You have been an only child for 12 years. You know how to entertain yourself, and you have your own world that you live in 95% of the time. Your heart is sweet and sensitive, but your all boy that loves to run in the streets of the neighborhood with all the other boys playing war games, sword fighting, wrestling, and riding bikes, and at nearing 12 years old, you still love stuffed animals. I sit quietly and watch you as the battle on the coffee table unfolds. Most of the time I have no idea what you're talking about when it comes to the names of the worlds you create, what land which knight is from, and why they are at war. You are so passionate about it, and although I don't always understand what sounds like jibber jabber fantasy world games you are talking about, I love to watch you play, and I love that you are so creative and have a wild imagination.
As the time draws closer for your little sister to arrive, I feel twinges of sadness to see you so big already. I remember you being a newborn like it was yesterday. My mind sometimes can't wrap around how fast time seems to go, and how you got to be nearly as tall as me. Childhood is fleeting, and the first year of life is even faster, passing in a blink of an eye. Although I wish I could just slow it all down, and let you be a kid even longer, I know that within a few years you will be driving, and becoming more independent than you already are.
So I will soak in as much as I can. Capturing the moments and memories of your youth that I don't want to forget, and want you to remember about yourself when you are older, and the world tries to change you.
I know you are going to be a fantastic big brother. You already love your little sister so much. Every day you talk about how excited you are to hold her, and teach her things. I know at times we drive one another crazy. Sometimes it truly feels like you and I are definitely from different planets, but there is so much love between us, and we never miss a day without hugs, kisses, and I love you's. I realized we haven't called you munchkin in a long while. You were so cute as a toddler, we called you munchkin for years, and you always said, 'munkin.' I still call you hunny bunny time to time. I think of the cute ways you used to say things, like 'lellow,' instead of yellow, 'shouwyer' instead of shower, and I don't even know how to spell out how you said shower, but it was cute, and we still laugh about it at times, or 'grill,' instead of girl.
I know someday, probably before I am ready, you will be on your own, you will have your own family eventually, and I will see the man you grow into, but in my heart you will always be my baby boy.
I love you William,
The first trimester feels like it goes by so slowly. Watching grass grow in the winter would probably feel like it goes by faster. From the moment we found out I was pregnant I was thinking about photos, documenting the pregnancy, exercise, and health in general, but things don’t always go as planned. But let’s not start just there…yet.
From the time we began talking about getting me pregnant, last Spring of 2015, to the actual time of conception was a whirlwind of emotions for me. The closer it got to us giving it a go and doing the deed, I was obsessed with all things related to ovulating, conceiving, what to eat, reading about Lunaception, yeah, luna as in moon, apparently if a woman has her cycle around a new moon, and ovulates during a full moon she will get pregnant, sure enough that was my case, so maybe there is some fact behind that, that lead into learning about what astrological sign our baby would have, and if that sign is compatible with us as parents, Turns out, there really aren’t any signs that are very compatible with a Capricorn mother, but quite a few that are happy- go -lucky compatible with a Scorpio father.
So after reading all about all things leading up to conceiving, and what position is best for a boy or girl, Jack and I were definitely not on the same page, Jack: “why not nature let it do its thing, besides I have super sperm, you will get pregnant no matter what,” me: “because I am tracking everything, and I will be ovulating in four days, then it’s go time buddy, time to make a deposit.”
Ok, so all the obsessive stuff aside, I was really excited to finally be making this life changing decision with my husband. Conversations ranging from how cute it will be to have a baby, and watch it grow into a little munchkin, remembering William being a little guy, to Jack’s age difference from the baby, and wondering if the pregnancy will be different from my pregnancy with William 12 years ago, to this means I am going to have to be sober and decaffeinated for 9 months, and since I plan to breastfeed for quite some time, that means even longer. Yay me! Thinking positive, well, my liver will enjoy a break from my coffee habit, and couple glasses of wine each week.
