Meet Southern Mother Kaitlin C. with Beautiful Maternity Photos
What does motherhood mean to you?
To this day, I would have to say that being a mom is the greatest gift/job in the world; it means unconditional love. On a day to day level, being a mother means being tired, always on a constant move, a role model, a superwoman, and being 100% completely selfless. Some days it means eating my daughters leftover chicken nuggets for lunch. It means I might never fit into my size zero jeans again (and I’m perfectly OK with that!). With all of that said when I lay my head down at night (whatever time that may end up being) realizing that it’s all completely worth it.
In your own words, tell us about being pregnant, the mother you have become while carrying new life, and how it’s changed you.
You always hear stories of pregnancy, but not until you become pregnant do you really have an appreciation of what the female body can do; I loved being pregnant. Pregnancy is definitely a beautiful experience and I felt like a total badass during mine. It was fun, hard, and amazing all at the same time. I never really thought pregnancy brain was a legit thing until my husband came home from work one morning and the Method cleaning spray was in the fridge. I searched for that spray for hours, the funny thing is I was annoyed with him because I thought he had taken it the day before outside to clean….oops!
I have always been the type of person to put others first, but while carrying my daughter I learned to start putting myself first. I had to, especially with having such a hard case of gestational diabetes.
As I’m sitting here typing this, I have watched my daughter unfold every item of clothing I had just folded. So without a doubt motherhood has taught me about patience. I thought I knew what love was, but not until your child poops and throws up on you at the same time, do you realize how much you truly love this tiny little human being.
With all the sleepless nights, my husband and I can’t imagine life without our children (we now have a 3-month-old son) and I would do it over again in a heartbeat.
Did you find out the gender of your baby? Is there a name picked out yet?
We did find out the gender and we did have a name picked out! I always loved the name Savannah and her middle name is Ellen. My husband’s grandmother’s name is Ellen.
Baby’s Name (First & Middle)
What are your must-have pregnancy items?
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion
Body Pillow (Boppy® Multi-use Slipcovered Total Body Pillow)
Pregnancy Pops (Three Lollies Preggie Pop Drops)
Belly Bandit back support
How did you find out you were expecting?
Well, this is probably one of my favorite stories to tell! I actually had a dream that I was pregnant one night! Then woke up and with the hustle and bustle of the day forgot about it until about two days later. My sister was in town and she, my friend and I was going to some wineries in Charlottesville; I was like I have to take a test. I can’t go drinking wine and not know! Well, sure enough, the test was positive!! I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to tell my Fiancé (now my husband). He is a firefighter and works 24-hour shifts and I knew I wanted to tell him in person, so I waited. Talk about the LONGEST 24 hours of my life! So back to the day of wineries, I still went, but I told my sister and friend that I had a stomach ache so I could get away with not drinking. Sooo I passed all my glasses to my sister while trying to keep the biggest secret of my life!!
How did you tell the father?
In a white box, I wrapped a baby blanket, the positive pregnancy test and a card that said ‘PREGNANT’ on it! I gave it to him right as we were going to bed. He was so confused as I was handing it to him. My husband, Parker, now says he knew right away when I handed him the box what it was. He was probably the happiest I’ve ever seen him and so excited. We cried happy tears and stayed up all night discussing what we think our kid would be like.
How has pregnancy changed you as a woman?
I would look at other pregnant women, but not until I became pregnant did I realize what an absolute miracle it is to become pregnant and to actually grow another life inside you. It’s made me appreciate my body and the fact that I am able to carry my children. I will never take that miracle for granted. Pregnancy helped me become more in-tune with my body and to listen to it when it’s telling me I’m doing too much. I have learned that it is ok if things don’t go as ‘planned.’ I used to be the woman that was always on time or early to things, now getting two kids out the door some days seems nearly impossible. So if I’m late I just blame the kids- haha!
Oh and besides the extra ten pounds I’m holding onto, it’s made me realize the true meaning of unconditional love.
What are some of your most cherished memories of your childhood and do you plan on passing down any southern traditions?
-On New Year’s Eve, my mom would always make the traditional meal of black-eyed peas, stewed tomatoes, pork and greens for good luck in the upcoming year. I have carried on this tradition with my husband and I and I can’t wait to continue it with my children.
-Growing up my parents always instilled in my sister and I to be polite and to respect not only our elders but people in general. The words ma’am and sir will go a long way in our house.
-My family has a farm in Purdy, VA. I remember my sister and I running through the cotton and peanut fields, learning how to drive a pick-up truck and being able to walk to the corner store alone. I cherish these memories and I can’t wait for my children to be able to experience our farm and to make their own memories.
What most surprised you about pregnancy?
Everything! How much your body truly changes and adapts. How tired it can make you. It’s amazing what the female body can do!
