The third trimester. I think during this pregnancy I've thought a lot in the moment. Maybe as a coping mechanism, maybe out of fear... But the fact that we are in the third trimester came as such a shock to me, it makes me realize I haven't thought about how real this actually is! Woke up Saturday morning and looked at Nick and said "honey, we're about to have a dang baby." The third trimester makes everything so real. The apps make a big deal about it, my belly is impossible to hide these days, I visit my OB more frequently, lately everything is all about this baby making his debut now.
I had a dream two nights ago that baby came early. Like, really early. And we were not prepared one bit. I woke up so panicked. Immediately ordered $100 of "essentials" off Amazon to make me feel like "we've got this" a little more. Our baby shower is in a few weeks, and I'm sure after that we will feel like we have "all the things" -- but right now I still just feel worried we don't have enough! The dream was more of a nightmare... I was frantically trying to feed the baby, forgetting things, crying, worrying - woke up so scared! Realized I am so glad we signed up for a birthing/hospital class, and that its time to start asking for advice on hospital bag essentials and must haves for the first few weeks. SO - I'm all ears :) Every time Nick and I talk about him being here it just sounds like some unimaginable thing. We just cannot fathom what life will be like with him around every day. I don't think you can even have an idea until they're here. I know instincts will kick in and we will be just fine -- but I just didn't realize how worried/anxious I was for his arrival. I think because so far every single day has felt like some sort of miracle that he keeps growing healthfully, that I literally have not put any thought into actually being a parent. I've just been so worried he won't make it here safely, that I have not prepared at all for when he will. So 3rd trimester came and all these emotions hit at once. And don't get me started on the birth. Up until this point I've really never put much thought into labor and delivery. But now that I know this baby has got to come out, and that he's no longer the size of a strawberry, the fear started creeping in. If you have any ALL POSITIVE thoughts to share on your birth story fire away. There is so much unknown in the delivery, and in parenting and that part is a little bit of a nightmare for me. Hello control freak :) I gotta learn to let go. I've been working on this a lot lately.
I actually can't believe how fast time has gone. Even during the morning sickness, it still felt like time was moving so fast. I know this little pumpkin is going to be here in what feels like overnight. Life has just felt incredibly hectic and crazy lately that I think I am forgetting to enjoy this time. I just want it to slow down just a little bit. I have a feeling I'll be saying that the rest of my life.
I was talking to Nick the other day and had a huge realization. I feel like right now, in this season, I am living to work. I have been so focused on my job I have barely done anything at all in my social life. (and my social life is about to change dramatically when babe comes!!) During wedding season I have always always always struggled with work/life balance. Sometimes I wonder if being an entrepreneur was the right path for me... Just because the work is "never done." There is no "clocking out" or not worrying. And the work I do is incredibly important, and involves a lot of pressure. I cannot express how seriously I take my job. Since I started in 2011, my #1 priority has been my clients. That's it. I love my job so thats always felt so natural to me. But I'd be lying if I said that disconnecting from work hasn't been a huge struggle for me. My Type A personality is in overdrive during wedding season. Email answering every day, working on editing events before the next one is shot (which means I'm working on one wedding and three shoots per week most weeks), balancing shooting/editing/meetings/etc, and frantically checking things off my to-do list. Add pregnancy on this and it just heightens all of these things! I never want to get behind because its really important to me to get clients their images as soon as possible so I don't get backed up and everyone has their photos before I have my baby. And the worry that something could happen that would prevent me from being at a wedding is crippling. My love for my clients is one of the hugest in my life, all I want to do is provide for them 100%. And these days, thats just a little harder. I've spent a ton of time feeling horribly guilty/anxious/emotional in the last few months. I've never had anything in my life that was bigger than me, bigger than my career. And right now... our son is. This is a huge revelation for me. One that makes me worried and feeling all the feels. Its teaching me that HEY there are going to be moments in your life where you need a "sick day" and where your baby needs you more than your clients. And I am going to have to be okay with this. I had an emotional conversation with Nick the other night about how I am spending my time right now and it opened my eyes that I really need to try something new. I've barely left my house or done anything for myself in months. My brain just says "stay home and rest so you're energized for your shoots & weddings" & "stay home and edit the wedding you shot yesterday because you have another one in 6 days" and "don't miss that call, answer that email, stay on top of this work so your business doesn't suffer when you become a mom." I truly don't want to feel like I'm surviving right now. I want to feel alive/excited! I want to see my friends more. I want to get out and do things for me before it just gets more complicated with a babe. Pregnancy has taught me a lot about myself. It's actually been incredibly eye-opening. I need to let my controlling ways go, relax, turn work brain off, stop worrying about each wedding and each event, and just do the best I can. I cannot control how and when our boy will make his entrance into the world, and the sooner I am at peace with that the sooner I can relax. And I know the stress is terrible for my pregnancy so this really needs to be a huge priority of mine right now.
Because of all of these things, and how demanding my schedule can be, after some long heart to hearts with Nick - I decided to shoot less weddings in the coming years. I LOVE them so this is a devastating idea to come, and one I actually have a hard time admitting out loud.... But in an effort to live my best life and be the best mother and wife I can be, I think more time together as a family and lessening my load overall will make a world of difference. I am absolutely still shooting weddings! Just a lot less. I am not sure I could ever let them go entirely... They are such a huge part of my heart and who I am. But once/twice a month will be much easier to manage as a mama than every weekend for 8 months straight. I am hoping I can look back on this season and feel proud of how hard I worked in a time when I was scared and vulnerable, but also a time I was proud that for once in my life I let in help. I couldn't be more grateful for all the talented women helping me at my weddings this year. It has been such a relief for myself, and I know my brides as well. So, in the next 12 weeks before little man arrives I am going to try to get better at saying YES. Yes, I can totally grab lunch with you! I'd love to go out to dinner and a movie. Friends, encourage me to do this more so I can live a little life before it all changes forever (for the better I know!) And also hoping that friends and family can extend some grace my way as I navigate through the fears that have been this pregnancy, my work life, and transitioning into being a mama.
I wanted to toss in some images of me working this year! What I do is hard work, but it doesn't come without huge rewards. I've made awesome friendships, witnessed amazing unions, and gained so much confidence in every wedding/event/session I've shot over the years and I cannot tell you how grateful I feel for it all. Maybe our son will look at these photos one day and think his working mama was cool. (Ha! Unlikely)
As always, I can't thank you all enough for being a listening ear as I share my heart. So many of you have followed our journey and the support has been something I'm not sure I could live without. So much vulnerability in one post. But I started this blog to be honest and speak whats on my heart, so staying true to that feels like the right thing to do. And after all, life can be hard! Its beautiful and amazing, but some days are stressful and we just feel like we can't do it all, and thats OKAY. I appreciate anyones transparency on the difficulties it can be to just be a human living in the world, no matter what challenges you may face. So, thank you, as always for allowing me to be my true self and giving us so many positive vibes along the way.
Going to have another 3rd trimester update soon (hopefully) all about baby... Cause he's crazy amazing and never stops moving and recently started getting hiccups! OMG.