Meet Southern Mother Rebecca F. with Maternity Photography by Emily Melissa Photography
Motherhood means… everything to me. And not just in a casual, brush-off answer way but truly, everything. Everything I’ve learned in my life, everything I understand. Everything I love and cherish; all of these pieces that I’ve hand-picked as an adult to be parts of who I am- in motherhood I find the strength and love and patience to share and invest all of these things into these tiny little humans to make them the best people they can be. I give them all my experience and education to give them the tools to hopefully help guide them into a life they love living. Nothing I can imagine leaving behind once I am gone from this earth is as valuable as the love and time I have given to my children. And so, to me, motherhood is the ultimate devotion of everything I am.
In your own words, tell us about being pregnant, the mother you have become while carrying new life, and how it’s changed you.
Oh, pregnancy. I so longed to be pregnant and have children for so many years. My husband and I were married nearly 6 years before I had my son.
But want and desire do not mean something comes easy. Both of my pregnancies were challenging and long. I think the most difficult part was wanting to genuinely FEEL like I loved it, as much as my soul loved it. But pregnancy was a very painful and very nauseating 40 weeks.
If I’m honest, I’m not sure pregnancy changed me much! I felt fairly relaxed during pregnancy. Made sure I made moments to find my zen and was determined to enjoy this time as much as I could. I knew these months would pass and I’d long for them later, and I knew myself well. I think if anything, pregnancy was a good reminder and practice in looking to the future, but also appreciating the moment. Which is certainly a good lesson in motherhood! It can be hard to look ahead while staying present.
Did you find out the gender of your baby? Is there a name picked out yet?
Yes! We found out via blood test about 13 weeks along- so early! We were certain we’d struggle to come up with names- we’d had a very difficult time naming our firstborn. But about 15 weeks in, my husband mentioned the name Lucille. Lucy, for short. And it just felt SO right. Lucille Jane.
Baby’s Name (First & Middle)
Lucille (Lucy) Jane
What are your must-have pregnancy items?
Long camis/tank tops. Seriously. Target carries awesome plain, simple maternity tanks and they are the BEST. Seamless and comfortable. I was always hot and had summer babies so they were long enough to always cover my massive belly- but thin enough to layer under a tee or cardigan. And so comfy for post-baby and nursing! Also Zantac. Or tums. For the love of Pete anything to help with the reflux!
How did you find out you were expecting?
Took a test! We’d been trying. I was only 3 1/2 weeks but I just had this strong urge and tested after dinner one night (who does that?! First-morning pee is where it’s at) and it was positive! I then proceeded to take like 15 more tests over the next couple weeks. I was so excited and in shock.
How did you tell the father?
We had friends visiting at the time so I think I called him into our room and told him. He was happy and really casual about it. Glad, but not surprised.
How has pregnancy changed you as a woman?
I’m not really sure! I think motherhood changed me, but I think pregnancy just left me feeling thankful. I’m
Not really one of those women that felt incredibly empowered by pregnancy. I mean it’s incredible! But I didn’t feel in awe of my body, really. Just incredibly thankful that I have this opportunity to create this life.
What are some of your most cherished memories of your child and do you plan on passing down any southern traditions?
My cherished memory bank is bursting! I had such a wonderful childhood and upbringing. Our holidays were so special. I was one of six children and my parents always made time for us, and we loved time with each other. Favorite memories are probably apple picking/wagon rides every fall, every Christmas memory (especially when Mom would keep each of us home one day with her for one on one time and Christmas baking!) and family road trips. I hope to share all of those with my little family.
What most surprised you about pregnancy?
Maybe what it did to me emotionally! I’ve sort of always been a high-strung anxious person but I feel so mellow and go with the flow when pregnant!
What has been your greatest challenge being pregnant?
Nausea. All nausea, all the time. Especially with baby number two because I already had a toddler to care for and a husband that traveled all the time for work. Its hard to strike a balance between feeling like you are taking care of yourself, but also that your child is still getting the best of you.
What is your greatest joyful memory of being pregnant?
Feeling the baby move! Especially once you feel it from the outside. I wish I could replay that feeling all the time. And finding out the genders! It’s just so surreal.
What advice do you wish you had known before getting pregnant (even if it’s something gross)?
Just drink your water, okay? It helps everything, and prevents a lot of discomforts, haha. Headaches, muscle pains, digestive issues, UTIs, dehydration, dizziness. If you aren’t a big water drinker, get over it and get on that H2O.
What would you tell someone who just found out they were pregnant?
Cherish your time. Whether that’s quiet moments alone, with your spouse, brunch with girlfriends, snuggle time with your other littles- cherish it. It’s wonderful when it changes to include this whole new person but … it changes. So love what you have so you feel so ready to embrace something new. And you can’t get those same moments back. Also! You have the better part of a year! Start saving and checking out consignment shops and online yard sales
Now! Kids are expensive as they grow- babies don’t have to be!
Can you share with our mommies where you purchased the items you wore for your maternity session?
Yes! The fantastic yellow chiffon skirt is by Melansay (on Amazon!)
Top is scalloped lace v neck by PattyBoutik
Flower crown by vivivalue purchase here
Hat shown in some photos is Apt 9!
Did you have any pregnancy cravings or aversions?
Aversions to basically everything, haha. Especially the smell of coffee- and I’m an avid coffee drinker! Did not like
To handle or cook any meat but toward the end of my pregnancy, I was OBSESSED with chicken wings. I never cared for them before! It was bizarre.
Funny enough, my daughter ended up being born on National Chicken Wing Day! It’s like she knew.
Do you have any favorite maternity items you couldn’t live without?
Yoga pants and maternity tank tops! And comfortable slip-on shoes!
If you could give your child(ren) one piece of advice what would it be?
Take care of yourself. Take care of your body, your mind, your soul. Be aware of who you are and what you need- and nurture those things.
Ultimately taking time and care of yourself will aid in you becoming a great asset in the lives of those that you love and value. And the process of taking care of yourself leads you into knowing and understanding yourself better. Once you can do that- you can truly learn what you want out of life, and how to be your best self, and you can find genuine happiness. And there’s nothing more that I can wish for my children.
Tell us about your session and what the images mean to you.
These images mean so much to me. I was so nervous and anxious about having them done. I felt puffy and frumpy and uncomfortable. I knew I’d be glad for the images later but in the moment, the last thing I wanted was to be in front of a camera.
Emily had me at ease from the moment I met her. She smiles from her eyes to her toes and has an effortless way of making you feel comfortable and at ease. Her sense of humor makes her easy to laugh with; her gentle guidance during shooting made me feel less awkward and silly. And her compliments! She told me outright when something wasn’t working, but also shared her excitement when she was sure she got a fantastic shot! I felt excited and encouraged by her. From the initial consultation through messages, to outfit planning to the session itself- the whole experience was wonderful. I can not say enough about her and who she is as both a person and a professional. I brought her my small collection of thoughts, and she turned my little vision into this experience and reality that has left me with the most incredible photos that I get to love and savor forever. I’m endlessly thankful.Emily-Melissa is a fine art portrait and wedding photographer based in Washington, DC and her hometown, Chicago, Illinois.
Emily-Melissa is a fine art portrait and wedding photographer based in Washington, DC and her hometown, Chicago, Illinois.