Saturday, October 4, 2014

Camera Ready or Not

I've always wanted 4 children, ever since I can remember thinking about the children I might one day have...back in high school. Four seemed appropriate; not too many, not too few, everyone has a buddy. There have been times throughout our marriage, my husband and I weren't sure we'd have 4. I've had a lot of discomfort during pregnancies, I tend to gain a lot of weight, we've had financial hardships, and frankly, I just don't like being pregnant.

With each pregnancy, I held out hope, hope that one of my 4 might just be a cute pregnancy; hope that I might, just might, have one of those all-belly, skinny everywhere else, can't tell I'm pregnant from behind or in head shots pregnancies.

It didn't happen with the first. It didn't happen with the second, even though I worked out and walked regularly throughout. And it didn't happen with my third, even though I played basketball well into the second trimester.

Then, for the first time ever, I became pregnant before losing the previous weight. My first concern was to hear the healthy heartbeat of the baby. Having had a miscarriage just 9 months prior, it was a concern I'd never known before. A miscarriage never even occurred to me or entered my brain...until I'd had one. But then, a very close second concern was, "Crap! I'm already overweight. This pregnancy is going to be my most hideous yet!" Yeah, I'm a fabulous mom, I know.

Of course, I started showing almost immediately. I put on weight during that first trimester just like always. It was embarrassing to have people think I was much farther along than I actually was, asking me, at about 14 weeks, "Do you know what you're having?" or even worse, thinking I was due this fall.

Greeeeaaaaat. I became much like a hermit, only going to church and attending things I'd already committed to, and I wasn't sure I was ever going to let the Facebook world know of this pregnancy. Come February, I'd just post a picture of the new little one all nonchalant like, "I'm so crafty, lookie what I made!"

Then, when I finally decided to let my Facebook friends in on our little secret, I wanted to use pictures of each of my pregnancies to announce this fourth one. And ya know what I discovered? There's not a single pregnancy picture of me with Isaac, our third. I remembered my mom trying to take some and my refusal, because I couldn't stand the look of my face, and how my whole body looked pregnant, from my toes to my hair. I hated my face, in particular, and how when I would smile, my cheeks themselves, all swollen and rosy, looked like they were about to give birth to a family of elves.

It occurred to me, that no matter how little I actually enjoy pregnancy, it produces my greatest joy, and to not have any proof of the love I had for them, in my being, is heartbreaking. Poor little Isaac. :( So today, I (me, I did it, I organized it, my idea, mine), planned a family portrait for us while apple picking. My mom was more than happy to photograph us, and I didn't hide every time she pulled up the camera. I smiled, I laughed, I embraced the family of elves living in my cheeks and cherished this moment with my growing family.

 I'm 19 weeks and huge, and I'll be just fine. Baby is healthy, I am healthy, and we find out the gender on Monday. My husband thinks I'm beautiful, my children think I'm pretty, and their love can conquer all of my insecurities.

Besides, for the first time in my life, I can actually say this; when am I ever going to experience this again? Never. This is it, the last hoorah, the final piece to the Greene puzzle, and I'm not going to keep running from it. There will be plenty of time for dieting, and running, and being fit and fabulous after the elves, I mean babies, ;-) no longer need my body for their growth.

From this moment on, I will stop allowing moments to pass me by just because I don't believe I'm camera ready, and I challenge you to do the same! 


  1. Erin, thank you for sharing your family's beautiful faces. You are a fabulous mom.

    1. Wow. I just absolutely loved reading this. I can totally relate to a lot of what you said. I hated pictures during my pregnancies! I've never been thin so of course, I felt huge. It's terrible that we feel that way about ourselves when we ate so beautiful to our spouses and children. When I saw your pictures, I thought you looked beautiful! Not huge! :) Thank you for sharing this! Loved reading it!