by mraynes

cross posted at our family blog

i don’t write or post a lot of pictures of myself on this blog because, like i’ve said before, this blog isn’t about me. family blogs exist for the sole purpose of showing off cute pictures of your kids. but these pictures fall into a gray area since they’re of me carrying our next child.

i gave a talk at a women’s conference in salt lake city this past weekend and while i was there, my dear friend D’Arcy offered to take some pregnancy shots of me. i had never really considered getting pregnancy pictures taken because i’ve alway considered them to be an exercise in vanity. but brandon and i have tentatively decided that, barring an angel commanding us to do otherwise, this will be our last baby. pregnancy is a wonderful time, one that i will surely miss when i don’t actually have to be pregnant, so i decided to take D’Arcy up on her gracious offer.

D’Arcy was amazing; somehow she was able to get these shots without capturing my stress from presenting a paper in front of many of my personal heroes and literally dropping tomato soup all over me right before she was going to take the pictures. and she managed to do it in the 5 minute period i had available! if you live in salt lake city or the surrounding area, i highly recommend her as a photographer! you can check out her photo blog and more pictures of me, here:

(warning: the next photo is a belly shot so avert your eyes if you have no desire to see my pregnancy-stretched skin.)

personally speaking, these pictures are a true gift. this pregnancy has been hard for me. pregnancy is, of course, always hard but it is especially so when it is one you weren’t expecting and didn’t really want. my life is already stressful between two very active, needy toddlers and my graduate program. pregnancy has just been another complicating factor. and most of the time i walk around feeling like a freak. i am not surprisingly, the only pregnant graduate student in my program and seemingly on the entire campus. people stare at me as i pass, often they ask really intrusive questions. i have never had so many insensitive things said to me as i have in the last two months.

these pictures have made me feel like a human being again. they’ve reminded me that despite how complicated life is and how stressed out i feel, this pregnancy is a blessing. i can’t thank D’Arcy enough for giving me this beautiful gift.