If I'm being honest, I have a love/hate relationship with selfies. That relationship didn't change when I found out I was pregnant, either. And since the first trimester is the goddamn worst, I didn’t want to document that hellscape for posterity. The last time I was pregnant, though, I changed my mind. I took selfies, pregnancy announcement photos, and even pictures of my positive pregnancy test. I’m glad I did, too. You see, I learned that there are photos you must take in the first trimester of pregnancy, or you might regret not having them later. Trust me.
Now, I know the the first trimester isn't really indicitive of the iconic image people conjure up when they envision a pregnant person. I also know that the first trimester is goddamn miserable, so feeling "camera ready" is pretty impossible. Between morning sickness, exhaustion, and weight gain, I damn-near hated the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. And since I'm someone who has almost always hated the way I looked — pregnant or not — the first trimester was brutal for my self-esteem. I inexplicably gained weight right away — like, before I even saw my midwife — which didn't make things any easier, either. When I looked in the mirror, I did not see a pregnant goddess. Instead, I just saw a chubbier version of me.
So, I decided I wanted to re-claim the experience as something wonderful. I didn't have to be beautiful to be positive and, in the end, embracing the suck was freeing. I made the choice to take photos of myself, and allow other people to take photos of me, during the first trimester, and it helped me throw things into perspective and accept my situation for what it was: temporary. And honestly, I don’t want to let the memories of my first trimester go. They’re part of the first chapter of my life as a mom, and my babies' lives, too.