being, but that's the miracle of life.
It taught me to love my flaws-- growing, darkening areas of your body, stretch marks, break outs and everything else.
It is not a requirement to look perfect during this time of our lives and IT'S OKAY. It's beyond our control anyway. Let's not be too hard on ourselves. We all go through pregnancy differently, let's not compare ourselves with what we see on the internet. No more layering of filters and photoshops for that IG worthy post, just do you and love every inch of it. You are a mom and you are beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, do things that makes you feel great about yourself, dab on some cheek and lip tint, workout to feel good and strong. Do what you gotta do not for others but for yourself.
When the baby comes, we'll have our turn to go back to the best versions of ourselves anyway. All in due time. So for now, chill, take care of yourself and enjoy the pregnant verison of you coz it won't last forever.
Hugs and kisses from one preggo momma to anotha!
Big big thanks for the amazing team who helped make this happen in the comforts of my home.
Jane Kingsu Cheng of Moms and Babies
Patricia Infante of Cocoon studio
Mithi Lacaba of Ohana Creatives
Make up by Lindsay Co Alog
Styled by Jeff Galang