Some Fall Maternity Pics, (and Preparing for Baby)
First of all, I want to acknowledge that today is Halloween and I pretty much skipped right over it here on the blog. Don’t get me wrong, I really love the holiday, but I think that I somehow forgot it was coming and then decided it was too late to try to create something festive and creative. I also had big plans for a costume involving zombie doll arms sticking out of a maternity shirt with a little trick or treat bucket it one of them, but oh well. :)
Anyway, last weekend at the apple orchard my talented sister Nadia snapped some belly pics for me in the beautiful woodsy area that we were exploring. Andy unfortunately was out of town so we’re gonna do more, but I sure am lucky to have her to document my pregnancy for me. 28 weeks is feeling pretty darn good.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I’m preparing for this baby. There are the regular things like registering for stuff, cleaning and organizing the apartment, and taking care of myself during pregnancy, but I’m trying to prepare myself for the birth as well.
I remember when I ran my first half marathon I was given the great advice from my grandmother to spend a few moments every night visualizing myself crossing the finish line feeling strong and confident. I played this little movie in my head over and over, and who knows if this is why, but I totally rocked that day like it was piece of cake. Similarly, I’ve been imagining myself during labor and birth a ton lately. Is it weird to say that I am really really excited about it all? Yup- I am actually totally looking forward to giving birth to this baby and everything that comes along with it. I’m not trying to be naive about the whole thing, I have no doubt it will be hard, but I feel like it’s a rite of passage I want to achieve.
As I sit here writing this, bouncing on my birth ball/makeshift chair- I’ll admit it- I’m not scared, I’m excited. (This coming from someone who has a low pain threshold and plans for a totally natural birth.) I know it will be challenging but bring it on. We started a birth class last night, and I just basked in hearing and learning and being around the energy of everyone getting ready. This could be in part due to the fact that when I was a kid my Mom was a childbirth teacher too, and somehow being in my own feels like I’ve come full circle, but mostly cause I’m just giddy with excitement. If you have kids- were you scared at this stage? Confident? Excited?
Happy Halloween! Maybe someone creepy on the subway will give me a legitimate fright today. :)
I think that tip of envisioning yourself across the finish line (in this case, with baby in your arms, haha!) is such a great tip–for anything, really. You look beautiful in these shots! Hope you enjoy these last weeks ahead! :)
Yay, Audra! I love the idea of envisioning success – you are going to rock it, no doubt!
You look fantastic and your hair is so gorgeous! I’d probably be terrified (I mean I am and I’m not even pregnant) but your mentality seems much smarter:-) I am excited for you!
Your maternity photos are stunning, you are absolutely radiant!
I am a first time mom to be also, a boy due in February. I totally agree with the idea of visualizing the labor and birth. The more I understand what is happening physically the better I feel about the whole event. I’ve been reading Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth. It is filled with positive birth stories that really motivate me. I love the idea that our bodies were created for this very purpose. Best of luck to you and I will continue to follow your pregnancy on the blog!
Kate- I love Ina May and read that book in early pregnancy- I really is so empowering right? Congrats to you on your baby boy as well! xo
Awww hot mama! You’re so stunning!
I like your tip about visualizing the end result. You’re going to be just fine, Audra. Seriously. And you’ll have a beautiful baby, to boot! :)
First of all, you’re adorable. Second, I love that piece of advice from your great-grandmother! What a great way to tackle any upcoming challenge.
And by great-grandmother, I meant grandmother…
Awww Audra!! These pictures are gorgeous! Again, a BIG congrats to you! xo
I love that first picture!
Absolutely beautiful! So happy that you shared these with us today!
That’s so great! I am not pregnant, but I am totally looking forward to the actual birth as well-it totally feels like a rite of passage! Love it, Audra! You’re going to do great and I can’t wait to meet the newest little baker!
p.s. You look so beautiful!
You are so beautiful, Audra! I love these pictures! And I love that sweater!
You look gorgeous, as always, and your sister is very talented!
You look so beautiful, Audra! Perfectly happy and content, pregnancy suits you :)
Love these photos! I don’t think I felt too scared about labor and delivery. My plan was always just to go with the flow and listen to how I felt, no pressure. My sister is a nurse, and I know from her that even the best plans can change. I figured the best way to get through it was to try to be as laid back as possible, and it seems that’s what you’re doing too. :)
You look absolutely beautiful.
