My thoughts on maternity photos

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Hey guys!!!

I can't believe my little Lilah girl is already two weeks old! So this makes this post and these pictures extra special and why I want to share my thoughts on Maternity Photos.

This pregnancy was the first time I actually took some maternity photos. I remember thinking with my previous two, will I really want pictures of my bump? I'm here to tell all of you, if you like being pregnant or not, you WILL want some bump photos of yourself. I didn't want anything over the top or fake, I just wanted a few simple photos of me and my belly. Dani Nicole Photography listened to exactly what I wanted and envisioned. Per usual. It was an impromptu session, and I had asked her if she could just do a simple silhouette of me and my girl. Looking at the black and white silhouette photo brings tears to my eyes a little bit.  I'm so thankful I have this photo. I'm 99.9 percent positive this was my last pregnancy, (please god), so I'm so grateful to have captured this time in my life. So ladies, yes! Take those photos. You will want to capture that special time in your life. Even if you feel like crap for 9 months like me.

Lilah was born almost exactly a week after these photos were taken! I was BEYOND ready, even though she made a debut two weeks early. She had been measuring 3-4 weeks ahead since very early on, so I knew she was ready too. And if she was growing bigger and bigger, I did not want to have a c-section if I did not have to, so I'm so glad she came when she did! My mom and stepdad were actually in town. They were planning to be here for roughly a week or so, and I so desperately wanted for it to happen while they were here! With having a two and four-year-old already, and no family close by, we constantly were worried about going into labor at 2 am and having to make the dreaded phone call to a neighbor or friend to come to our rescue. So I couldn't be happier it actually worked out while my mom was in town. And yes, if you caught my stories that day, you know I ordered a pizza that goes by the name of, "The Inducer" from a local pizza joint. I guess this pizza is a nationally recognized pizza and is very well known here in Charlotte. I had never heard of it, so when a friend told me about it, I called immediately to order one. BAHAHA! I thought, eh, it couldn't hurt to try! (I had tried EVERYTHING else). Within an hour of eating this pizza, I was having contractions. Which, I do need to specify, I was already dilated to a 4 and having contractions daily. Just nothing that would continue past a couple of hours. So needless to say, I was in pain every day. So once I started having consistent contractions, (I waited two hours to call), I said okay I think we need to go in. I was just so nervous we would get all the way there, and they would say come back later. I was still having contractions once we got to the hospital, but nothing like I couldn't walk, and I was still thinking, oh man, they are going to make me go home.

They put us right into the labor and delivery room, the doctor came and checked me, and at this point, I was dilated to a 5 and she was like, "You can go home and wait if you would like, or we can have this baby." I turned to my husband and instantly shouted hooray with some tears. I shouted, "get this baby out!" haha. As soon as she left the room, my contractions sped up to a point where it was no joke. They weren't letting up nor giving me much of a break. So I'm very glad we didn't choose the go home option. I knew she would be here soon. I have gotten an epidural with all three of mine. I think it's awesome women choose to do it naturally, but that is just not for me. The epidural took almost an hour to get! We were waiting, waiting, waiting, and waiting. I was in a lot of pain....while my husband was trying to decide which movie to watch. I think he said something like, "Honey do you want to watch Jurassic World? Oh, maybe we can watch fill in three other movie blanks..followed by, honey which movie do you want to WATCH!" And I just looked at the amazing Labor and Delivery nurse (those ladies are truly angels), like I was going to kill him, and very nicely asked her, "Are all husbands like this?" haha. I could barely talk or focus, I was in so much pain. Finally, I got an epidural, they broke my water, and Lilah was born just a couple hours later. I've been beyond lucky with three great deliveries. I pushed 4x. (That's actually the most I ever have!) I weirdly like that part of pregnancy. haha! I feel like my body does so much work in the third trimester preparing for delivery, that it truly makes for an easy birth! Lilah was born on July 19th, which just happens to be my birthday as well. I'm not sure if it's something she will hate her whole life or find it special, but I still can't believe it. I will always make sure she feels special on her big day.

The moment I saw our Lilah, I thought she looked so much like her sister Adelyn. I couldn't believe it. Which means she looks exactly like my husband. Giving birth to three children, the moment you see your child in your arms never gets old. It's the most incredible feeling and something that is more powerful then I could write with any word. I'm forever grateful to God to gift us, three healthy beautiful children. Even though I don't love pregnancy, that moment you hold those babies you grew for 9 months in your arms, they look at you, it's beyond explainable. It's an instant love you didn't even know you had to give. It makes me want three more. haha!! Then we are home and I'm back with my 2 and 4-year-old and say, nevermind! All jokes aside, our family is officially complete! Lilah was our missing puzzle piece, which now completes our family. All of our hearts are more full, her brother and sister adore her, plus she is such a calm and happy baby. I'm forever grateful.

XOX,

Ashley