As a photographer, I was overjoyed when I found out that I was expecting at the start of May 2021. Despite the challenges of being pregnant and continuing to work, I was determined to capture special moments for my clients. Keep reading to see just a hand full of some of the beautiful images I captured whilst pregnant.

MAY - The day I found out:

At the start of May 2021, I had a pet session booked in, which was one of the first photo sessions I did whilst pregnant. earlier that day I wasn't feeling to great I was feeling nauseous and experiencing frequent trips to the bathroom, A quick test revealed I was pregnant with my second child!

Thinking fast and in a bit of shock as I had work to go to I contacted the wonderful Caitlin and made her aware of my news! she was super understanding and we went ahead with the session, I still managed to have a great time capturing two beautiful dogs - a golden retriever and a chocolate Labrador. It was a fun experience, and I enjoyed capturing some amazing shots of these adorable pets. A beautiful sunny day with some amazing pooches was just what I needed!

JUNE- Cake smashes when pregnant:

In June, one memorable cake smash was with one of my friends little boy called Jack, This was the first time I started to show a little baby bump. Despite feeling unwell and experiencing nausea still!, it was still an amazing experience, and I captured some fantastic shots of Jack smashing his cake. believe It or not this was all set up in my living room!!! the whole family were super understanding and had a right laugh with all the cake flying about and what followed after with the splashing of bubbles and water.

Big brother news:

`Off to an ultrasound! , and to my surprise, I stumbled upon some of my artwork from the previous The Princess Alexandra Hospital awards nights on display. It was a heartwarming moment to see my pieces showcased in the hospital, and I couldn't help but congratulate the deserving award winner.

It was during this time that I decided to break the news to my 6-year-old son that he was going to become a big brother. It was a special moment for me , as I got to share my achievements with my little one and announce the arrival of a new member in our family.

Seeing my work displayed in a public space was an unforgettable experience. I felt proud of my accomplishments. It was a testament to the hard work and dedication I had put into my art.

As I looked back on this experience, I realized that it was not just a moment of professional success, but also a personal milestone. It was a time to celebrate both my creative achievements and the joys of family life. I felt grateful for the memories that I would cherish for a lifetime, and I couldn't wait for the new adventures and challenges that lay ahead.

JULY- That one scorching hot day Collaborating with good causes:

July was an exciting month for me as I was commissioned to take photos from a meeting that involved HGGT and The People's Picture at the Harlow Museum. It was a hot summer's day, and it was a challenging task, but it was a great experience meeting lots of friendly faces and hearing their stories.

As I stepped out of my car, I felt the heat hit me like a wall. The sun was high up in the sky, and the sky was so blue. It was going to be a hot day, and I knew I had to brace myself for it.

The meeting was in full swing, and I could see people engaged in discussions, their faces animated as they shared their opinions and ideas.

I got to work, capturing moments that would tell a story through my lens. As I snapped away, I listened to the stories and experiences of those around me. It was a humbling experience, and I felt grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

The heat was still present, but it didn't seem to matter as much anymore. The energy was contagious, and it was evident that everyone there was passionate about the work they were doing. The conversations flowed, and I found myself absorbed in the moment, forgetting about the weather altogether.

As I wrapped up my work and said my goodbyes, I couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment. It had been a challenging day, but one that was filled with positivity and hope. And in the end, that's all that mattered.

AUGUST- Weddings in the hight of summer whilst pregnant:

Now, this one was a bold move on my part! I was determined to keep working as a wedding photographer, despite being six months pregnant and showing off my bump. August was a busy month, with several weddings on my calendar, and I was excited to capture each one of them.

Of course, being pregnant meant that I had to be more mindful of my body and take extra care while moving around. I had to waddle like a duck, as my belly kept getting bigger, and I couldn't move around as easily as I used to. But I was determined to capture the perfect shots, even if it meant getting into awkward positions in a safe way!.

Each wedding was unique and special, and I felt privileged to be a part of these moments that couples would cherish for a lifetime. I was grateful for their trust in me to capture their love and happiness.