Awww. I was your size at the same time last year! Now I’m planning my baby boy’s first birthday on November 27th. Expect the longest (and shortest) year of your life coming up.
Beautiful shots, Enjoy!
Awww you are too cute :) I just found your blog today (Chocolate and Carrots shared your recipe for Caramel Apple Cinnamon rolls that I just had to check out haha) and I am 28 weeks tomorrow, with a boy, and love to bake also! You have a new follower; I love finding people with similar interests/stuff going on in their lives! I read about you wanting a girl b/c you ‘got’ girls and grew up with them… me too haha. Totally had all kinds of girls names picked out… yep, we have a son on the way, and I really couldn’t be happier. (Those little kicks and nudges are so amazing, I also panic if I am busy and don’t feel him for a while!) So glad to have found your blog, I look forward to reading more!
Congrats to you too Allysha! It sounds like we are living parallel lives at the moment. I hope you are feeling well too! xo
Definitely keep thinking positive, affirming thoughts, but please also be aware (and not just intellectually, but really, truly aware) that you cannot plan labour and birth. You can hope for a totally natural, intervention-free labour and delivery and – through no fault or choice of your own – get something completely different. That’s what happened to me and the disappointment was crushing. I didn’t get the triumphant “I did it!” labour story I was hoping for, and it was devastating. I thought I was prepared for any eventuality, but in the back of my mind I had always thought, “that won’t happen to me”.
Don’t take this advice the wrong way – I truly do hope that you have the wonderful labour you are envisioning. I just want to give you the advice I wish someone had given me: take a moment to think about those labour and delivery scenarios that you don’t want (induction, c-section, etc.). Read about them, learn about your options, and prepare yourself mentally.
And remember: at the end of the day, it’s about a healthy baby and mama. That’s all that matters.
Amazingly stunning, Audra. You are gorgeous and glowing!
You look gawwwwgeous! Seriously. I bet from behind you can’t even tell you’re pregnant. Hot mama, you.
awwww you look so beautiful! so exciting!
So much wonderful support and advice – how blessed you are to have this circle of friends around you.
So much to love about this post. I love your pregnancy updates and look forward to them because you are just such a glowing epitome of what I most look forward to about being a mom! I love your positive energy and fearlessness about the whole experience, and omg, I’m so full of admiration that you’re doing a natural birth!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, you are an inspiration for when the time comes for me! Love your excitement and wishing you the best as your pregnancy goes on. :) And of course, LOVING all your food updates too!!!
Hey Audra!! I am very excited for you! I just had my third baby two weeks ago and he was my first waterbirth at home…the first two were all natural at the hospital. Like you I was very excited about birth. I am a go getter and like the sense of accomplishment . I also did a half marathon and birth like the marathon it’s something you set your heart to achieve and you do it. It’s a thrill. Scary and nervous at times like the race but when it’s done wow! You feel amazing and it’s a trully unforgettable and beautiful experience. You go girl!
P.s. Ina Mays advice is amazing! I wish I would have learned from her my first two births. I blieve you are set up for success!
Congrats on baby #3 Carla!! It sounds like you had a beautiful birth. I’m hoping for a water birth too! :)
you look gorgeousssss and Im sure it will be just okay.
Hi Audra. Congratulations on the baby! I made your Pumpkin Buttermilk Bundt cake with the brown butter icing and had to come back to the site to see what other yummy recipes I could find. But then I came upon this post and felt drawn to comment. I love pregnancy! I love giving birth! Pain and all. I have 2 beautiful girls that where naturally birthed via waterbirth. YOU CAN DO THIS!! This is what your body is made for. Your grandmother is spot on with visualization being a very effective tool. I found it helpful to visualize the baby moving down with each contraction. It helps you relax and not tense up during a contraction. Remaining soft throughout your body is key. Do not tense up, it will hurt more. Just let the contraction move through you. I hope this helps!! Good luck :) P.S. Reading positive natural birth stories was very helpful for me too!!
You look amazing!!
These photos are stunning you look gorgeous!