Maternity Shoot – Ellie Be Photography

We just received our maternity pictures from Ellie Berry of Ellie Be Photography. I could not contain my excitement as I scrolled through all the shots she sent us. How could I choose just a few favorites? Our whole experience working with Ellie has been wonderful. She is sweet, professional, and obviously dang talented! I couldn’t recommend her more. She is new to the Oklahoma area, so I would snag a shoot with her asap before her calendar fills up.

Third Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily SueThird Trimester with Ellie Be Photography; Emily Sue

Photography: Ellie Be Photography 

 

Halfway there! (20 Weeks)

Emily Sue - 20 Week Pregnancy Update

Emily Sue - 20 Week Pregnancy Update

Emily Sue - 20 Week Pregnancy Update

Emily Sue - 20 Week Pregnancy Update

Emily Sue - 20 Week Pregnancy Update

Emily Sue - 20 Week Pregnancy Update

Emily Sue - 20 Week Pregnancy Update

Emily Sue - 20 Week Pregnancy Update

This weekend, we hauled out the “real” camera for a mini “we’re-halfway-there” backyard photo shoot. I’m a few days late posting this, but I wanted to document this milestone.

Even though I don’t have anything to compare this pregnancy to from personal experience, this first half has been a breeze. Of course I have had the usual exhaustion and some light nausea and gaggy-ness, but I have been able to carry on with somewhat normalcy. I am wondering if little Theo is going to try to make up for his niceness to mama once outside of the womb. I am preparing myself. :)

Size. Baby Theo is currently the length of a banana.

Discomforts. I get a little achy by the end of the day, and mild leg cramps have set in during the night. I’m doing my best to drink lots of water and take epsom salt baths to replenish my magnesium.

Cravings. Eh. Nothing weird. I usually just crave a certain food after I hear someone else talking about it. Ice cream and cereal are pretty high on the list though.

Body changing. At 19 weeks, Jeff said “Look, your super innie isn’t so innie anymore.” Yes, he was referring to my belly button. It hasn’t popped out yet, but it’s making it’s way there. I’m sure you wanted to know that. Well, I’ll want to remember it anyway. I’ve really started to see some big changes to my body over the last couple of weeks. Thankfully, I haven’t had swelling ankles or weird skin issues…yet. Besides seeing the scale climb higher than I’ve ever seen it go before – partly to do with my rekindled love of ice cream – I feel like this pregnancy is pretty textbook (if there is such a thing!). I haven’t had that awkward moment yet where strangers start making comments….I’m sure that will happen soon. 

Baby movement. This kid is cra-zy. I started feeling movement at the end of 14 weeks. By 15 weeks, I felt some definitive kicks. At 16 weeks, Jeff felt kicks (this surprised me…I thought I was just feeling them from the inside). Right at 18 weeks, I SAW his kicks/punches. At my anatomy scan (19 weeks), the ultrasound technician commented that it was rather amazing how much movement I was feeling as the placenta is belly side (anterior placenta) and is “cushioning” his movements. My mom said that God knew I needed the protection! HA! This stage has been so fun for us first-time parents. I’m enjoying the subtle movement now before he gains strength and tries to break my ribs.

Maternity clothes. At 20 weeks, I am still wearing a lot of my normal clothes, although my wardrobe is growing more limited by the week. I think I have worn one pair of maternity leggings at this point. However, I did go thrifting the other day and purchased several more loose-fitting maxi dresses/skirts with elastic waistbands a couple sizes up and some casual t-shirts that can be tied in a knot above my bump over a dress or a hiked up skirt. This warmer weather is happening at a perfect time so that now I can wear dresses! Being pregnant during the summer definitely has it’s advantages in that regard. I do know that I will need to purchase a good pair of maternity jeans very soon as the elastic holding my pre-pregnancy pants together is not going to last much longer. 

I am really enjoying being pregnant. The renewed energy this second trimester has been so fun. I’ve been out in the yard a lot lately planting seeds for a wildlife garden, and although I get tired quickly, I am thankful to be able to stay active.

In case you missed it, I documented some of my simple pregnancy essentials so far this pregnancy HERE.