On a few occasions, I enlisted the help of another photographer to assist me on the big day. It was reassuring to have someone by my side who could take over when I needed a break or a moment to catch my breath.

In the end, all the hard work paid off, as I delivered beautiful photos that the couples were thrilled with. Being pregnant didn't slow me down; it only made me more determined to succeed. And I couldn't be prouder of myself for pulling it off.

A walk In the park:

The family session I did during late August was one of my most memorable ones. I had the privilege of capturing the most incredible bond between a brother and sister, and it was heartwarming to see the love and affection they had for each other. As a mother, it was a special moment to witness the amazing parenting of the lovely couple, who were doing an exceptional job of raising their children.

During the session, I had the pleasure of capturing the family's special moments and the love they shared. It was truly a magical experience, and I felt grateful to be a part of their journey. The photos turned out fantastic, and the family was thrilled with the results.

It was a reminder of why I love my job as a photographer - to capture moments that families can cherish for a lifetime. The family session was a testament to the power of love and family, and I was honored to be able to capture it.

SEPTEMBER- Princess Alexandra Hospital awards night :

Returning to The Princess Alexandra Hospital award nights was a slightly different experience this time around. Face masks were still mandatory, and there were a lot of safety precautions in place due to the ongoing pandemic. But despite these changes, it was still an amazing evening filled with warmth and positivity.

I was excited to see everyone again after almost two years. It felt like a reunion of sorts, and we all took the opportunity to exchange stories and share experiences.

Although the face masks made it difficult to see people's expressions, there was still a palpable sense of joy and excitement in the air. The atmosphere was electric, and it was clear that everyone was thrilled to be back at the event, even with the added safety measures.

As the night progressed, we all enjoyed the awards ceremony, applauding the winners and celebrating their achievements. It was a wonderful reminder of the amazing work being done by healthcare professionals and volunteers, especially in such challenging times.

As I left the event that night, I felt grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and celebrate the achievements of the healthcare community. It was a testament to the resilience and determination of everyone involved, and a reminder that even in the face of adversity, we can come together and make a difference.

OCTOBER- Twins! :

During one of my photoshoots, I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful couple who were expecting twins. We decided to shoot in the beautiful Harlow Town Park, which provided the perfect backdrop with its autumnal colors and the sun shining all around them.

It was an exciting shoot, and the couple were glowing with happiness and anticipation. But what made this shoot truly special was the fact that Laura, the mom-to-be, and I were both around the same gestation. It was a surreal moment to be taking pictures of someone who was going through the same experience as me.

Despite being pregnant with twins, Laura was an absolute trooper throughout the session. She moved around with ease, and her energy and enthusiasm were contagious. It was clear that she and her partner were excited about their beautiful miracle babies, and they couldn't wait to welcome them into the world.

As we wrapped up the shoot, I couldn't help but feel grateful for the opportunity to capture such a special moment in this couple's life. It was a reminder of the joy and excitement that new life brings, and how lucky we are to be a part of it.

I wished the couple all the best and couldn't wait to see their beautiful twins when they arrived. It was a day I would always remember, not just for the beautiful photos we captured, but for the shared experience of pregnancy and the connection it created between us.

My Self Portrait:

As a photographer, it's not often that I get to be in front of the camera. But during my pregnancy, I decided to capture my own self-portrait as part of a maternity session. It was a challenging task, as I had to control all the lighting myself, change all the camera settings, and direct the shoot with the help of my Husband, who had to move all the heavy equipment.

It was a new experience for me, and I found myself appreciating the hard work that goes into every photoshoot even more. It was challenging to be both the subject and the photographer, but it was also incredibly rewarding. I was able to capture myself in a unique and personal way, and it was a beautiful reminder of the journey I was on.

My Husband was a huge help throughout the shoot, and I couldn't have done it without him.

As I looked back on the photoshoot, I felt grateful for the opportunity to capture such a special moment in my life. It was a reminder of the beauty and power of photography, and how it can help us celebrate and document the milestones in our lives. And while it was challenging to be both the subject and the photographer, it was a unique and rewarding experience that I would cherish for a lifetime.

