Jessica Hickerson Photography » Blog

Kristena and George are high school sweethearts who grew up on a farm in rural Northern California. After graduating from college, Kristena got a job offer in Los Angeles and they decided to make the big move. These two are such an amazing team and it was so fun seeing them together. They are the best of friends that have seen each other through every milestone leading into adulthood. While they have loved their time living at the beach, Kristena and George were longing for the wildflowers and rolling hills of their childhood. So for their engagement session I showed them some of my favorite spots in Palos Verdes that would hopefully remind them of home while also celebrating their new town. Here are a few favorites:

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I have exactly one friend with a baby. That’s it. (Hi Andrea!) So as you might imagine I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with pregnancy.

If you read my first baby diaries post, you know we were planning + trying for this baby for 10 months. In that time I read a lot about “TTC” but not a whole lot about pregnancy. It has been a learn-as-we-go experience between reading books, joining mom groups on Facebook, and Google. Sweet, sweet Google. There have been a LOT of things that I had no idea were “pregnancy symptoms” and I’ve decided its just about the craziest/ coolest thing ever.

So just for fun, here are 10 things no one told me about being pregnant:

  1. No one told me what to do once you find out you’re pregnant. Like the second line shows up, you call the doctor and say “Um hi there are two lines on my pregnancy test, what do I do now?” Or that home pregnancy tests can be more accurate than the doctor’s test (I got a negative result and had to insist on a blood test!)
  2. Not all pregnancies are the same. Some people don’t have cravings or morning sickness, but every mama you know will compare their pregnancy to yours and have, like, a lot of advice.
  3. You might not have a “cute belly” like the ones you see in all the maternity ads. Instead you could grow all over, or just stare at your tiny stomach wondering where a baby the size of a coconut is hiding.
  4. No one told me that a pregnant lady’s sense of smell is RIDICULOUS. I swear I can smell when my neighbors two houses down are having poptarts for breakfast!
  5. Speaking of poptarts, I now find them and a couple of my old favorite treats completely disgusting. Food becomes the center of your life, and when you hate something you reaaalllllyy hate it.
  6. No one told me I’d be obsessed with other pregnant women, and babies but duh. I just stare at them with wide eyes thinking “HI WE ARE THE SAME!” but of course since I don’t look pregnant (see #2) I look more like a creepy stalker.
  7. Pregnancy makes your body crazy, like there is so much blood running through your veins that just a little cut makes your bathroom look like WWIII. Plus your hair and nails grow non-stop and some people’s feet get a size bigger– still hoping that one doesn’t happen to me!!
  8. You want to nap all the time but as soon as you go to bed the little alien in your belly will probably decide its time to practice their gymnastics routine.
  9. No one told me that you get emotional about the weirdest things. I haven’t cried at a single ultrasound but have broken down about not knowing what to eat for dinner.
  10. You will Google EV-ER-Y-THING. On a daily basis I find myself searching things like “can I eat a hot dog while pregnant?”

Here’s to 3 more months of crazy!

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P.s. still no bump photos to share, so here’s a film photo that we will most likely print for the nursery. I’m not a big “theme” person but we’re going for a bohemian/ tropical vibe with a whooooole lot of neutral. For a few sneak peeks check out my Instagram

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Ever since their Malibu engagement session, I have been looking forward to celebrating Emma and Conner’s wedding. They are the sweetest, most down to earth couple I have ever met. Emma spent the morning making sure her bridesmaids and family were content. Through her own nerves and excitement, she was always thinking about everyone else. Conner re-read his vows and made sure every piece of his uniform was in place. Time seemed to go too slowly as he waited to finally see his best friend and soul mate as a bride.

I knew their intimate ceremony at Camp Pendleton was destined to be emotional, but I never expected the amount of love and adoration that radiated from their family and friends. They danced, sang, and cried together  It was a beautiful thing to witness. Congratulations to the sweet couple!!

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For over a year Andrea and I talked about being pregnant together. She loves her first little nugget + being a mama so much and dreamed of becoming a family of four.  Sam and I were newlyweds and I shared all my secrets of wanting to start a family. Our husbands would laugh at the “plans” we made during our weekly walks, saying we were two peas in a pod just trying to map out every step.  When Sam and I’s journey became more of a struggle, Andrea was there every step of the way. We would always look forward to “next month” hoping and praying that was when it would finally happen for us.

