Cherishing Our Journey | Photography by Jillian Michelle

June 22, 2016

“At first, I was skeptical to get maternity photos done. As a first time mom, I wasn’t prepared for the changes my mind and body would be going through. I sometimes look in the mirror and don’t recognize the body that it has become, but boy have I embraced it! These photographs are something my family and I get to cherish forever.  While I can’t photograph kicks or flutters, I’ll always be able to look back at these photos and remember I was carrying a little human life in my belly! Even though I can’t wait to meet our son, I am thankful for every moment I have with this little guy because I know once he’s here, the time will fly by!

My husband and I have been married for six years this past May. We knew we wanted to enjoy each other, travel, build on our relationship before we introduced a little one into our family. There were times when I had self-doubt on whether we’d ever be ready. A lot of my friends were on their second and third child and we hadn’t even started to think about expanding our family (minus our pup!)  So, last year, my husband and I had a serious talk… “What the heck are we waiting for?” My husband has a good and steady career, I was in a good place with my business, we own our own home, what were we waiting for?!…

Self-doubt and sadness plagued our minds for several months. And it seemed like everyone around us was getting pregnant or asking us when we were. News of friends’ pregnancies were bittersweet. Those questions started to come back, “Why had we waited SIX years to start?! What if I couldn’t get pregnant naturally?” Maybe we weren’t meant to conceive and we should start exploring other options.  During November of last year, I started feeling off. I knew something was different because earlier that month I showed up to a wedding without some of the essentials and even forgot some details! As a wedding planner, your career is all about the details!!! 

I looked at my husband one Sunday night and told him I had missed my monthly friend and just for the heck of it, I said “let’s go get a pregnancy test.” I’m pretty good about listening to my body, so off to Wal-Greens we went. How ironic, when I checked out at the counter, I received a coupon for Huggies diapers and the cashier looked at me and said “Good Luck!” with a smile. Weird, I thought…. but looking back, what a sign! 

That night when we got home, I immediately went into the bathroom and ripped open that box of tests! Thank goodness there were three in there because I needed reassurance! I remember looking down at the test as soon as I was done and immediately saw a plus sign but I knew I had to wait two to three minutes. I let my husband walk into the bathroom first, he turned to me with teary eyes and said “BABE, we’re pregnant!”  That moment was so surreal and I’ll remember it forever! I thought I’d come up with some elaborate plan to share the news with my husband but I couldn’t be more grateful that he was there with me at that moment. Nothing flashy about it, just real, just us in our home. I love that. 

As a first time mother you don’t really know what to expect. You can ask your girlfriends and doctors can provide guidance but everyone’s journey and pregnancy is so different. Motherhood is a life-altering experience from pregnancy and beyond.  The best advice I’ve received so far: Listen to your body and do what is best for you.  Like I said before, every pregnancy is different and what works for you, doesn’t mean it will work for other mommies. I loathe unsolicited advice or judgement and while most people mean well, sometimes comments or “mommy bashing” is hurtful.  I think encouragement goes a long way and building each other up makes for happy and healthier mommies and babies! 

For those mamas out there waiting to become mothers, never forget your journey is the best journey. Whether it takes you years to realize you’re ready or you decide on other options, remember to cherish each moment and never forget how wonderful you are as a women and a future mommy! While we’re waiting on our son to arrive, we knew that our maternity session needed to happen at the wedding venue Big Spring Farm, in Lexington, VA. Our photographer Jill and her husband Buddy, own and live on the farm, and Jill has documented every major event in my life, engagement, wedding, and now maternity!”  Michelle, Expectant Mother

JILLIAN MICHELLE PHOTOGRAPHYContax 645, Zeiss 80mm, Fuji 400H,

Additional Vendors:  Film Processed by Richard Photo Lab

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