For all that I love taking pictures, I cannot stand to have my picture taken. I’ll be honest – for years, as long as I can remember, I’ve been very self-conscious and aware of my looks, my weight, and how I must appear to other people. It pervades my thoughts, even during moments where it shouldn’t, like pregnancy. With Hazel I barely took any pictures of myself because all I could see was how wide my cheeks get when I smile or my double chin or my calves. After I went through that pregnancy my perspective started to change. I didn’t have a life-altering moment where I suddenly dropped all that old baggage and gave myself a big mental hug. Instead, I just found myself marveling at what my body had done and continued to do as I nursed Hazel and watched her grow. More than anything I wanted to spare her as best I could all the junk that I put myself through, and so I finally admitted that if I continued to berate myself that she would most likely pick it up too even if I never commented on her body. After that I really tried to understand and change those habits in myself, which led me to exercise. I started slowly, having never been able to exercise for many weird reasons, and by the time I got pregnant with Julia I was riding my bike several miles a day, doing the Jillian Michaels DVDs, and swimming as much as I could while the weather held. It was awesome, feeling so strong and actually in control for once.
So in this pregnancy, I vowed that I would not let my hang-ups interfere with the memories of the family, and to that end I decided to have some nice portraits taken of the family while I was really pregnant with Julia. One of my old friends, Sarah Hart, is now a freelance photographer who takes lovely pictures, and she was nice enough to take some of us! You can find her beautiful work at Pictures from the Hart.