What has been your greatest challenge being pregnant?
Gestational Diabetes. Being my first pregnancy, when I was told I had gestational diabetes I took it hard. I always knew that my chance was greater being that my mother had it with me and her sisters had it with their pregnancies. Still, receiving that phone call that I didn’t pass the second glucose test was heartbreaking for me. I immediately jumped to guilt and blame. What did I do wrong? I was in shape and I ate healthily. I tried for about a week to maintain my sugar levels with exercise and diet, but my sugar levels just weren’t complying. I was then put on insulin and for someone who doesn’t have diabetes, this was a huge learning curve and life change. It was constant finger pricks, injecting insulin four times a day and again changing my diet. With insulin I became very sick, I would have really high sugar readings and then extremely low sugar readings, to the point where my body would begin shaking, I would get dizzy and almost pass out. So immediate sugar and protein it was at that point. Due to my unmanageable gestational diabetes, despite mine and my doctor’s greatest efforts, I was induced at 39 weeks for the safety of my daughter and myself.
What is your greatest joyful memory of being pregnant?
The kicks. Sure other people can feel like at some point, but feeling them from the inside is honestly the best thing. Being able to feel my daughter kicking is something I will always be thankful for. There really are no words to explain the feeling. I remember that some days she would kick so much (at my ribs) and the second my husband put his hand on my belly, she would relax. We liked to tell ourselves that she knew it was her Daddy and all was right.
What advice do you wish you had known before getting pregnant (even if it’s something gross)?
I wish that I had known that some days I would literally feel my stomach stretching (so itchy), that my boobs would start leaking after 20 weeks and that round ligament pain is a thing. Morning sickness doesn’t only happen in the morning. It’s an all day thing and it’s evil. Also, go ahead and spend the extra money and get a cute robe for after the birth, especially if you plan on having visitors. Oh and because the hospital photographer just pops in with no notice to take your first family photos…with no warning ahhh!!
What would you tell someone who just found out they were pregnant?
Congratulations! Yes, it is scary and exciting all at the same time. Take a minute, breath and soak it all in. It truly goes by WAY too fast! It’s easier said than done, but except the help, if family or friends offer it. Also, document the moments. I purchased a pregnancy bump journal and to this day I love looking back at it and remembering the weeks! (I loved being pregnant ha!!). Take pictures of yourself. They don’t all have to be social media perfect, but you’ll appreciate looking back on your journey.
Can you share with our mommies where you purchased the items you wore for your maternity session?
The dress I wore is from Pink Blush Maternity. The earrings: Target and honestly the cowboy boots, I’ve had for years and don’t remember!
Did you have any pregnancy cravings or aversions?
The only “craving” I really had was for strawberries! Thankfully, I didn’t have any aversions.
Well, as I say that, there were some days that I wanted to have everything, but with having Gestational Diabetes I knew that I couldn’t. So of course, I craved all the ‘bad things’ that I couldn’t have-ha! …Some days I did give myself ‘cheat days!’. I am carrying a baby, after all, I deserve it!
Do you have any favorite maternity items you couldn’t live without?
-I LOVED my Boppy pregnancy pillow. It made what sleep I got so much more enjoyable! (Boppy® Multi-use Slipcovered Total Body Pillow)
-Soothing skin lotion
-Dresses, sweats, leggings and yoga pants
If you could give your child one piece of advice what would it be?
To always be kind and believe in yourself. To do what makes you happy, but to do it with grace.
Tell us about your session.
Carley is absolutely the sweetest and so amazing to work with. She was the photographer for our wedding and from that day on, I knew she would be our “family photographer.” She is so easy to work with and she captures the sweetest moments. Gosh, it’s so hard to put into words what my maternity photos mean to me. Carrying life is a HUGE DEAL and being able to look back at those photos (which are plastered ALL over my house) reminds me of all the feelings I felt during my pregnancy and what a huge accomplishment it is to bring a child into this world.
MEET THE PHOTOGRAPHER
Hey there! I’m Carley Rehberg, a natural light wedding and portrait photographer based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia. I’m a daughter to some unbelievably supportive parents, a sister to a gang of brothers, an aunt to some adorable nephews and an obsessed dog mom to my Goldendoodle, Pete. I’ve been photographing couples for the past 9 years. It’s truly an honor to work with such amazing couples who turn friends at the end of their photography experience.
Hi, y’all! I’m Faythe. I’m Alex and Karson's mommy, a blessed wife, a dreamer, and a believer in the "miracles” I am the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. I am passionate about faith, treasuring time with my little family on the weekends, and saying YES to the impossible, taking a leap of faith. I love the women I work alongside each day, addicted to hot chai lattes, building sand castles, the smell of the ocean, exploring new flavors in the kitchen, and living in the south. Yes, I am a proud Georgia Peach!