Maternity pictures

6 Comments

I am a big (amateur) photography junkie so when I had the chance to document this amazing time in our lives through the lense- believe you me I did not pass on that opportunity! In one of my previous posts here I introduced you to Anastaseya Photography- a woman, a mother and a photographer who specializes in maternity, new-born, lifestyle and family photo sessions here in Muscat. I am incredibly lucky to know her personally and even more so to have been able to book a photo session for her for this Thursday!!!

Over the last few months I was collecting pins into my little board of inspirations over at Pinterest hoping to achieve similar results with our maternity photo shoot or to at least get ideas for locations, props and poses.

Below are some of my favorite moments “capturing” this amazing experience of being pregnant:

 As you can see I chose images that featured both the parents and I think that’s very important. I don’t want 45 pictures of me and my “belly” looking left and right and center and holding flowers and what-not. This isn’t about me. This is about us as a couple, as parents bringing a child into this world. She is ours. I want the pictures to show how involved her daddy was every step of the way and how obsessed he is with her already. I want her to see the bond. whether she is 3, 15 or 67 I want her to look back at these pictures and see how much we enjoyed become her parents and how important she was to us.

 Having said that you probably won’t see me publishing any pictures that look like this: (bummer…right?)

I don’t personally have anything against nude maternity photography it’s just not for me. The female body is beautiful during pregnancy absolutely, but if mine is to be captured on film I want it to be fully clothed!!! (I must admit the picture above disturbs me a little…)

In terms of the location, I would love to have an outdoors photo shoot. I initially had a very “alternative” idea that involved Boashar Sand Dune, Quad Bikes, Pink Baloons and some rough riding. Until my husband reminded me that I am pregnant… My idea was for the pictures to show the feminine aspect of pregnancy, all the tenderness and fragility of it combined with a rough exterior (that is my husband) represented in the sand bashing and quad-bike riding. This way the baby will know what she’s really made of…but then we settled for a park 🙂 The pictures will hopefully turn out to be very refreshing with heaps of greenery around us, cozy lawns and flower beds. Oh. But I am still bringing the pink balloons and maybe a few other props like baby items, ultrasound scans of the baby and maybe a black board with a “Coming Soon” message. I just can’t resist.

So look out for these next week…I am so  CRAZY excited!

(But that just might be all the sugar that I just ate talking…)

Why pregnant women aren’t fun…

2 Comments

How often do you encounter a heavily pregnant woman in society? Once a week? Once a month? Hardly ever? There is a reason for that my friends. Women who are on their 7th month or somewhat past that benchmark- avoid leaving the house (and with good reasons!).I am going to take a minute here and give you the low-down on why pregnant women are a nuisance and must be kept indoors for the sake of everybody’s physical and mental wellbeing.

Disclaimer: The below are my personal observations that I am not afraid to generalize as I find comfort in believing that every woman at 30 weeks of pregnant or more is as miserable as I am. So here is why we aren’t fun:

  • We need to pee all the time. Going into a supermarket, a mall or a restaurant we map out the bathroom routes well in advance. It is anything but sexy when just after two sips of herbal tea or water we need to make a trip to the bathroom yet again. Moreover those around us (spouses, family or friends) shamelessly blur out “Oh so you need to go AGAIN?”. Yes damn it. There is a giant baby using my bladder as a jumping castle- I need to go AGAIN. Thank you for the announcement.
  • We have trouble getting off sofas, low armchairs or just very squishy and comfy surfaces which usually results in our spouse giving us a gentle push or reaching out their hand to help. Think: giant whale being hauled off the shore during a rescue operation. Sexxxyy
  • We over-react to everything. Whether it’s the waiter getting the order wrong or a car horn beeping restlessly nearly- the smallest things make our blood boil. But it isn’t us- it’s those darn hormones. These pesky little demons are to blame for our sudden tearful outburst over the shoes we no longer fit into or the orange juice Costa didn’t forgot to serve us. We understand this is very embarrassing for those around us or sometimes even fatal- if they are the subject of our scorn. So these situations are best avoided.
  • When we want something we want it NOW. Yesterday , I really wanted a burger (right after I ate a box of cinnamon rolls). I was a little hungry, tolerable. But I WANTED A BURGER NOW. I was physically shaking by the time my order arrived. I was close to tears. I needed to taste that juicy beef patty, smeared generously with ketchup and mayo and placed lovingly between crunchy salad leaves and tomatoes. I couldn’t even focus or talk while I waited for it.
  • Angry when hungry. Pretty much summarized in the above bullet point. Works like this: from 0 to absolute bitch in 0.1 seconds if hunger kicks in. God forbid I come home and dinner isn’t heated or ready. Or if we get invited over to a friend’s house for lunch and they are just in the process of cooking it. I mean…I expect to receive food when I want it. Right then and there. Hunger just leads to a catastrophe because THERE IS A GIANT BABY inside me that wants a sugar rush right NOW!
  • Our energy is usually at it’s peak between 10 am and 12pm. Anytime after that is either nap time or bedtime. I simply cannot be “hanging out” in the evening. I was up all day-I am huge-the baby is kicking all the time- I just want my sofa-go away. We beg your pardon for not wanting to come to your party that only starts at 9pm or for making you leave a party and drive us home whenever it’s convenient for us. Take a sleeping pill and spin 30 times on an office chair- you might come to feel  a fraction of what we feel on a daily basis.