My Simple Pregnancy Essentials (so far)

Pregnancy Essentials

As a first-time mom, it can be really overwhelming to know what is truly needed during pregnancy (I’m still confused half the time ;).  And, every single pregnancy is different for everyone, so I guess there is no true essential list that could be followed exactly. I did know that I wanted to feel pretty and even a little pampered during these special months without going over the top. I wanted to be prepared to combat nausea and any illness without using medications. I wanted to feel comfortable in my clothes, yet not spend a fortune on maternity wear…which I have quickly learned is quite possible to do.

As we were waiting for the miracle of conception to happen (took a lot longer than we had hoped!), I read so much. So much. I poured over lists of “essentials” and even made a list of what I thought I would need the first few weeks. I even went out and bought ginger candies the day I found out we were pregnant. They were gross to me and I never touched them again. But to someone else, they might be an “essential.” I always love reading what is helping other pregnant mamas, so I thought I would share my list with you.

1. Epsom salt baths. I started these early on in my pregnancy and I will never look back. I’ve used well over 10 pounds of salts so far. Good thing epsom salt is c h e a p. I pretty much never took baths before, and now they are a near daily ritual. A warm bath does wonders for my achy muscles and joints, and calming my body for a good night’s rest. I love to add essential oils to my bath as well. My favorites are lavender (calming) or Pan Away (for aches). Epsom salts contain a lot of magnesium which most people are deficient in. The magnesium helps with cramps – which is very common during pregnancy! The only downside is that these baths are dehydrating. So, I always drink lots of water while I’m soaking.

2. Essential oils. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it this far into my pregnancy medication-free without my starter kit of oils. From nausea, to headaches, to a nasty sinus/cold thing, to the onset of a UTI….even just the daily uses to cleanse the air and prevent our allergies from flaring up has been a life-saver.

3. Extra pillows. I’ve brought a couple of our throw pillows in from the living room to help support and cushion my back and belly. One of those massive pregnancy pillows sound amazing, but I honestly have no idea where I would put that thing. Our house is tiny. I might change my mind in the coming weeks, but for now, what we have on hand it doing the trick.

4. Iced coffee. For my first trimester and into my second, coffee just didn’t sound good most of the time. Or it would sound good and then I would only take a couple of sips. I was pretty much caffeine-free before getting pregnant. Now, iced coffee has been my go-to pick-me-up.

5. A good, thick body cream or butter. Like just about everyone other pregnant woman, I am hoping to prevent or slow down stretch marks. When I am feeling extra itchy, I put some jojoba or grapeseed oil (with a few drops of frankincense oil) on my belly, chest, thighs, and back. After letting that soak in a little, I will apply a thick creamy lotion on top of that. My favorite all-over cream has always been Cetaphil. I’ve used it for YEARS. For my belly (and any other part of my body that has been growing rapidly), I have really liked this organic shea butter. It’s pricey, but one container has lasted me 4+ months.

6. Dry brushing/exfoliating. I was pretty religious about dry brushing on a daily basis before getting pregnant and I carried the habit into pregnancy. I haven’t been as consistent lately, but I do exfoliate well in the shower. If you are unfamiliar with dry brushing, here is a good article that explains it. Dry brushing/exfoliating not only helps remove dead skin cells (and helps lotions and oils absorb into the skin much better), but they also help increase circulation and possibly help prevent stretch marks (I can’t speak from experience on this one). I have read that it might not be best to start dry brushing while being pregnant.

7. A comfy bra. I’ll just be honest here. I started out as a size B-C. I’m a t-shirt bra kind of girl anyway – comfort is key in my book, and that has only been magnified during this pregnancy. I found the Coobie bra in “one size” early on, and that was a life saver as any bra I owned that had an underwire was a no-go by 6 weeks out of sheer discomfort.

8. Loose-fitting clothing. Everyone is different, but I really prefer clothes that let my skin breathe. I cannot comfortably wear tight clothing for long especially over my growing belly. I found that flowing tops, elastic waistbands, and empire waisted shirts and dresses even in my normal size have lasted me up until now without a problem. I am sure I will want more support for my belly later on.

9. A simple source of joy. For me, having fresh flowers in the house or a heavenly scented candle has been even more special during this time. Between work and keeping up the house, I also try to plan time to be outside in the yard. For me, gardening is therapeutic and is great exercise too.

10. A fresh, clean, and non-toxic perfume. I don’t wear a lot of perfume usually, but I do like to have a good scent to spritz on if I’m going out. I really like the “Lust” perfume stick by LUSH. It’s fresh and floral and simple.