So two weeks before ovulating I had my last day of adult drinks. I drank a lot of coffee, in the morning, knowing I would start the next morning off with my plan to wean myself off of the delicious coffee I enjoy every morning for years on end that might as well be crack, because I’m so addicted to the stuff, and then followed up that evening with a spaghetti dinner at home with my sweetheart and a bottle of my favorite cabernet. That night I didn’t know whether to pass out or work out from the lovely mixture of caffeine and wine, so we stayed up watching movies. We’re real party animals…. You know cuddled up on the couch watching Netflix.
The two weeks prior to ovulating seemed to drag on. I was working out, trying to get the five pounds off that I somehow managed to gain while in Hawaii on our very active familymoon, living off pineapple, jerky, and rum, while Jack and William came home from the trip and discovered they had actually lost 6 pounds each, and no matter what I did over that two weeks the scale wouldn’t budge, so I raised my hands in defeat, and declared oh well, I will just maintain a healthy pregnancy and healthy weight gain and it will be ok. I’ll come back to this obsessing over my weight after the baby is born. Fast forward to me, now in third trimester, and well, that goal went right out the window. So here’s the recap of my first trimester.
A little note prior to giving the scoop on my first trimester, it was hellish, and no I am not complaining, ok, maybe just a little, but not every pregnancy is a walk in the park with butterflies, sometimes it feels more like your body is possessed, so yeah, and yes, I know it is all worth it in the end, and more than anyone else on the planet I love this little baby growing in my belly, and I count my blessings that I am having another child. With that said, here is how it went down.
My 1st trimester wasn’t really broke up into any stages, like shock of finding out I was pregnant or having some slight symptoms indicating my body was now growing a little human, or cravings of any kind. Some women don’t even realize they are pregnant until a couple months in, and that would be me 12 years ago with my first. No symptoms, no changes, a missed period and a negative pregnancy test, a couple of glasses wine later, then I smelled onions wafting in from under my bedroom door from the kitchen, where my ex mother in law was cooking, and I had lost all control of my stomach and was throwing up. Hmm. I wondered and decided another pregnancy test was in order. This time showing I was pregnant, and that being one of only three times I threw up in that pregnancy, minus the time I got the flu with him in my second trimester, and was sick for a week.
Anyways, with this baby, the first trimester was in full swing the moment my egg dropped. I swear I felt it get fertilized. I knew I was pregnant without a doubt. I’ll share a very dear to my heart and soul moment. Two days into my “open fertile window” I was lying down on the new recliner Jack got for me, and I was doing a fertility meditation by Hypnobabies. There was a beautiful and touching moment when I felt the presence of my daughter with me. I KNEW it was her, and I KNEW I was going to have a daughter, and it was exciting. The energy was very feminine, but strong in announcing. As if her soul spoke to mine, “I am here. I am your daughter.” I didn’t share that moment right away with anyone, not even Jack. It was very divine feeling, and so personal. At that moment I really didn’t have any doubts that the little girl that came to me in my dreams for so many years was now here, ready to start her journey into this world.
I was bloated like crazy by the 6th day, and so when I took my pregnancy test 3 days prior to my expected to be missed period I was not surprised to see two lines. My son was the first person to know I was pregnant after that. He was excited, but entirely grossed out that I planned on keeping pregnancy test, or his words, “Mom, eww, you are keeping that gross pee stick thingy.” As I showed him that I still have his “gross pee stick thingy.”
Happy, yes, I was thrilled, and a little bit, like oh shit what did we just do, but still over the moon excited.
Buying Maternity clothes
Within that week of testing I had to buy my first pair of maternity pants. Let me just say for the record, buying maternity clothes is not cheap. It can be very easy to spend more than your entire mortgage payment on a few things, so exercising willpower in those cute maternity shops is imperative to not going broke. The whole use a rubber band to hold your jeans on trick was not working. I joked with Jack and William and asked them, “Is this baby making me look fat?” As I tried to squeeze into my jeans. Then as time progressed and my belly thickened even more, I still joked, but partly was like, “Ok, seriously, babe, do I look pregnant or just fat? I hope I don’t just look like I am fat.” As he sat there looking at me, and says, “well your shirt says baby on it, so it kinda gives it away hun,” and I respond hormonally, “well what does that mean, do I look pregnant or just fat?” He replied with, “You’re the most beautiful woman on the planet honey.”