Well, aren’t we just a ray of sunshine? But we undrestand that 99% of the time we are unreasonable, snappy and just generally high maintenance so we avoid social gatherings, malls, restaurants, parties, clubs and other delightful scenarios. It isn’t because we don’t feel sexy enough to dress up and go out- it’s just safer for all of you if we stay home under lock and key.

Thumbs up for Sultan Center (and other stuff)

2 Comments

Yes. I am still here. You aren’t getting rid of me that easily.

I am just working. A lot. Buzzing around running errands. Housewifing. Working. Did I mention I’ve been working a lot? Perhaps the only pregnant thing I’ve been doing recently is the yoga. Oh I am enjoying pregnancy yoga so much. It’s the one and half hours a week when I don’t have to answer emails, think about work, responding to my madly beeping BlackBerry, huff and puff in the kitchen…I don’t have to do anything except breath-stretch-and-focus-on-the-baby.

I would absolutely recommend it. The only issue I have with yoga is that every Sunday evening I am reminded that yet another week flew by (whooooosh). Sunday after Sunday. I am subconsciously reminding myself to keep calm every time yet another Sunday approaches. I have a little under three months left and at the rate that time is currently going…I am not even going to notice them zoom past me.

The experts call the second trimester “The Honeymoon”  stage of pregnancy. At this stage expecting mothers don’t exactly have many complaints (hopefully!). I am feeling well enough to get through 9 hours of work and come home full of energy to carry on with the dinner, the tidying up or to even go out! I haven’t exactly become any slower at work either. I seriously though by the 6th month I would not be bothered to drive, to meet people, to run around like a headless chicken, to constantly deal with DRAMA…but I am finding rather bearable. So far so good. I’ve decided to stay at work for as long as I physically can and when the giant stomach or the lack of energy becomes too much of a burden I will go on maternity leave. I fundamentally plan to return to work a few months after the baby is born. I realize this isn’t the right choice for every woman and it depends on so many personal factors and trust me, I have considered them all and made the decision to go back to work shortly after we have the baby. I have a lot of hands on board…my family is here…my mother in law will visit us for a few months to help with the baby. So it isn’t exactly like I will be relying on a questionable babysitter to raise my child- we just have a very big family and loads of people are willing to help.

Talking about help. I wanted to share a very pleasant experience with you. (See, I can do more than rant!). This morning whilst buying a few groceries (ahem…a few dozen bags of groceries) in Sultan Center, I encountered perhaps the best service I have ever experienced. Yes. It was 100% down to the fact that I was pregnant and grocery shopping alone. I got out of lines…the staff went out of their way to accommodate me, they even brought me a trolley! As I was heading out of the store to my car one of the staff took the trolley from me, drove it to my car, unloaded my bags into my car and pushed the trolley away. (Yes, I did give him 200bz for his efforts).

It may have been sheer pity…but I will take pity over “standing-in-long-supermarket-lines” anyday! 🙂

Pregnancy Yoga

2 Comments

Yesterday I attended my first ever (pregnancy) yoga class. Closing in on my 6th month now I was getting quite achy and restless (see the house moving post) and felt that I needed to vent and channel my energy into something positive like my health. I came to know about this yoga class at the Hayati Spa because my little brother attends their Karate Classes and I happened to pick up a schedule of classes sometime back. Also a reader suggested I try it out and highly recommended the teacher- Karen.

I could not join them sooner because Pregnancy Yoga classes start at 6pm and that is exactly when I finish work, but miraculously since the 1st of October our working hours have  decreased and I am now as free as a bird by 5:30pm! I was seriously excited about this class because deep inside I am an untamed hippy-yoga/saving the planet/Greenpeace and all. Plus, some exercise definitely can’t hurt!

The Hayati Salon is a very nice place, well-lit, cozy and professional. Our pregnancy yoga class has about 8 women in it all between 24 weeks and 34 weeks pregnant. I was quite unprepared for how aware of my pregnancy I became during the class. With Karen constantly reminding us to “focus on the baby” or “direct your breathing at the baby”, I was suddenly completely consumed with the thought of THE BABY. Normally, because my days are so hectic and I have absolutely no time to think about it I only get to focus on THE BABY between 8pm and 10pm. It turns out that being surrounded by bulging bellies really puts things into perspective.