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER- My Final wedding before little ones arrival:

As I reflect on my final booking before going on maternity leave, I can't help but think of Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and the journey we went through together. They had contacted me about their wedding and little did we know how much things were going to change.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to the wedding industry, and Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were no exception. They had to navigate through changing rules and restrictions, from being restricted on what rooms they were allowed to use at their wedding venue to only being able to invite 15 guests. It was a trying time for everyone involved, but their love and dedication never wavered.

One of my most vivid memories of this wedding was seeing the bride's sister sobbing her heart out at how beautiful her sister was and having to watch from such a distance. It was a poignant reminder of the emotional toll that the pandemic was taking on everyone, but it also showed the strength and resilience of this family.

Fast forward a year later, and I was now pregnant, capturing the Andersons renewing their vows in front of all their loved ones. The atmosphere was unreal, and it was such a beautiful moment for everyone involved. It was a reminder of the power of love and family, even during the most challenging of times.

As I said goodbye to the Andersons that day, I felt grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their journey. It was a beautiful reminder of why I loved being a wedding photographer, and how even in the face of adversity, we can come together and create something beautiful.

As I drove home from the Anderson's wedding, I felt a mixture of emotions. The pregnancy hormones were hitting me hard, and I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. I was proud of everything I had achieved, but at the same time, I felt a wave of emotions that brought me to tears.

It was a surreal moment for me, But as I wiped away my tears, I realised that it was okay to feel both happy and sad, proud and emotional. It was a reminder that life was full of ups and downs, and it was okay to embrace all the emotions that came with it.

Looking back on that day, I felt proud of everything I had achieved, from capturing beautiful moments to building meaningful relationships with my clients. It was a reminder of the joy and fulfillment that comes with being a photographer, and the impact we can have on people's lives.

Developing Gestational Diabetes:

At this point, things started to get challenging for me. I wasn't feeling well, and after a few tests, I found out that I had gestational diabetes. It was a difficult diagnosis to hear, especially as I knew very little about it at the time.

For those who are not familiar with gestational diabetes, it is a form of diabetes that only occurs during pregnancy. It affects how your body uses sugar (glucose), and it can cause high blood sugar levels, which can be harmful to both the mother and the baby.

I found myself struggling with this new diagnosis, as it meant I had to be extra careful about everything I ate and drank. I had to take my bloods multiple times a day to monitor my sugar levels, and I had to follow a strict diet plan to ensure that my sugar levels stayed within a safe range.

It was a challenging time, as I had to constantly monitor my sugar levels and be mindful of everything I ate. I had to cut out a lot of my favorite foods and drinks, and it felt like a huge adjustment for me. But I knew that it was important for the health of both me and my baby, so I tried my best to stay on top of it.

As the weeks went by, I became more accustomed to managing my gestational diabetes, and I started to feel more confident in my ability to control it. It was a tough lesson to learn, but I knew that it was an important one, and I was determined to do everything I could to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Dealing with gestational diabetes was not just physically challenging, but it also took a toll on me emotionally. I found myself constantly in tears, feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the impact it could have on my health and my baby's health.

The constant monitoring, the strict diet plan, and the fear of complications made me feel like I was walking on eggshells all the time. just a tiny piece of bread one day would set off my blood sugars and the next day it wouldn't. It was hard to enjoy my pregnancy when I was constantly worried about my sugar levels and the potential harm it could cause.

There were days when I felt like giving up, but I knew I couldn't. I had to stay strong for the sake of my baby, and I had to keep going, no matter how hard it was.

It was a tough journey, but looking back on it, I'm proud of how I handled it. I managed to control my gestational diabetes through diet and exercise, and I delivered a healthy baby boy.

It was a reminder that even when things seem overwhelming, we can find the strength within ourselves to push through and come out stronger on the other side.

DECEMBER- Baby Leos Arrival :

The arrival of my little Leo on the 29th of December was a moment that I will never forget. I was induced, and let me tell you, you guys weren't kidding when you said it's more painful this way!

