August 25, 2021

Pregnancy Reflections & Maternity Leave Updates | Maggie Mills Photography

FILED IN: Personal

Baby Amaya countdown is on y’all!! While I haven’t officially talked about our pregnancy on my blog, I assume it’s no surprise to folks as they’ve been following along with us on social media! But if you didn’t know, my husband and I are expecting our first baby in just a couple of weeks! We’re so thrilled to meet our little girl and very soon our lives will be very different! So I thought I’d take this time to reflect a bit on my pregnancy as well as explain what the next couple of months are going to look like for the MMP! And I’m also sharing more from our maternity session that we did with Click Away Photo and I’m totally obsessed with them!

I first just want to thank all of our amazing clients who have been nothing but excited and supportive of us as we grow our family! For me this journey really started at the beginning of last year when I sat at our kitchen island on January 2nd, blissfully unaware of how 2020 would challenge us all. I remember me thinking that this is the year we’d have a baby or get pregnant, or at least start that process, and praying that God would prepare my heart and our lives for that next step. I was so scared but knew that this was our path. All throughout last year I could see the ways in which God was placing this deeper and deeper into my heart and making it clear that we were being called to parenthood. But y’all know me, I’m a planner! And I wanted so badly to perfectly plan our pregnancy so that none of my clients would be affected and I wouldn’t miss a single wedding! As if I could just simply decide that I would get pregnant and that would be that! As the end of last year approached, I began to realize that if this last year had taught me anything it’s that life happens and we just have to go with the flow and figure it out! We can’t wait to live our lives or make decisions until everything seems perfect because we live in an imperfect world and are imperfect humans. What I did know was that David and I were in a really good place in our marriage & careers, we had a house and life ready to adjust for a baby and that it wouldn’t require entirely too much change on our end. And as I had done for years with my business, I knew that I needed to release and trust that the Lord would provide and make a way for baby A. And that He did!! A lot sooner than we anticipated but He knew better than we did!!

We found out on January 1st that I was pregnant. I always imagined how I would tell David that I was pregnant and wanted to do it a cute way. But of course it never works out how you imagine!! The day before I got that positive test, David had just tested positive for covid! He felt like he had a cold earlier in the week so he got tested along with his family. Thankfully he had the week off from work anyway and we hadn’t gone anywhere. We were both so convinced that it was just a cold that we did not quarantine him away. Well 4 days after he started to feel sick, his positive test came back! So the next day I kept my distance to reduce the amount of viral load I could get despite having been around him for 4 days! But I had also accepted that if I was going to get it from him that I probably already had it, just was asymptomatic. I remembered that I had ordered a pregnancy test with our instant cart groceries for the week and I was bored upstairs, so I decided to take one. I didn’t feel any different, I just knew that we had sort of been trying and that I could test in a few days. When I tell y’all that the result shocked the life out of me, you have no idea!! I was not at all expecting it to be positive! I literally hid from it like it was a spider! I could not believe it! I looked at those two lines for a long time and realized that I could not wait to tell David! It’s not like I could run out to Target to get a cute thing to tell him, we were quarantined in the house!! So I put it in the pocket of my pjs, grab my phone, and run downstairs. I tell him to close his eyes and I start recording on my phone. I put the test in his hands and he’s speechless like me! At first he didn’t believe it but he could see how freaked I was! After asking a million times if I was serious, he got all teary eyed and said “that’s nice!” I still could not believe that it was true and I sat on the other couch just staring at him with my mouth wide open for about 30 minutes! I went from disbelief, to crying, to “omg our lives are never gonna be the same from this moment!”

And as I would soon find out, first trimester pregnancy is not for the faint of heart!! I’m not gonna lie y’all, it was a really really tough season. From week 6 of pregnancy to week 14, I could hardly eat anything and was constantly throwing up. Nothing sounded appetizing and just about everything made me sick, even just the sensation of hunger! But remember when I said that God knew better than I did? The first trimester was mostly all during my off season when I didn’t have weddings or shoots, and I could just stay home and take care of my body. It was the biggest blessing in disguise!! And the few shoots and weddings that I did have were thankfully not on days that I got a fresh batch of hormones that sent me hugging the toilet! Somehow I managed to still grow a baby while only surviving on tangerines and chocolate oat milk!

