January 11th of this year, Jason and I celebrated with our kick ass photography team for another amazing year of weddings, sessions, and overall growth by visiting a few local brew houses and wineries. Although I scored a wonderful winter cold, we had a blast laughing and relaxing while being chauffeured around in a Unique Limousine. 48 hours later we were in for a huge surprise during the initial consultation at RMA when a heartbeat made it’s presence on an ultrasound! Three years of trying, through many treatments and doctors, we were about 8 weeks pregnant.
After our initial freak out and OMG, OMG, OMG moment, I immediately hit the blogs to search for other wedding photographers perspectives and insights on how to announce, how to shoot, how to….well…. everything. Sadly, there is so little out there for reference or personal experience of women who would have their clients affected or operate a husband and wife team while pregnant. Using our best judgement, we kept our news under the radar with friends and family until a few weeks into the second trimester (12 weeks for reference) and refrained from taking additional bookings for the remaining open dates in July, August, and September. We notified our team members sooner rather than later though to start getting a potential coverage map together to have a back up plan for our July-September weddings. In early March, we sent an email to all of our clients, even to our 2015 and 2016 couples who weren’t necessarily going to be affected directly, informing them of our upcoming life change and the back up plan, including recommendations to meet the potential photographer ahead of time if interested.
Our spring and early summer weddings were fairly normal to capture with a bit more fatigue and overall weird pregnancy stuff, like a serious infatuation with fruit (peaches are my favorite) and knowing the difference between a regular Fig Newton and an organic Fig Newman (the organic Fig Newmans are the bomb by comparison). I took little breaks and sat on a stool during the reception more than I ever had in the past six years. The pregnancy started to hit a pivot point towards the end of June while working a wedding that was heavy in the stair department for both the ceremony and reception, causing insane pain afterward and pushing us into assistant territory to work along side me and help Jason out if needed. A few weeks ago I wasn’t able to attend my first wedding which was a nearly tearful moment watching Jason walk out the door, gear in hand, without me. The following weekend wasn’t any better for the next wedding I couldn’t work, making me seriously miss picking up my camera and being able to kneel down for a kick ass shot of one of our amazing couples! Kudos though to Jason and team members for sending me snippets of our couple’s wedding day via iphone messages!
We’re currently at the final stages (OH THANK GOD!) of the process before we have the privilege of welcoming our little man to the world- Yes that was a gender announcement… It’s a boy, expected to arrive any day now although sooner would make this gal much happier rather than later! Overall, my take is probably a bit different than most expectant parents- for us this isn’t something new to the universe. We’re definitely super excited but I keep in my mind that many women have been pregnant and many will be way after us, but damn I miss shooting and such is one of the struggles of being a female professional in any field, not only photography.
In closing, there certainly has been a TON of laughter in the McClain household over fun new discoveries, not only about the upcoming arrival but about each other. Maternity clothes are the bane of every woman’s pregnancy (at least mine), especially when her wardrobe full of cute pre-pregnancy clothes is within ogling distance. We’ve definitely learned that Babies R’ Us is a scary, scary place for a first time parent (hello overwhelming much) and baby stuff can take up some serious real estate in your home and off your checkbook ledger. In my opinion, preparing and stocking the nursery and putting a car seat in your vehicle has a very similar anxious feeling as to putting on your dress and veil on your wedding day. I’ve also noticed that your doctor will become obsessed with bodily fluid samples for every.. single.. visit.. OMG… yet every ultrasound is another amazing look into your future while watching your little one grow and develop.