With all the restrictions still in place due to the pandemic, I had to go through the first part of my labor on my own. It was a daunting experience, and I felt a sense of loneliness and fear. But with the help of the maternity staff at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and some guidance from my best friend's sister Gabbi who's a midwife, I was able to make it through and bring my little Leo into the world.

It was an intense and emotional experience, and I found myself overwhelmed with love and gratitude when I first held my little bundle of joy. Holding him in my arms, I knew that all the pain and hardship was worth it.

During Leo's arrival, my husband was an amazing support system for me. He held my hand and encouraged me every step of the way. When Leo was born, there were some complications that needed to be addressed immediately. My husband stood by me the whole time whilst Medical staff worked quickly to help both me and Leo. In that moment, I was grateful for his strength and composure during such a challenging time.

Bringing a child into the world is never an easy feat, but the love and joy that comes with it make it all worthwhile.

The little Leers newborn session:

After the whirlwind of Leo's arrival and recovery from birth, I finally had the strength to capture his newborn photos. Though I was still feeling a bit sore, I was eager to capture some precious moments of my little bundle of joy.

As I set up the studio and adjusted the lighting, I felt a sense of excitement and anticipation. This was a moment that I had been looking forward to for months, and I wanted to make sure that the photos were perfect.

As I placed Leo on the backdrop, I couldn't help but marvel at his tiny size and delicate features. watching my eldest son interact with Leo , and I felt grateful for the opportunity to capture his first few weeks of life.

It was a challenge to get the perfect shot, since I was being mum and photographer. But with patience and perseverance, I was able to capture some beautiful photos that I will treasure forever.

Looking back on those moments, I feel a sense of pride and joy. It was a reminder of the incredible journey that I had been on, from pregnancy to birth, and now mother to two. It was also a reminder of the importance of capturing these precious moments, as they pass by so quickly.

Back to work:

As I arrived at The Hunters Meet in Hatfield Broad Oak, I felt a sense of excitement and nervousness. It was my first time holding my camera at an event again since giving birth to Leo, and I wasn't sure how it would go.

A wonderful lady had contacted me about her birthday party, and I was eager to capture the special moments of the evening. As I mingled with the guests, I felt a sense of warmth and welcome. Everyone was so lovely, and the kids were having a blast.

The atmosphere was electric, and it was a joy to capture the candid moments of the evening. But what stood out to me the most was the love between a husband and wife. It was a beautiful reminder that even in the midst of a birthday party, love can shine through and make everything feel special.

As I wrapped up the evening and headed home, I felt a sense of gratitude wash over me. It was a reminder of the joy and fulfillment that comes with being a photographer, and how even in the midst of challenges and changes, we can find ways to capture the beauty and love in the world.

I was grateful for all the clients who had booked with me throughout my pregnancy, and for their trust in me even as I grew a tiny human. It was a journey that taught me so much about myself and the world around me, and I was excited to see where it would take me next.

Navigating Post-Pregnancy intolerances: My Unexpected Battle with Yeast

In the rollercoaster journey that followed my pregnancy, I encountered a surprising twist: I was still so unwell and really struggling, having tests done with no avail, I then had tests done and found I had developed intolerances, particularly to yeast and dairy. It was a revelation that took me by surprise, as many often do not associate yeast with intolerances or allergies, often confusing it with gluten. What's even more intriguing is the multitude of yeast types out there, each carrying its potential allergens. Unfortunately for me, my body seemed to disagree with them all and what is worse is yeast is in everything and I mean everything and a lot of the time a different word is used in the ingredients list so my meal times are like playing roulette!. This unexpected chapter in my post-pregnancy journey has not only reshaped my dietary choices but has also illuminated the often-overlooked complexities of food intolerances, I come prepared to every and any booking now and I now know what foods to avoid. Although it does have its silver lining of loosing most of my baby weight and having all of my energy back when I haven't had a reaction! it may be life long but I think that's a good win!.