One October evening Andrea and Ryan invited us over for dinner and their son Knox handed me a pregnancy journal, but it was empty. Thinking nothing of it at the time, I laughed at the prompts and read some of them aloud to the group. They looked at each other and spilled the beans about their little bean. “I’m pregnant! Only a few weeks along” They had just started trying and never expected it to happen so quickly. We hugged and rejoiced for this sweet life, already crossing our fingers for a little girl. Andrea caught my eye and I excused myself for a moment. To breathe. To collect myself. To keep my sorrow within and only share in their joy. I think every woman that has been in my shoes would understand. The news of a friend’s pregnancy (or even a stranger for that matter) can simultaneously break your heart and fill you with overwhelming happiness when you are wishing for a baby of your own. But I knew I needed to rejoice with her in the same way she would rejoice with me, Someday.

Well “Someday” ended up being just a couple weeks later. The same day we saw the second line show up on a test, we rushed over to their house to share the news. We later found out we were only a week and a half apart… A WEEK AND A HALF. I don’t even know how it happened. This distant dream we joked about over a year ago was now our beautiful reality.

Being pregnant at the same time as one of your best friends is truly the best thing ever. Every step of the way we have been able to share all of the crazy, weird, and amazing things that happen in those 9 months. She found out they were having a girl and a couple weeks later we got the same news. We’ve planned our nurseries together and have already purchased way too many cute baby things between the two of us. Soon we will be throwing each other’s baby showers and then finally this summer our daughters will be here. And they will get to be each other’s first friends. (cue all the hormonal tears)

Since this little mama’s belly decided to pop way early and her baby has an eviction notice for the first week of June, we decided to take their family maternity photos at 27 weeks. Which ended up being peeerrrfect timing for California’s “superbloom.” (Seriously we have been so lucky!)  Here are a few favorites from yesterday:

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  • Emery - As someone who hast struggled with infertility and trying to conceive for over 5 years, I understand the sorrow you felt. My favorite quote I once read was, it is possible to experience sorrow and heartbreak for yourself while feeling joyous for someone else’s happiness. It has been a joy seeing you so incredibly happy about your pregnancy and I wish you all the best. Beautiful pictures, a beautiful story, and told by a beautiful person. ❤ReplyCancel

  • Anya Kernes - These are absolutely breathtaking, Jessica!ReplyCancel

Pregnancy brain is a very real thing. I wrote this post a week ago.

Anyways…

If you follow my Instagram you might have seen some photos from our spontaneous BABYMOON on Maui. We literally dropped everything and got on a plane within 48 hours of buying the tickets. The opportunity came up as more of a joke. My parents had won an all expense paid trip to Maui which included a huge hotel suite. They called us from the hotel and joked that we should come join them. I laughed and said “yeah right!” while Sam quietly searched for flights on his phone. It turns out we could fly for free using his American Airlines points and even extend our stay in the suite using Marriott points. (P.s. everyone should have rewards credit cards!!) After thinking it over for about 20 minutes we clicked purchase and were off to our favorite place!

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The week was so incredibly fun and relaxing. We explored the road to Hana, whale watched from the infinity pool, swam in a waterfall, had dinner dates every night, got caught in a couple insane rainstorms, and ate as many tropical treats as my little pregnant heart desired. While we were there Sam got to feel baby move for the first time (she hasn’t stopped moving since!) and we could even see my belly shift a couple times. Which honestly is 59% creepy and 41% so amazing I want to cry. At 22 weeks I was certainly feeling pregnant- aka hungry and tired- but not looking it at all! The last morning there we finally took our first bump picture, but what you don’t see is Sam yelling at me from behind the camera saying “stick your stomach out! more!”

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While laying by the pool sipping virgin drinks, we talked endlessly about this little bean in my belly that is already changing our lives. Arguing about names, who’s going to cuddle her in the middle of the night, and the person she will eventually become. We are both so in love, and every time Sam talks about her the tone in his voice changes and his eyes fill with happy tears… It makes my heart swell with so much love for him. Her daddy.

I said it in my wedding vows and I’ll say it again, “No matter how many dogs or kids fill our home, I will always love you more.”

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