Pregnancy Progression Pictures

May 18, 2017

Pregnancy progression photos

“Take a gazillion photos. Document everything.” That was the parenting advice that I heard time and time again during my pregnancy from moms and dads.

They were specifically talking about once baby arrived — to photograph Theo’s every move — but since it was such wise advice, I figured I’d take it a step further and photograph to heck out of my pregnancy.

My phone is currently pushing it’s storage limits thanks to this advice! But I am so thankful to have so many photos of my pregnancy to look back on.

So I am passing on the advice today: take a gazillion photos of your gorgeous bump. Selfies, pics with your husband, outfits of the day. And think about dusting off that point-and-shoot camera and taking weekly pregnancy progression photos. I saw this idea on Pinterest and decided I’d give them a shot. They were super easy to do and a fun weekly tradition for my husband and me.

Say hello to the growing bump in GIF form!…

And here are each of the weekly photos (click here to enlarge):

Pregnancy progression pictures

I love looking through these photos. At the time, it was so fun to see each week how my belly was growing. I remember thinking I was huge at week 25. Little did I know, that bump was just getting started!

Pregnancy Progression Photo Tips

Find a plain, consistent backdrop where you can take your weekly photos. We used one in our hallway, just off our master bedroom, so taking the pic each week was super convenient.

Try to take them around the same time of day for consistent lighting, such as before work.

Wear the same shirt… and watch that belly grow! I’m wearing a long sleeve maternity top from Old Navy and varied things up with accessories, my hair, or a seasonal prop.

Don’t forget one final shot of you holding the baby! It took us a couple weeks to remember to do this (and to find a day my hair was actually brushed) but it’s the perfect way to end the series of pics.

(Here’s my favorite photo — posing with my original baby!)

Theo’s Birth Story

May 2, 2017

Welcome to the world, Theodore Jonas Van Tassel!

On April 4, our healthy, sweet little man made his much-anticipated arrival and I’ve been a delirious, happy, sleep-deprived mom ever since. Gosh, just look at that face!…

Pea in a Pod tunic | Kendra Scott bracelet

Theo’s first month has been a beautiful blur, and I am left wondering how the heck moms keep up with blogging! Fortunately, Theo is sound asleep on dad right now, so I’m dusting off my laptop to document his birth story.

Theo’s Birth Story

We had been planning on meeting our little man on April 13 — that’s when my C-section was scheduled due to his stubbornly breech position. While a C-section was not what I had been envisioning during my pregnancy, I tried to look at the bright side: it at least gave me a couple weeks to finish up at work, research C-sections, get a pedicure, see a movie, sleep, etc.

Or so I thought…

On Tuesday, April 4, I went to work like it was any ordinary day and left early for my 38-week doctor’s appointment. I figured the appointment would be very uneventful since I was feeling great. Nope!

Two very different outfits of the day! (L) Smuggling a basketball into work for my last maternity selfie; (R) An outfit change into a chic hospital gown and hairnet.

My normally super low blood pressure was reading pretty high, and after checking it a few times and testing my urine, my doctor told me that I had signs of preeclampsia and needed to head straight to Labor & Delivery for further observation. Wait, what? She calmly told me: if my BP remained high, for the safety of the baby and me, there was a chance I would need to deliver him today. OMG.

I called Mark on my way over to L&D — we both sounded so excited and nervous and slightly giddy. While he rushed to the hospital, I waddled over L&D — still in my work clothes, no hospital bag, no husband, and a look of disbelief of my face — where I was hooked up to a BP machine for monitoring.

After two hours of consistently high readings, my doctor greeted us around 8pm and asked, “Are you ready to meet your baby?” What?! Yes! No! Is this really happening tonight?! At 2pm, I was just a 38-week pregnant lady. At 9:47pm, I would become a mom. Incredible.

My C-section went great. It’s scary having any major surgery, but I felt at peace with what was happening thanks to a lot of good advice I had previously received from my fellow CS mama friends. I focused on Mark during the surgery, who was able to stand by my head and hold my hand, and zeroed in on listening for Theo’s first cry. It didn’t take long before one loud, high-pitched cry erupted in the OR. He was here. It’s a glorious sound that will forever be engrained in my memory.

