Tag Archives: m.u.m.

Picture This

I’m one day past my expiration, I mean due, date, so I guess I have to write about something other than Baby Pienik’s birth weight and length.

I have a list of things that I’d never thought I’d do but I ended up doing. On that list are things like bungee jumping and marrying a “Drummie.” (That’s what we called the military guys who were stationed at Fort Drum, near where I grew up. Well, I added something new to that list the other day, and although it’s not nearly as adventuresome as some of the other things on my list, I’m glad I did it: I got belly photos taken.

I never thought I would sign up for something like maternity photos because I never really put myself in that spiritual momma category. You know the kind of mommies-to-be that I’m talking about. The ones who  believe pregnant bodies are always beautiful, only subscribe natural childbirth methods, and breastfeed until their kids are almost three. More power to these mommas, but that’s just not me.

In fact, I’ve always been sort of horrified at some of the ways people try to chronicle their pregnancies. Take belly casts for example. Basically how it works is mommy-to-be slathers herself and her round belly up with a casting mix–paper mache or plaster or whatever–lets it dry and ends up with a mold of her body that can then be decorated and (theoretically) turned into art. I don’t remember how I ran across this phenom, but I was so intrigued–and sometimes flabbergasted–by the end results that I do know I spent a good afternoon at work (it was a slow news day) surfing the Web to see if I could find a good execution. I did find a couple–mostly ones where the mold had been dipped in bronze–but generally the results were, shall we say, less than sophisticated. No offense intended to those mommies-to-be who tried it out; I just think I would’ve been a bit disappointed with the end result, if mine  turned out something like this (and quite frankly there are definitely scarier ones out there):

Or this:

Again, apologies if you’re a mommy-to-be who went down this road. Like I said, it’s just not for me.

So, needless to say, maternity photos, particularly bare-naked belly ones, sort of fell in this category for me. That is, until I had dinner with one of my oldest, dearest friends about a month ago. I had stopped by her house to pick up some maternity clothes–she had a huge selection of really cute stuff appropriate for pretty much any season that she so generously offered to let me borrow. We were sitting in her kitchen, eating Chinese food and drinking diet soda, when somehow we got on the topic of pregnancy regrets. Topping her list was that she didn’t have more pictures of herself pregnant.

At that point, I hadn’t really considered that I might miss being pregnant once baby arrived. But it makes sense. For the better part of a year, your wee one is always with you, experiencing whatever ups and downs your day may bring. Every little flip or turn or wiggle or kick is a quiet, private reminder that you are never alone–and you grow to count on it. Or at least I have.

So, I thought to myself maybe I should just go ahead and do it. If I hated them, I wouldn’t have to show them to anyone. But if they turned out great–or even just good–then what a great gift for my husband, who has pretty much missed the better part of my pregnancy because he’s been doing military training in North Carolina for the past year. And what a fun gift for the new grandparents.

I won’t bore you with the logistics of how I found Jessi Ringer–if you’re really curious ask me and I’ll tell you–but I basically took a look at her Web site, 5 Rings Photo, and thought, “Hey, this could work.” The added bonus was that I needed it done quickly–I had already hit the nine month mark, and was worried that I’d miss my opportunity if baby decided to debut early.

When Jessi showed up at my house at 7am, I was nervous–about what to wear, how I looked, how the photos were going to turn out. I didn’t really know what kind of maternity shots I wanted. Fun or reflective? Bold or sweet? Cute or sexy? She was so flexible, so we tried a whole bunch of different outfits, styles, backgrounds, etc. And I’m very pleased with the results. I’d say about the only regret is that I didn’t get better sleep the night before. I can tell I’m tired in the photos, but I’ll get over it.

Feel free to check out Jessi’s highlight reel here. I’ll post more samples once I get the actual photo files. In the meantime, I’ll share this one with you.

Me, baby, and Joey

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Filed under maternity, newbie parents, photos

It’s Go Time

Today is May 21 and it’s my official due date. This is my (and to give credit where credit’s due, my husband’s) first baby. About all we know about him at this point is this:

  • He’s a boy (as you might’ve guessed)
  • He’s been a very good womb baby (I have never really been uncomfortable much less sick during my pregnancy)
  • He’s got happy feet (I call them power moves)
  • He’s more of a night owl (takes after his dad already, I guess)

Funny that you can know so little and yet so much about the little guy without knowing some of the more basic stuff, like the color of his eyes.

At any rate, with Baby Pienik’s arrival expected today (although I don’t believe it), it seemed like an appropriate date to officially launch this blog.

I’ve always wanted to start a blog. Sort of seemed like a no brainer given what I do, which is write for a living. (I am an editor for a trade publication called Big Builder, which is all about the business of high-volume home building.) But even though I report and write all the time, I’ve had a pretty big mental block about setting up a personal blog. I think a big part of it was that I didn’t really feel passionate about anything enough to make time to research, report, think, and write about it on my own time.

Until now.

And that’s sort of the ironic part. Most of my friends would classify me as more the “un-mommy” type. My husband (you’ll hear lots about him later, I’m sure) and I have staked out what I think is a pretty modern life for ourselves. We are downtown dwellers who spent the bulk of our time (and honestly probably money) doing all the fun stuff in life–going out (a lot), traveling, and imbibing (a lot lot). I didn’t grow up with younger siblings and I didn’t really enjoy babysitting as teenager, so my experience with children, particularly babies, was, shall we say, limited. My husband used to joke that the way I held babies was from an arm’s length away.

But as my maman always said, it’s different when you have your own. Or at least almost have your own.

So, I’ve decided to use my maternity leave to launch this writing project. Maybe it’s just a part of my nesting process, something that for a writer goes along with washing the baseboards, organizing onesies by size, and stocking up on more newborn diapers than you probably need. But for whatever the reason that I’ve finally gotten motivated enough to start this thing, I hope this project does three things:

  • Lets the wee one know how special we think he is
  • Allows our complicated, fragmented, and totally awesome families and friends to share in our baby adventures
  • Provides some support, reassurance, and some good laughs to other newbie parents like us who are wondering how they can be good parents without moving to the suburbs

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Filed under boys, due date, newbie parents