I went into labor on June 16, finally had Maisy on June 19, and stayed at the hospital until June 21 as my husband and a bunch of fantastic family and friends moved us into our house. Finally, on June 21 my husband brought me and Miss Maisy home and I’ve been figuring this mom thing out while trying to unpack and catch up on my photography work… all while trying to rest and recover from giving birth. The past two weeks were not forgotten photographicallly though! During labor my doula took some beautiful photos on my phone. After birth and ever since I just can’t take enough photos of Maisy!
I know now-a-days it is customary to immediately post pictures of big life events on Facebook. I just couldn’t do that. Firstly, I’m a photographer and I wasn’t about introduce my baby girl to the world any other way than with my fancy pants camera. Gotta do the little lady justice! Secondly, I know that eventually I would post pictures of her on the web but I stubbornly wanted to keep her from that… even if just for a little while.
Yesterday I did it. I took some pictures of my precious Maisy. It was actually hard for me to make myself take pictures of her when all I really want to do is stare at her with my own two eyes and hold her all the time. I could only manage a few photos because we also just moved. We closed on a house the day after Maisy was born. So, my house is slowly but surely being put together and boxes are getting unpacked but I certainly am limited in how creative I can get with pictures for now. I figured that’s alright though because, in reality, y’all just want to meet her and I don’t need gobs of photos to do that! Besides, I have a lifetime to take pictures of my little beauty!
Anyway, with no further adieu, meet my daughter, Maisy Joy Calhoun!
For more “a Photo a Day” CLICK HERE.
Photo 1: My 8MO session with Scarlett!
Photo 2: With the nice weather I opened the windows in the studio… I look over to see Haley trying to get as close to said window without falling off the couch.
Photo 3: A spread of my photography in BRAVA Magazine‘s April issue!
Photo 4: BRAVA Magazine gifts all their freelance photographers an ad once a year. Mine ran in the April issue!
Photo 5: Our house is a busy place with Josh hosting music lessons and me conducting my in-home photography studio. I made this sign so I can welcome his students into the house without having to drop my work to go answer the doorbell. I figure this will be particularly necessary when we have a dozing baby! You wake the baby, you die! Just kidding.
Photo 6: I also made this palette board map art this weekend. Since we can’t paint our walls in our apartment I wanted to get the baby’s colors incorporated into our space somehow!
Photo 7: An attempt at a prego selfie (31 weeks pregnant). All you folks who have mastered the prego selfie, I don’t know how you do it! I find it very troublesome standing sideways while holding the camera in a place that won’t block anything and still manage to snap the picture without dropping my phone…
As some of you may have already read in my “Beginnings” post the tell tale signs of pregnancy kick in right away. Or at least in my case they do, apparently not everyone experiences such early and obvious signs. That’s just what I’ve heard. Anyway, I will be very open because I am the kind of person that loves to know these types of things. And when I read the book Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth about Pregnancy and Childbirth Josh was very insistent that I not only should and could share my pregnant stories for educational and entertainment purposes but that I would enjoy telling them. Well, he’s right. Also, the side benefit to all of this is I plan to take these stories and insert them into my baby scrapbook! What a good way for writer and photographer mama to capture the memories right? I’m not afraid to share, but I will forewarn you that some of you may think TMI at some points. To you squeamish males, if you stick it out you might learn something!
My Symptoms in my First 4 Weeks of Pregnancy
Sign #1 | I have to pee… again.
Yes, this happened right away for me. After several trips to the bathroom in the span of a couple of hours I remember thinking, “I don’t think I drank this much water.” Then my next thought was, “is this a sign of pregnancy?” Like a good little college graduate I looked it up and, indeed, it was!
Sign #2 | extra discharge
So for those females who have learned their body we know that there is a cycle of discharge and each different type of discharge has a different a meaning. The beginning of this cycle is the first day of your period. Then you move to a stage of dry fluid and this is also an infertile time. As you progress onward the fluid becomes more fertile. Next is a sticky fluid. Then a fluid best described as “egg white.” And finally, the most fertile fluid is dubbed as “watery” and appears as a little, circular wet spot at the bottom of your panties. From then on you rapidly drop down the scale again, spending the rest of the cycle mostly “dry.” For me, the minute I didn’t go dry I started wondering. In fact, I was always very watery. So, again, a faithful little college graduate I looked it up and found it certainly was one of the first signs of pregnancy.
Sign #3 | sore breasts
If any of you have ever experienced the discomfort of a breast cyst you know how my breasts felt. However, unlike a breast cyst, it felt like the whole base of my breast was a cyst… except minus the lumpy cyst. For those of you who don’t know what this feels like, the best way I can describe this feeling is that it feels like the blend between growing pains and sore muscles the morning after a heavy work out. My boobs hurt so bad I had a hard time with even gentle hugs! Poor Josh had to hold me like I was a porcelain doll. Do I have you wondering if you hugged me in this faze? I’m a tough kid, so I offered solid hugs like always so maybe you’ll never know. Mwahahaha… 😉
Anyway, I was puzzled and was ready to be concerned if a pregnancy test didn’t come up positive. But it did, so turns out these sore knockers are just a normal sign that I’m pregnant.
Sign #4 | no period
For me this confirmed everything even when I was only a few days late because I am always on the button with my cycle. But I waited to take the test until I was a good 5 days past when Josh came home again so we could enjoy the seconds of anxious excitement during the test processing together.
Congratulations, you made it! Now you know a little something about what the very beginning of pregnancy can feel like!
9 weeks pregnant
I’m pregnant. I don’t get sick. I don’t get unreasonably tired unless it’s past 9pm. No, but the minute I get hungry and food is not around look out!
I have never felt so desperate to get food in my entire life as I did the night of Turkey Supper at The Connecting Church.
Please note, I started this evening hungry even before I left work at 4:00pm.
First we had a meeting to talk about putting an offer on a house. We couldn’t find the realtor when we got there so we left and went to the church. I was stoked thinking I would soon be fed. A couple of minutes later I heard back from the realtor with an updated location. We left the church for our new destination. Our meeting there lasted about 45 minutes. We walked back over to the church. We waited for a freight train to let us pass. We finally arrived at the church. We talked to some church friends for a long time. I started dropping hints that I was starving. Then I started trying to pull Josh away. Finally I succeeded. Then we got stopped again for more conversation. I eventually managed to pull Josh away. Finally we were in the dining hall and seated. But there was no food. I leaned over and asked Josh, “how do I get food?” He angry whispered in my ear, “they bring it around.” Apparently, I was supposed to know that. Finally the food came. By then it was 6:30pm. I shoveled turkey into my mouth like I was never going to see food again. I am a vegetarian. It tasted incredible.
That night I learned something about my pregnant self, the longer I withhold food, the more I progress through a series of events: my stomach growls incessantly, I become lightheaded and dizzy, I start seeing stars, and then I get desperate. For any of you that get cranky when your hungry, multiply that by 10 and you have what I feel at that point in my hunger process.
Now, to give Josh some credit, I had only told him about my hunger issues over the phone so far. Yes, he had been gone for most of my pregnancy up to that point. So, on this night of severe hunger he wasn’t quite getting it. Yes, I was growing visibly and verbally impatient. He wasn’t liking my behavior. However, he certainly wasn’t getting that I was using every ounce of self restraint not to simply disregard all formalities and hunt the food down for myself. The next day, after a long discussion, he got it and we haven’t had another debacle since. Getting food to pregnant Kaia is priority one in the Calhoun household.
– Written November 19