In mid-February, I entered a contest for a free photoshoot! When submitting my entry, I just needed to explain what I wanted to be photographed and why. Here is what I wrote:
My name is Kacie Armitage and I would be honored to have you capture my growing family with your creative eye and talent. My husband and I have a 2 year old daughter named Londyn and are expecting another sweet little girl on April 11th. I never had maternity photos taken when I was pregnant with my first because I didn't feel fabulous enough to have my body photographed professionally. This pregnancy is different because although I still don't feel like a drop dead diva in my own skin, I want to capture every moment of this baby's journey that i possibly can.
On November 27th, I received a daunting phone call from my Obstetrician with news that no expecting mother ever imagines. It was found on my 20 week ultrasound that something could possibly be wrong with our baby's heart. It was December 1st that my doctor's concerns were confirmed by a Pediatric Cardiologist, that our baby has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. This rare congenital heart defect has resulted in intense prenatal supervision and a plan of at least three surgeries on our daughter's heart before she turns 3 years old.
This journey has only emphasized my feelings on the importance of family and that's what I would like to capture if I were to win this contest.
I have always been fascinated with pregnancy photos but never thought they were for me. If I won this contest, I would love to have a family photoshoot with the focus being my enormous belly and the love that we all have for Zoe's arrival.
Thank you for hosting this contest and i can't wait for the winners to be revealed!
When I found out that I was one of the winners, I was ecstatic! But as the session date drew closer... my nerves grew. Being 8 months pregnant makes me want to run in the opposite direction of any camera... but more importantly, I always want Zoe to know that I loved her from the beginning. Regardless of the fear and and heartache, hearing her heartbeat, seeing those chubby cheeks on the ultrasound monitor and feeling her little body move in my belly- makes it all worth it.
Honestly, I couldn't have asked for a better photoshoot. It was such a therapeautic experience. It wasn't stressful or forced. I wanted to capture our family and the love we have for each other and this new life that will be joining us soon. It was just a fun trip to the park... lots of laughs, smiles and special moments.
I haven't seen the photos yet, but here is a little teaser that the photographer gave me.
Thank you Vince James Photography!
I have 30 more days left until this show gets on the road! At my appointment with Dr. Flath today, belly measured right on track at 35.5 centimeters. I always look forward to hearing Zoe's heartbeat. It beats so strong that it is hard to believe it is anything be perfect.
Current cravings include fruit, fruity sweets and soda... not the best, but I just can't get enough! I feel like my body is about as big as it was with Londyn, but my belly doesn't quite feel as ginormondo (A word?). It does feel super tight and crowded though. It is hard to breathe deeply and comfortably now. This is most evident when I do the most simple things... like walking to the mailbox or up the stairs. Lulu has made the third trimester so much easier for me with her high energy and little legs. When I forget something upstairs or drop something on the ground, she is my go-to gal! For the most part, she is always willing to be a big helper! The only downside is that she often reminds me that I have a "big belly" and that I wear "big pants"... she makes me smile and laugh every single day. It doesn't get much better than that.
My discomfort level is ever-increasing. It doesn't help that I've had a sinus cold these last few days. It really stinks when you can't take anything to ease the symptoms! Sleep has been a real struggle. I find myself exhausted ALL day long and then when it comes to hittin' the hay for the night, my body can't seem to get the job done. My mom got me a pregnancy body pillow when I was pregnant with Londyn but it didn't make much of a difference then. I was so desperate last night to get some real sleep, that I thought I would try it out for the first time during this pregnancy. I slept so much better... aside from being woken up by my toddler @ 4am. Hopefully the pillow will continue you help!
With all the stress of finals in a week, Andrew has still managed to accomplish tons around the house to prepare for Zoe's arrival. Even though we won't be bringing her home for several weeks after she is born, we still want to have everything ready.
We went to Babies r' Us on Saturday and purchased a Baby Trend Sit n' Stand stroller for the girls. I love it because it has a harnessed seat in the front with an infant car seat attachment, and a bench in the back for a toddler/youngin' to sit or stand. Genius! We were going to spend $140.00 on the one they had on the shelf, but Andrew found an older model hiding for $97. Score! Now all we need is an infant car seat and baby swing. We were so generously blessed during the holiday season with several Target gift cards from "secret elves" on our doorstep, which will come in handy for those extra purchases.
Over the weekend, Andrew climbed up into the dreaded attic and brought down all of the baby clothes, items and bassinet. It sounds much easier than it actually was, considering I am of no help with the heavy lifting. I started sorting through the baby clothes, dividing them into sizes and of course, my emotions got the best of me as I remembered my sweet little Londyn wearing those exact outfits. I could see so vividly her chunky little cheeks smiling at at me and all of the memories of when she was a baby. It was only a matter of time before I broke down... sitting in a puddle of tears. I started to think about Zoe and wondering if she will actually come home to us... asking myself, "what if she never wears these clothes?" Minutes later, Andrew noticed me bawling in the palms of my hands. He just held me. I told him about my thoughts and he said with so much assurity that she would come home and be ours. Even though we can't be certain of what is to come or what the Lord has in store for Zoe, it is beyond comforting to share my darkest thoughts with my spouse. I want to be strong, positive and so hopeful. But there are those weak moments when your mind wanders and you just don't know anymore. That is when you crawl into bed with a full roll of toilet paper and pray. You pray in between the ugly tears... and you pray hard.