I was popping out already, and bloated to inth degree, so badly that my old belly button piercing from when I was teen, that has been closed up since I was 21, burst open, and I’ll spare you the details, but that was not a pretty sight, and hurt pretty bad. So far about a few weeks into my pregnancy and it was already night and day different from my first.
Within the first two weeks the severe nausea turned into severe vomiting. This wasn’t just morning sickness, or let’s just stay away from onions for a while, it was full blown feeling like I might need to consider an exorcism, because something is terribly wrong, and this much puking can’t be normal. I mean, when in your life do you have to judge how much throwing up is probably considered normal or not? Probably not too many times in a person’s life, and if you are lucky, hopefully never. By 5 weeks the midwife and my chiropractor came to the conclusion that I had HG, hyperemesis gravidarum, and that meant my first trimester and probably then some would suck the life out of me. So much for my healthy eating for pregnancy and keeping up with my Pinterest board, and ideas for all the cute pregnancy progression photos and videos I thought I would do. Screw that, nature had something else in mind for me. I was making best friends with good ol John, running to him every time I was sick.
No amount of ginger, sea sickness bands, crackers, peanut butter, acupuncture, and every other thing I tried to ease the sickness would help. And forget driving myself, because when we would leave the house to go anywhere I would last maybe an hour, before wanting to sleep or puke. I could count out staying healthy by exercising, because going on walks meant turning around to come right back home from throwing up. This was just something I would have to get through. The only thing to keep me going was thoughts of holding this soon to be little precious newborn in my arms.
Calls from grandma
You know they say the young and old say it how it is. This is so true. After a couple months into my pregnancy, my grandma, who has called me just about every week since I found out, asked me how I was doing. I told her, and she said matter of factly, “Well Jessie, what do you expect? You are getting kinda old for this pregnancy stuff, don’t you think?” I laughed and said thanks grandma.
The guilt and worry of not having a healthy first trimester, taking Unisom to help a little with the nausea, not eating the healthiest foods or any food for that matter, and not keeping down my prenatals was enough to make me start feeling guilty and depressed. As for the whole crying symptoms, I didn’t have any crying bursts, except this movie called Inside Out made me want to bawl my eyes out.
Here’s a fun fact about 1st trimester, all the books say you will probably experience tiredness. No, this wasn’t just tiredness I experienced, I basically became a narcoleptic. I couldn’t keep my eyes open very long, between being tired from pregnancy and taking Unisom to keep my vomiting episodes to around 10-15 times a day, I was unconscious for the most of those four months I dealt with HG. Luckily, I have an awesome kid. Seriously, poor guy, his mom was basically zonked out or in the bathroom throwing up for four months. He would still do his chores and homework, and check on me, always willing to see what he could do to help me feel better. He would lie next to me and read me stories, or tell me stories, bring me water, rub my head. Sweetest little boy, and I just can’t tell you how much I love him.
So weight gain during the 1st trimester is supposed to be 0-5 pounds, somewhere in there. Somehow during this time I managed to put on 17 pounds. Go figure, I could eat nothing, throw up, and still gain weight, now that made me want to cry, seriously wtf?
Stretching ligaments and Lungs Adjusting
I experienced the aching pains of ligaments and abdomen muscles stretching, along with shortness of breath from my lungs and ribs adjusting for a growing baby. So that yoga I had planned to do, quickly faded into a lofty goal, as every move seemed to pull at something and made me want to shriek.
Sinus Congestion and Oral Health
Here’s another fun fact about pregnancy, sinus congestion all day with bloody noses, and bleeding gums every time I flossed. That started right around 6 weeks in, along with headaches, probably from all the dehydration I assume.
I went up a whole cup size by week 8, not complaining here. One conversation took place with me standing in front of the mirror, “hey babe, at least one good thing out of first trimester is my boobs look awesome now, right?” Then I turn to look at him, and he has his head down still reading his book and not even looking up, “yep, sweetie.” Well, that’s marriage folks. Three days after our last “open window” to try and conceive, my boobs were starting to ache. At one point, Jack and I were out for a walk. My arms were crossed over my boobs, complaining they hurt so much, and him saying, “yeah, because I have super sperm, and you are pregnant,” and me rolling my eyes, laughing at his response, but knowing he was right.
