I see 41 weeks of pregnancy.
I see 50 extra pounds on my body – not just the baby weight… probably some of that ben & jerrys too.
I see a belly button hernia that hurt me almost every day.
I see stretch marks & cellulite…. and why don’t we throw in pale skin too (but that’s not pregnancy’s fault.)
I see hair left uncut or colored – because “I’ll wait til after I have the baby to do things that make me feel beautiful again.”
I see the mental strain of waiting…. waiting… waiting.
I see the doubt, anxiety, and fear that creepy into the corners, unwelcome yet making themselves more at home than ever before.
Let me reiterate – I love these photos.
I see the baby we tried for years for, days away from being held in our arms.
I see breasts, bulging at the ready to provide food for a little one.
I see the nursery, carefully assembled with anticipation of playtime.
I see skin that miraculously holds together organs and blood that have nourished and grown the life inside.
I see a soft bed that will supports a family as they rest and eventually recover from the challenges of childbirth.
I see powerful muscled legs that have supported my growing body and baby as I walk around the city each day.
I see eyes that have looked at the ultrasound picture for hours… eager to look at his tiny face.
I see hands caressing the kicks and rolls of my baby – but what will he feel like in my arms?
I see an able mind, a tender heart, a strong body – ready for this new chapter.
All of it, every part, beautiful.
Words by Kara Leigh Alden
Photographed by her sister using film.