I would highly recommend this class to everyone who is expecting and don’t worry if you have never done yoga before- it isn’t critical. The most important lesson for me that evening was remembering to breath- deep long breaths and exhaling. The poses you will get into are by no means difficult- generally it is just a lot of stretching and balancing. I felt a lot better after, since I spend about 8 hours of my working day behind the computer- my back exhibited gratitude by cracking in 4 different places! Oh and being pregnant makes it very hard to balance on my leg- the stomach keeps tipping you over.

Here is their schedule and contacts if you feel like giving it a try(click to enlarge):

What hurts more?

2 Comments

First of all, I am here and I am alright…just up to my ears in work and hospital checkups (more on that later).

I wanted to write these thoughts down before they escape my feeble pregnant brain and dash away at the speed of light…(seriously, memory of a gold fish these days).

Yesterday we came back from yet another ultrasound and as usual I had plenty of pictures to show my 8 year old brother who has by now become an pioneer in distinguishing the babies foot or hand in the ultrasound images. Turning the picture 180 degrees and trying to make some senses of the “nose” I was pointing to, he asked me precisely the following:

Ilya: “Will they cut the baby out of your stomach?”

Me: “I don’t know yet, the doctor has not decided, he will let me know soon”.

Ilya: “Does it hurt when they cut it out of your stomach?”

Me: “Probably not, because doctors will give you medicine for the pain”

Ilya: “But what hurts more, having the baby come out of your butt or getting it cut out of your stomach?”

(Dumbstruck. Insert shocked facial expression here. )

Now, I am not generally good in awkward situations. Had this conversation happened 15 years ago I would have giggled and run away. But yesterday I just sat there with really wide eyes, shook my head and mumbled “I don’t know”.  I need to come up with a better answer by the time baby girl is old enough to ask these questions herself. I certainly will cannot tell her babies come from storks forever.

Seriously- where do you even begin when trying to explain where babies come from? I really need to think this one through. I understand how he knows that babies come out of the stomach when it is cut- our mom had a c-section with him. It is the “babies coming out of the butt” myth that I really need to clear up with him ASAP…

I can across this quote about parenthood in one of the newspapers recently and it really got me obsessing thinking:

“I remember lying in bed before my son was born, quite pregnant, thinking, ‘I’m going to ruin him. The first thing I say to him that’s meaningful is going to scar him for life,”. I’m going to mean to be helpful, and it’s just going to destroy him, and he’s going to spend the rest of his life flat out on a couch in a therapist’s office.” SJP

Food for thought.

Capturing the moment

5 Comments

I have the immense pleasure to introduce to you the work of a wonderful photographer (and a friend) who specializes in family sessions, maternity shoots and capturing little bundles of joy on camera! If you fit into any of the above scenarios do not hesitate to contact her and book your session immediately!

To familiarize yourself with her talent please visit the following Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/AnanastaseyaPhotography

With any questions or requests you can email her at: anastaseya@hotmail.com

And now…here is a gigantic dose of cuteness for you:

Baby shower, shower.

3 Comments

I am very fond of the idea of having a baby shower. What could be better than to gather with your closest friends and enjoy an afternoon spend together indulging in appetizers, chit-chat and unwrapping gifts!
I would also much rather prefer to catch up with everyone before the baby is born instead of having dozens of people visit me at the hospital literally hours after I give birth- with all due respect, that’s exhausting.
My Cynthia is currently in charge of coordination all the baby shower arrangements which is still a long two months away (but it’s never too early to plan, right?).  So this weekend we ventured into Mothercare hoping to get some information on their registration process. I was counting on a procedure that went something along the lines of: a give them a list of everything I need from the store and they share it with whoever shops for my baby shower. Pretty straight forward, right?
The tragedy conversation went something like this:
Me: Umm, excuse me.
(Both employees behind the counter continue pricing/unwrapping/picking their nose).
Me: Excuse me, hello?
(Employees turn around with totally blank expressions on their faces).
Cynthia: Do you do registrations for baby showers?
(Blank expressions continue…)
Cynthia: Baby showers? You know, like we want to hold a baby shower and we can register gifts so that the guests can chose from a list of items and bring them to the party?
(Here employees’ eyes widen but nevertheless the blank expressions prevail).
UselessEmployee1: We have this. (Hands us a Feedback and Comments Form)
Me: No, no. Well you know, for a baby shower, I can chose some items and people can give them to me during the baby shower.
(A light bulb appears above the head of one of the employees)
UselessEmployee1: Aaaa… (scratches head)
(Exchanges confused glances with UselessEmployee2)
UselessEmployee2: Baby Shower? Shower? Ohh shower? Ok!!!
(Both employees attempt to lead us to the shampoo/sponge/cotton balls/bath lotion section).
Me and Cynthia: Nooooooooo!
Cynthia: Not this shower, a BABY SHOWER!
Me: Cynthia stop saying shower! That’s what’s confusing them!
Cynthia: IS THERE A MANAGER WE CAN TALK TO?
Bow. Applause. Encore! Encore!

Older Entries Newer Entries