Pregnancy is a strange beast. You spend an awfully long time brewing a baby (or babies) and in the meantime you go through all sorts of body and emotional changes that feel very, very weird at the time. You often see images of the typical glowing mama-to-be, but not many women seem to want to ‘fess up to not actually enjoying pregnancy. So I’m happy to stick my hand up and say I really, really struggled with it.
I hated the changes to my body and the feeling of being debilitated by a huge bump. I’ve always been fiercely independent and by 24 weeks with my twin boys I couldn’t even put my own shoes on. I felt like people were always staring at my belly, which made me uncomfortable, which is funny coming from a former performer who used to enjoy being stared at on stage. And I felt even worse when people would comment on my bump. I was big, but I wasn’t THAT big, and yet being pregnant makes people treat you like public property. I remember when I was at the gym at 22 weeks pregnant and some stupid trainer commented that I was obviously ‘just about to pop’. I cried after that because I was so scared about how big I would get and how much it would destroy my body. Plus for an exercise junkie I was so frustrated that I couldn’t do all the exercises that I wanted to be able to do. I did manage to do prenatal barre and pilates type exercises 4-5 times per week, which helped me to stay fit and healthy, but I could also barely walk 150 metres without my back aching or gasping for breath. It’s such a tough thing for your body to go through – especially with two babies on board.
But, as I knew I was never going to get pregnant again I felt it would be nice to ‘honour’ this time by getting a pregnancy shoot done. I really just did this for myself, but once I saw the photos and saw what an amazing job Casey did I wanted to share them to help promote her wonderful work and also to help other women that are ‘over’ being pregnant see it in a different light – even if just for a moment.
Firstly, Casey is such a sweet and kind woman that you feel completely at ease with her the moment you step into her studio, which by the way is kind of like my dream bedroom – gorgeous flowers and pristine white walls and furnishings and a beautiful ornate dresser… the kind I always fantasised about sitting at to do my makeup. On that note Casey is an incredible makeup artist and hair stylist who works with you to get a look that you are truly comfortable with. Most mums-to-be tend to go for the earth mother look, but I’m more of an ‘eyeliner on Sunday and red lips on Monday’ kind of person, so I wanted a bold look.
After my makeup and hair was complete, I told Casey to make suggestions for the photos as she was the expert. I loved all her ideas – the draped fabric, the floral crown and when I saw the final result I realised how much more I was able to see my pregnancy as a beautiful miracle and not just an uncomfortable and difficult time. And hot dang I miss the preggie boobs. I am so thrilled that I had a shoot done with Casey Van Liefde and I highly recommend her if you’re looking for a maternity shoot in Auckland. Do also check out her work with newborns too. It is my biggest regret that I do not have a gorgeous newborn shoot with my babies. At the time I was so tired and so busy on a 3-hourly feeding cycle with prem babies that it didn’t really cross my mind, but looking back now at a time I can barely remember what they looked like my heart hurts a little that I didn’t bite the bullet and get a baby shoot done as well. Definitely something worth looking into if you are at all interested – especially if, like me, you are only ever going to do this once.