There are a number of things I regret about my pregnancy. I probably could have found the energy to work out more, and since I got stretch marks pretty much no matter what I did, I should have saved all the money I spent on lotions and potions that were supposed to make my postpartum belly smooth for diapers (SO many diapers). One thing I don't regret, however, is not taking maternity photos.
My pregnant self would take sweatpants and a mani-pedi appointment over posing for photos while pretending to be at one with my body and nature any day.
It's not as if I avoided all cameras during those far-too-long 40 weeks. I have pictures with friends, family, my husband, and a handful of bathroom selfies as I tried to capture my growing belly. I wasn't afraid to show off my changing body, but I was annoyed by all the overly-stylized and staged maternity photos I was seeing all over social media, and I didn't want to be a part of it.
It's probably best to point out that I am not one of those people who has dozens of family photos perfectly placed in every nook and cranny of my home. In fact, I don't think I have any photos up, which is vaguely surprising considering I have over 20,000 photos saved on my phone (and of course I need every single one). In a hutch is my wedding photo book and a small collection of photo-booth pictures, serving as evidence that I'm not entirely unsentimental — I just don't need to see my family's face on every wall.
I have no idea what I would therefore do with maternity photos. I have my bathroom selfies saved to show people that, yes, I really did gain an insane amount of weight, and I have the actual child to prove I gave birth. So then what's the point of, in my opinion, a cringeworthy maternity photo shoot in which I stare off into the distance while rubbing my belly and looking blissfully happy when in reality I'd be sweating through my dress and thinking about how uncomfortable I am and how badly I have to pee?
It seems like most maternity photo shoots are meant to demonstrate the sheer awesomeness and power of being pregnant. Yes, it's amazing, and it's part of our biological makeup, but that doesn't mean that having a baby inside me suddenly turns me into Mother Earth. A lot of women probably genuinely enjoy capturing this time in their lives in this unique way, but I'm just not one of them, and I'm totally OK with that. My pregnant self would take sweatpants and a mani-pedi appointment over posing for photos while pretending to be at one with my body and nature any day.
When I was pregnant, I knew that I would soon be chasing around an energetic baby, wishing I had rested more and taken more time to myself before his arrival. I love my son, but I tolerated being pregnant. I don't need a fancy photo shoot to remind me of those things.
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