Theo was born at 9:47pm, weighing 6lbs 6oz and measuring 19.74 inches long. We are so blessed that his arrival went smoothly, despite the last minute frenzy, and are thankful to the staff at Virginia Hospital Center for keeping us all safe.

And finally, a big thanks to all of YOU for following my pregnancy journey here and on social media. I’ve appreciated all of your sweet words and wise advice. Keep it coming, moms!

Newborn photos by Rachel E.H. Photography


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Style Me Maternity Photos

March 7, 2017

Maternity photos in Old Town Alexandria, VA | Style Me Thrifty

There’s something about becoming a mom for the first time that inspires action. I’ve loved the extra surge of productivity that has come with my pregnancy and have been busy crushing to-do lists (while I still can… I realize at 34 weeks now, this will change soon!). One item that made it to my mama must-have list? Maternity photos.

I wanted to capture the sweet bump and our proud, glowing faces, so I reached out to my friend, Rachel E.H. Photography, to arrange a maternity shoot at 32 weeks in Old Town, Alexandria, the perfect backdrop for photos. Old Town is also a huge part of our love story — we were married here, too!

Casual maternity photos taken in Old Town Alexandria, VA | Style Me Thrifty

Old Town Alexandria, Virginia maternity photos | Style Me Thrifty

What to wear for maternity photos | Style Me Thrifty

What to Wear

Since I know that you all come here for the fashion, let’s talk about what to wear to maternity photos! Oh man, to say I overthought our outfits is an understatement. I tried on so many options, took so many selfies for my bestie to vote on, and ultimately realized: when you’re taking professional photos, the outfits take a back seat to all that love. When I look through Rachel’s photos, I see the amazing quality of her shots, the love between my husband and me, and, of course, the glorious bump.

My top tips on what to wear: pick two looks to get a variety of shots (a dressy look and a casual look), coordinate with your partner (but avoid being too matchy matchy), and pick something that accentuates the belly and that you still feel like yourself in (fitted is good; suffocating is not).

I started with my outfits and then picked items Mark already owned for his coordinating looks. He’s basically in head-to-toe JCrew; fashion is so much easier for men!

What to wear: maternity photos | Seraphine dress, Baublebar necklace, Clarks booties | via Style Me Thrifty

Dressy Outfit: Seraphine Black Dot Woven Dress | Baublebar Globe Strands necklace | Intimate Portal maternity tights | Clarks booties

Keeping it casual for maternity photos | Style Me Thrifty

Casual Outfit: A Pea in the Pod sweater (free from a neighbor!) | Motherhood Maternity jeggings | Jessica Simpson Zenka flats | Julie Vos ring

We were lucky enough to have a gorgeous morning for our pics. If you’re looking to take photos in Old Town, I highly recommend the side streets around Prince and Pitt. And Swift Alley makes for a private backdrop (between Fairfax and Lee). Thank you, Rachel, for the great pics! We can’t wait to meet our little one in April.

Scroll down for more shots from our maternity shoot!

Virginia maternity photos | Style Me Thrifty

Maternity shoot prop: adorable onesie! | Style Me Thrifty

Onesie prop for maternity photos | Style Me Thrifty

Maternity photos in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia | Style Me Thrifty

Maternity photos outfit: Seraphine Black Dot Woven Dress & Baublebar Globe Strands necklace | Style Me Thrifty

Maternity photos pose idea | Style Me Thrifty

Baby boy maternity photo outfit ideas | Style Me Thrifty

Old Town Alexandria alley, great location for maternity photos | Style Me Thrifty

Then & now! Wedding and maternity pics in Old Town Alexandria | Style Me Thrifty

^^Then and now! We recreated one of my favorite wedding pics from 3 years ago!^^

Natural maternity photos by Rachel E.H. Photography | Style Me Thrifty

Stuffed animal prop for maternity photos | Style Me Thrifty

All photos taken by Rachel E.H. Photography