Monday, July 16, 2012

The Problem of Maternity Photography

17.5 weeks
Eve and I at 17.5 weeks, August 2011

Today I had am having a bit of a freak out.  I realized that we are now in the time period of pregnancy that is ideal for getting maternity photos taken.  I have a lovely but sizable bump, clothes still fit and look attractive, and we don't have to worry about imminent labor.  And -- I haven't researched photographers or sent inquiries, and I certainly haven't scheduled any photo sessions.

So why the freak out?

Because today I came to a second realization -- that I desperately want photos taken with this baby in my belly, and I want them done within the next few weeks. 

With Eve, we had a maternity photo session scheduled for November 19, 2011.  Complimentary sessions were offered to every couple in my birthing class, and we planned to take full advantage of that.

On November 17, I went shopping for the outfit I planned to wear for the photoshoot.

On November 18, we found out that Eve was dead. 

On November 19, instead of getting happy maternity photos taken, I got pills put inside of me to ripen my cervix and prepare for labor. 

On November 20, Eve's body was born.

I only have eight photos of me from when I was pregnant with her, including the above.  Eight measly photos of when she was alive within me.  Eight photos that have to last a lifetime.  Eight, because I didn't schedule a maternity shoot enough ahead of time.

And now I feel like I have made the exact same mistake again.  Even though I know that the stakes are higher.  Even though I don't feel like we have the luxury of passing on maternity photos and waiting for the newborn photos, because I know too well that there might not be a newborn. 

Even if nothing bad happens (a hope that I am daily disciplining myself to hold with faith), I still don't want to miss the chance to have photos taken of this sweet time when our son is physically a part of me, when we share the same body.  I don't want to miss this opportunity, and am afraid we have.

I am afraid that we only have until 31 weeks, the gestation that Eve died at, and that's just a month off now.  Or even worse, that we have less time, that this boy will die just a suddenly as his sister and never outlive her.  And I am afraid with a superstitious, stupid, illogical fear that if I schedule a maternity photo session, then that will cause our son to die. 

But mostly I am afraid that we have missed out.  Again.

The tears hover behind my eyes as I write. I am trying to trust that it's not too late, because really (for any sane, normal pregnant woman), it's not.  I'm nearly 27 weeks along, which means that I have at least a good ten weeks in which to secure some photos.  But the tears, ready to fall, tell a different story.

And again that same word as before comes to mind -- that it's reckless to think like that, to assume that we have decades or years or weeks with our son, when really all we have is now. 

I have no choice, I suppose.  I will make my plans the best I can.  I will inquire with photographers and schedule a session, and try to leave the rest where it belongs -- in God's hands. 

I will try not to snatch it all back from Him too often.  


  1. I remember feeling like this about a 4d scan. I wanted one done with Finley and allowed people to talk me out of it because of the cost and that the baby would soon be here with us. I had one done so early with TJ just in case anything happened. I think the word reckless is a very apt word.

  2. I can't wait to see the photos of you and Jacob :)

  3. Oh Beth I am so very sorry. That must of been excruciating to go from planning a photo shoot to Eve's Delivery :,( I have the same regrets I never show until the end of my pregnancy so i wait to take pictures. How I wish I would not of waited with Jonathan. I am praying for you Beth I know the weeks leading up to 31 are so scary and difficult. You will make it one step at a time my friend. You are not alone we are here supporting you and praying for you!

  4. Beth...praying for you because I know the days are only getting harder, not any easier. Please know that I think about you all the time and I am holding my breath with you, hoping that baby Jacob arrives safe and sound. And as scary as it is, I think you should get pictures done now, because no matter what happens you will want these pictures and the memories they bring.

  5. I feel the same way. I have less than 10 different belly pictures with Wiley. I regret it so much. I plan on taking weekly pictures and maternity pictures during this pregnancy, but it's hard knowing I didn't with my sweet boy and I should have. Thinking of you! Hoping you and baby are doing great!

  6. Huge (((hugs))) Being pregnant with a rainbow and replaying all the "what if's" is so difficult. I found it a daily struggle of giving it back to God . Praying for you as I am sure it's difficult in these days leading up to 31wks.
    -visiting from Tesha's

  7. Praying for you.
    What you describe here-- this daily struggle and battle to hold on to faith and fight fear and wrestle with the thoughts you know are not bearing's a LOT.
    I hope you seek Him and fill fill fill daily --- no matter how much Truth is forgotten or leaked out during the day -- no matter how many times Fear dominates over Faith....just keep returning to HIS presence.
    Replenish. Refill. Restore. Recharge. Take the time.
    You owe it to yourself and your family. <3

  8. Photos really mean a lot to me too (which is why I started my photography called All Things Lovely Photography). After losing Lily and not being offered the NILMDTS or getting many maternity photos, I realized how precious those moments are. I realized the importance of capturing life's sacred moments that you will never get back. And my photography business was born. I want to keep others dwelling on "All Things Lovely" (from the verse in Philippians). And I want to provide affordable photography for people who wouldn't be able to get those lasting memories otherwise. I so wish I lived closer to you because it would be an honor to take your maternity photos!

    My sister and cousin did a little photo shoot with me when I was 25 weeks. Unfortunately, the camera wasn't very good quality. I wish I had taken a photo on the same day each week to make a video at the end of my pregnancy. I also wish I had taken more maternity photos when I got bigger. Towards the end, I was so swollen and just didn't want to look fat. My sister kept saying we should do it...why didn't I listen?! We never know how much we will treasure those keepsakes until it's too late. Until it happens to us. Now I am already planning on doing SO many things, creating so many beautiful memories, if and when I have another baby.

    I wish you had more photos of your time with Eve in you...praying for you and Jacob. I look forward to seeing how these pics turn out-I'm sure they will be simply LOVELY! <3

  9. I realized the importance of capturing life's sacred moments that you will never get back. And my photography business was born. man health tablets

  10. I found you through Still Standing.

    We are in almost the exact same position- we lost our daughter in Dec. 2010 (not to stillbirth- she had a lethal birth defect), and are 28 weeks pregnant with our second subsequent pregnancy. (The first subsequent ended in miscarriage).

    I still haven't taken any photos- have barely prepared for this baby, because I am so sure that things are going to go wrong. But- you can be sure that I know exactly what I will do if this baby doesn't survive.....

    I will keep you in my prayers as we both head towards our due dates!

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