My sense of smell is as good if not better than my dog’s. Quite a few times I would look down at my dog, and say to him, “ you smell that too, don’t you?” When Jack hadn’t even entered the house yet, pulling into the driveway, with fresh chocolate donuts in the passenger seat. Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but my nose became like a super power.
Here’s another fun one, vivid dreams and not sleeping well. Even now, as I am in my third trimester, I still have wild dreams. I have always had an active dreaming mind, but with pregnancy I can outdo any movie or book. Jack says I should write books about the dreams I have been having. I could spend an hour easy explaining dreams to him in the mornings, of course with at least 5 pee breaks in between chatting it up about whatever wild or scary adventure my subconscious conjured up during the night.
Old people syndrome: blurrier vision and short term memory loss
I needed to renew my driver’s license just towards the end of my first trimester and failed the DMV eye exam miserably, because my vision has become increasingly blurrier over the 1st trimester, which my son got a kick out of teasing me about. My memory became foggier and foggier, like really suffering from CRS. I could walk into a room and forgetting why I was in there, put my hand on my forehead trying to remember, and then, “oh well, I have to pee, anyways, maybe I will remember after I go to the bathroom.”
Luckily I got quite a bit of reading in prior to getting pregnant in the few weeks leading up to conceiving during my obsessed with getting pregnant phase, but once all the symptoms of 1st trimester knocked me over the head my stack of pregnancy and birthing books that I ordered in from the library sat collecting dust for the most part, except the pregnant body book, which is fun to look at every day to learn about the changes the baby is going through as it develops is pretty neat. My son and I check it out every few days, and wonder how the baby is doing. It’s really sweet. He loves to see what she looks like every week according to the book. At one point, around 11 weeks, he exclaimed that she looks like an alien, and I said, “William that’s not very nice to pick on your little brother or sister already. She isn’t even born yet.” Smiling at him. He bust up laughing, “Mom, I am not picking on the baby, babies are just weird looking at this stage.” To which I agreed,” yeah they kinda are, now hold the book, I have to pee”
Read More about the pregnancy here: http://www.allisonattitude.com/blog/category/pregnancy
Giving it Up to Get Down
Having the Talk with William
2nd trimester recap coming soon!
Flour Maternity Photo Session with Jessica Allison of Woman of the Abyss
I have always loved the stunning images of ballet dancers using flour as a creative element for portraits. So I decided that it would be neat to see how I can incorporate flour into my own maternity photos.
These were taken 4/10/2016, I am 26 weeks along in these images with my baby girl. It was not easy to do. I have been having a lot of issues with pain, swelling, and muscles cramping/seizing up. Typically most maternity photos are taken 28 weeks to 32 weeks along, typically sooner the better. I am pretty big and round, so I figured starting a little earlier than the typical suggestion would be just fine. ;)
Originally I had planned to have another photographer friend of mine help me out with these, she couldn't make it when I planned the session, so I asked another friend if she could come help throw flour on me. She was able to, only right before the session was supposed to begin I ended up in severe pain and could not walk or stand. I called it off.
The following morning I was feeling slightly better so my Jack helped me out with my idea. I set up my lights, set up my camera settings, and had him push the shutter for me instead of using a timer, because holding any pose for more than a couple seconds was tough on me. Since we originally planned on using flour to throw on me outside, we had bought 24 pounds of flour. However with the condition I was/am currently in with the pain, I decided to take images of flour, and brush them into the studio shots I took. It worked out.
I am a little bummed to not have had the full on flour experience, but since I have all that flour now, I am planning another fun shoot, only this time I will not have to photograph and pose. I can wear my comfy sneakers and stay behind the lens, as well as take a break when I need it. Planning for some awesome action shots showcasing martial arts by my son and his coaches. Hopefully that will all work out very soon. :)