Why You Should Have a Motherhood Photo Shoot

One of the things I cherish the most when I look back at my childhood are the early photos of me with my mom and my dad. I love seeing how young they were and how happy they were with me as a baby and toddler. I want my son Oliver to be able to look back and see photos of himself as a baby with both his parents, and see how much we love him and loved being with him.

He's growing so fast, and the time is flying by. I already look at photos of him as a newborn and get weepy eyed over how fast his babyhood is going. I want to savor and remember every moment.

I take so many photos of him, and him with his dad, but there aren’t a lot of me with him, other than our snapchat selfies we like to take. Or a few nursing photos that I snapped in the beginning. Being a mom is such an important part of my life and I want to have photos to document every step of the way. And I'd love to have some of where I look awake and feel pretty!

A few weeks ago we set out for Sacramento to have our photos taken by one of my mentors, The Blissful Maven. I love how intimate and emotional Candice’s photos are, and it's what I strive to have my own photos express for my clients. When I look at how she captured us, I can see perfectly the special bond Oliver and I have, how happy I am, and the love I feel for him. I’m reminded of the long journey it took to motherhood, and how much it was worth it, even though there were times I was in despair of ever having a baby. I look at these pictures and feel so grateful to be Oliver’s mommy and so blessed to have him in our lives.

photos by The Blissful Maven

photos by The Blissful Maven

It's so easy to make excuses why not to have our photos taken with our little ones. You get busy with life, there's always unexpected expenses that come up, you want to lose that last 10 lbs of baby weight.... there's always a reason not to do a photo shoot. But there are a million reasons why you SHOULD do one to document this special time in your life as a mama. You'll never regret doing a photo shoot when you are looking back at the early years of your baby's life. But trust me, you will regret it if you don't have beautiful pictures celebrating the love between you and your little ones. 

I'd love to capture the love of you and your little babes and give you something to treasure. I have a few spots open in September and October for mama and baby sessions if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area. Click HERE to email me to chat more about your Mama Bird session. And if you're not here in the Bay Area, I'd encourage you to find a local photographer you love who can give you beautiful mementos of you and your little ones.

xo

Melissa

Achieving One Of My Deepest Desires- Motherhood

It's been a while since I've blogged, and I kinda have a good excuse. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I had a beautiful baby boy at the end of January! And if you don't follow me (you totally should!), then let me introduce you to my lovebug, Oliver. 

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Having a baby is something I had wanted for so long, and to finally have my miracle baby at the age of 41 was a dream come true. 

I had wanted to become a mother since I was in my early 30s.

At first I was waiting for the right partner. I met my now husband, and knew he was the one to have a family with. And then we were waiting for the right time- money in the bank, a home we loved, thriving businesses.. there was always a reason to wait till things were perfect to start our family. 

We realized that there is no perfect time to have a baby, and that if we wanted to have our own child, we needed to start now. But years went by and there was no baby. 

I decided to take matters into my own hands. I changed my diet to exclude all my favorite things- wine, dairy, sugar, gluten, etc. I started going to weekly acupuncture to increase my fertility. I meditated and tried to eliminate stress. I took countless supplements to try to correct nutritional deficiencies or boost fertility. I went through countless ovulation tests to track my fertile days. No luck. 

I knew I needed help, like scientific, modern medicine help. So we went to a fertility clinic to see if they could help us have our baby. We both got tested to see if there was anything "wrong" with us physically. All of our labs came back healthy, and we were labeled "unexplained infertility". I don't know what's worse, having everything coming back great and not knowing how to fix it, or having something come back negative. At least then maybe there's a chance you can heal it or make adjustments. 

I started doing treatments to try to get pregnant. IUIs (intra uterine insemination), medication, planned intercourse, we did everything we could. It was devastating to put so much effort and money into getting pregnant, and to have it fail every month. The more we tried, the more stressed out I got, and hopeless I felt. 

And finally, after 4 failed IUIs, our doctor told us our next step would need to be IVF. At the time, I didn't know how we could possibly do an IVF cycle with the extremely high cost. We decided to take a break and try to figure out what our next steps were.

In a way, it felt like a relief to take a break. I knew I had been stressing myself out way too much, and that I couldn't continue like this. 

I stopped the extreme diet and food depravation I had been on. I stopped taking all the supplements except my pre-natals and vitamin D that I had been deficient in. I stopped tracking my ovulation. And I gave up on stressing about whether or not I was going to get pregnant. I started trusting that our baby would come to us when it was meant to be, whether through pregnancy, IVF, or adoption. 

We started having fun again, and enjoying each other as a couple. And then, the most amazing thing happened. I became pregnant naturally on my very next cycle!

I remember my doctor coming in with the news that I was pregnant at my annual physical appointment. I felt so happy and excited, and had tears streaming down my face. The best part was sharing the news with my husband, and then our families. 

I had such a great pregnancy. I rarely felt nauseous or ill. I was tired in the first trimester but it felt like a nice break from trying to hustle so much for my business, and a great reason to nap daily. And I loved my growing belly.

On January 30th I started having mild contractions, that grew stronger and stronger until we knew it was time to go to the hospital in the early hours January 31. And at 6:14 am, my beautiful baby boy was born. There's so much more to his birth story, but I'll leave that for another time.

I share this story with you because if you're struggling with wanting to be a mother, getting pregnant, or feeling like you may be too old to get pregnant, I want you to know you're not alone. So many of us struggle with infertility, or even just the desire to get pregnant and not ready to start trying.

Keep faith that you will achieve your mommyhood dreams in one way or another, even if it's not the way you imagined it would look like. And stress is a huge factor in infertility, so don't let yourself dwell in negative thoughts and a stressful life. Put your self care and mental and physical health first, and take good care of yourself. And add fun and pleasure in your life! This is what was helpful for me, and I hope will be helpful and inspirational for you.

What's been your journey to motherhood? Are you a mom already? Are you wanting to be a mom now and struggling? Or are you trying to figure out if this mommy thing is for you? Leave me a comment below, I'd love to support you in any way I can.

xo,

Melissa