Thankfully the second and third trimester were much kinder to me as weddings & spring shoots picked up into overdrive! Not only is that time of year super busy under normal circumstances, but covid had made it so the industry was doing two years of work in one! I had 10 weddings in just April & May alone and was running all over the state! But I had my energy and appetite back so I could continue to do what I loved while my body & baby grew! Honestly the most stressful part of the third trimester has been just finding time between mine and David’s work schedule to get our house ready for little girl! But once all was said and done, I officially shot 17 weddings while carrying our little girl and I am so incredibly proud of myself (and my body!!) for being able to still serve my clients as their wedding photographer with my growing bump! Some wedding days were definitely harder than others and I had to push my body to make it through. It was hard and some weddings I drove away in tears because of strain I had put on my body during the day. I was always so thrilled to be there and lead my clients as their wedding photographer, but my body hurt and needed rest. Thankfully I made it without missing a single wedding and am officially done shooting weddings until after maternity leave! I truthfully would not have been able to do them without my amazing second shooters, Jenna & Annie, who were so great at helping me through each day and kept me fed & hydrated! I’m so incredibly thankful for them and how much they’ve stepped up for me and my business during this season! Which gets us to talks about maternity leave!!

So what are the next couple of months going to look like? In some ways, very different, and in other ways, not so much! Thanks to my incredible clients who’ve been so amazing & flexible in preparation for baby Amaya, the MMP team will still shoot 5 weddings while I’m on maternity leave. Remember when I said that I knew that God would make a way? Well He did and the biggest blessing in my business this year has been the fact that Jenna was available to shoot all 5 of those maternity leave weddings! Jenna has been my second shooter for 5 years and is the perfect person to step into that role! I knew that going in but didn’t know if she would be available to shoot those! But God made a way and she was able to fill that role for me as an associate shooter! So Jenna will photograph those wedding days for me as an associate photographer for Maggie Mills Photography! They’ll still be MMP weddings and I’ll still edit & blog the images! My blogging schedule is something that I pride myself in and I know that both my clients and the vendors we work with really appreciate that fast turnaround time. So it’s still my plan to blog those weddings that happen while I’m on leave. Those blogs might not be as robust as before, but my goal is still to blog each wedding! Officially maternity leave will be from September 1st-November 1st and I will not be shooting during that time. I will, however, still be answering emails, responding to inquiries, and booking for next year! I will not be doing phone consultations but have a virtual consultation questionnaire all ready to send out to potential clients with tons of information and questions that we usually go over in the consultation! I’m wrapping up editing right now for the summer weddings I’ve just shot and my goal is to be all caught up with editing soon!

So something that I still want to be clear about MMP after maternity leave is that I am still going to be shooting weddings & portraits after baby Amaya is here! I have to, I have things on the books! I have four weddings scheduled for 2021 after I’m back from leave, fall mini sessions in Charlotte & Winston-Salem that still have some openings, and am actively scheduling engagement sessions for November & December! Obviously scheduling is going to be a little more complicated now that I have a little one at home, but thankfully we both have family very close by who are thrilled to be welcoming their first grandbaby! 2022 is filling up and the spring is almost fully booked (May is 100% at capacity and I turn away about 5 May brides a week!) so please please please do not wait to build your vendor team now! But I do still have summer & fall availability for 2022 and would love to be a part of your big day! Yes I’ll be a working momma but my heart is still in photography and the arrival of our little girl will surely not change that! I’m committed as ever to photographing love stories and wedding days!

Edit to add: as we approach our due date of September 10th, I’m asking for your continued prayers for all three of us. Our girl still has a bit more growing and wiggling to do before she makes her grand entrance, but we’re on her timeline! We’re asking for prayers for a safe, healthy, and joyful birth of our daughter who we pray will be healthy & happy…and a good sleeper and eater too if I’m honest lol! It will be a time of transition that we’re trying our best to prepare for and we’d so appreciate your continued love & support of us in this time. And trust me, I’ll share all about her birth story, nursery reveal, her name (it’s not Amaya, that’s our last name folks lol!), and all the things once she’s here! And for those who’ve asked: here’s our registry!

Now here are some more shots from our maternity session! 🙂

Photographer: Click Away Photography

HMUA: Beauty Tribe

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