At nineteen weeks, this is my list so far. I am sure I will need to update it down the road!

Hello Second Trimester

Baby Netz Second Trimester (13 weeks!)

Baby Netz 2nd Trimester - Flowers to celebrate

Today is the beginning of my second trimester! I was out and about having pancakes with a friend and running errands, and decided that fresh eucalyptus was in order to celebrate this milestone. These last few months have really flown by. I haven’t had much morning sickness – and for that I am sooo thankful (!) – but I have certainly been quite exhausted. I am anxiously awaiting the energy that I hear is supposed to hit around the 13th or 14th week. Keeping up with shop orders and housework has been enough to keep me religiously attached to my naps and bubble baths.

Baby Netz is supposedly the size of a peach this week. My last ultrasound was kind of fuzzy, but my doctor says that he/she is developing right on track.

I suppose I have had cravings of sorts, but they change all the time. Mainly, cereal and sandwiches have been my consistent go-to when I’m hungry…which is frighteningly often. Soups and salads are another favorite. I never leave the house without a snack or two in my purse and my water bottle.

One thing that I’ve definitely noticed is that my gag reflexes are on overdrive. (Sorry about the tmi) Anything from seeing a few soggy pieces of dog food floating in the water bowl to old leftovers to gooey bread can have me running for the trashcan. Or even just thinking about those things….

I’ve grown out of a couple of pairs of pants, and a few shirts are not comfortable anymore, but I’m still wearing my normal clothes. As you can see in the above picture, my bump is more of a lump. I’m still in the hiding phase as I look more like I haven’t been sticking to my new year’s resolution than actually being 13 weeks pregnant.

We are crossing our fingers that we will find out the gender of the baby at the end of this month. We already have names picked out – which is a little miracle in and of itself. Nursery plans are underway as the room will be very gender neutral.

I’ve decided not to read too many pregnancy progress books because supposedly I should have only gained 2-4 pounds in my first trimester. Ha! It didn’t help that the Holidays and my first few weeks of pregnancy coincided.

I realize that I am a little crazy because I started our baby registry well over a year ago. I found this website called BabyList and it’s perfect for syncing registries from stores like BuyBuy Baby and Target as well as adding anything – yes anything – that is for sale on the web. I have an infatuation with Amazon Prime and Etsy, and I love being able to add personalized, unique items to my registry. Although it is fun and easy to get carried away with a wish list, I have been asking my mom friends what things I can really do without. What is overkill? I get rather claustrophobic just thinking about all of the stuff we will need, but then again, new moms probably tend to think that we need much more than we really do. We have a tiny house, limited budget, and an even smaller capacity to handle clutter. So, tell me friends…what did you find was absolutely necessary for you and your baby/babies? And what did you find was unneccesary? Obviously every baby is different, but I want to hear your thoughts!

 

Gratitude.

coffee +  gratitude

Moments & their accompanying emotions from a day in January I wish to remember….

As I sat at my dining room table busily working away on items for the shop, I paused. The day was beautiful. It was one of those funky warm 70 degree weather days that we have sometimes in the midst of January. The patio doors were open and a warm breeze was blowing in a faint scent that hinted of spring. I knew it was a tease because I’ve learned by now how unpredictable this Oklahoma weather can be. But I still soaked it in and enjoyed the moment. Sunshine and warmth will always raise my spirits immensely. Gratitude.

Our pup was lazily stretched out on the patio in the sun. The joy that little fluff ball brings to us is nearly ridiculous. I don’t know who adopted whom. Gratitude.

I turned my gaze back inside to the refrigerator door and saw the three ultrasound pictures of our little one coming this summer. My hand subconsciously rested on my belly. What a miracle. The child we hoped and prayed for was tucked inside me growing and healthy. My heart nearly burst. Gratitude.

I turn again to the task at hand. Sometimes it feels mundane, but that day it was a blessing. I was working from my the comfort of my house….my beautiful home. Forging ahead with this little creative business that I had hoped to start for years. Once again. Gratitude.

I kept hope during my years of depression because I knew…I fiercely believed that God would give me days like these. Days that helped me forget the deep pain of those valleys. I knew my weeping would turn to tears of joy. I clung to that, although at times very weakly. But now, my heart swells with gratitude for it all. 

Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalms 30:5b

(image via weheartit)