One of my very best friends, Amy, is a photographer and a FANTASTIC one at that. I feel so blessed to call her my friend and to be able to go through life’s ups and downs with her. She was able to take my maternity pictures with Fynnock and I think they turned out amazing.
This pregnancy was hard for my because it was my first pregnancy after getting diagnosed with Graves Disease and gaining 40 lbs in 2 months and then having my left eye go a bit crazy because of Thyroid Eye Disease. I felt huge and ugly. Kids always comment on how creepy my eye is and ask me why it looks so scary. I try to laugh it off and make jokes about it with them and tell them that it scares me too as I explain why it looks the way it does, but in all honestly its hard for me to look in the mirror or look at pictures of myself. I try to avoid both at all costs, but the reality is that until I can get surgery to fix the eye this is me. I didn’t even want to do maternity pictures this time because of my eye but this is what I look like right now and this will mean something to Fynnock one day.
It’s hard to not want to hide from all cameras and avoid social contact because I hate the way I look and I hate how scary I’m sure I appear to other people, but again this is me. I’ve learned a lot in the past year of having my eye look the way it does and the weird looks I get from people. I have learned a lot about looking past what we see on the outside and focusing on the inside. I have learned that no matter what I look like I can’t hide from the world because that’s telling the world that its okay to judge me for the way I look.
This is the first pregnancy where I have actually only gained the required amount of weight. With Landon I gained 40 pounds, Braddoc 50 pounds, Tayton 4o pounds and Aowyn was a whopping 60 pounds. With Fynnock I fluctuated back and forth between 25-30 pounds for the last month, in the ended I was so swollen that I think most of the weight was from how much water I was retaining. The swelling never went down or subsided when I was pregnant and it took a few days after I had him for it to actually go away completely. My weight gain was all baby and water weight because within a week of having him I was back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Which is a good thing because I weighed as much when I got pregnant with him as I did when I was in LABOR with Aowyn. So even though I only gained a small amount of weight with him I still weighed more than I have ever weighed before.
I am blessed to have a wonderful husband who still thinks I am beautiful and who loves me regardless of what crazy things are happening with my body.
I am so glad that I had these pictures taken and as much as they make me cringe when I see myself I have learned to look past that and to see the beauty. This body has birthed 5 children now and has held them when they cried, kissed boo boos and nursed hurt feelings. I have stayed up late into the night and gotten up early in the morning with them. I have loved them with all I have inside of me. I have rocked them to sleep and rubbed their backs for them when they are sick or sad. I am beyond blessed to have the miracles that I have in my life.
I am so blessed with the ability to have children. Not long after we were married I sat in a doctor’s office and heard him say to me, “The possibility for you to have children is slim, if you even have a hope of having them you need to start trying now.” I learned that day that I had a double whammy of medical conditions that make it hard to get pregnant: Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (I have since lost an ovary because of this) and Endometriosis. I left the office and drove home sobbing. My heart was broken and I had no idea how to tell my new husband that we might not ever have children. After several miscarriages, lots of ovarian cysts, surgeries to remove cysts, ruptured cysts and a few surgeries to remove scar tissue that had built up in my uterus, and one surgery to remove an ovary because of possible cancer, here I am with 5 beautiful babies. How could I not want to capture that moment as my body swelled with life inside of it, a tiny little person who I long ago thought might never be possible? (read my story here)
I am so glad that I decided to have the pictures taken and to document me carrying my beautiful boy inside my body. Nothing about the enlarged eye or the extra weight matters when I think about the miracle that is occurring inside of me. I am beautiful simply because I am a woman and I am so beyond grateful that I have the ability and opportunity to create life. There are so many women out there who don’t have the opportunity to ever feel a child growing inside them and I was going to let my self-conscious stop me from documenting this miracle of life? I am so grateful for Amy and for her love for me and for helping me feel beautiful. I am grateful that I have 5 amazing children and that I have gotten to feel each of them growing and moving inside of me.
And just for kicks and giggles this last one cracks me up. Braddoc refused to get in the family pictures, Aowyn was throwing a fit and wouldn’t look at the camera and all Noah and I could do was laugh at our crazy, exciting circus. At least Tayton is looking at the camera.