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Maternity, Newborn, &
Family photography

Serving Columbia, SC & the surrounding areas

Hey, I’m Nicole!

Columbia, SC Newborn, Maternity, & Family Photographer

I’m a sentimental mom of two with a heart for helping moms like you have a stress-free photography experience. I’m here to help you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera and capture beautiful photos to tell the story of this season of life.

When It Doesn’t Look the Way You Thought It Would

To everything there is a season - Ecclesiastes 3:1 | Nicole Watford Photography

I’ve had a blog post sitting in my drafts, ready to go, since the middle of July. A blog post that, almost four weeks ago, became one I could no longer publish.

The title of that blog post was “Our Family is Growing!!!” It was a post where I would finally announce the secret I’d been keeping since April, that we were expecting another baby in the new year. But I wanted to wait for one more appointment, to hear the heartbeat for the first time, before sending that news out into the world. Because once you share joy like that, the unthinkable is having to tell everyone that your joy has become sorrow.

On that Wednesday morning at the end of July, everything we had come to know since April changed when that sound that I had been so eager to hear—that beautiful sound of our baby’s thumping, galloping heartbeat—wasn’t there.

​I tried not to think the worst thoughts sitting in the exam room, waiting for them to get an ultrasound room ready for me, but walking down that hallway, seeing our still little babe on that screen, knowing immediately that he or she was missing that flicker we had seen back in June, listening to those words that our baby was gone — was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

So these last few weeks have been hard weeks. My mantra has become “I am brave, and I can do hard things,” and I cling to that in the darkest moments. I have cried a lot of tears. I have felt shock, the weight of all-consuming grief, and anger (among other things). I have also felt the love of family and dear friends who have been walking this road with us, offering their love and prayers and support.

As we walk this road, I have tried to take the advice of some wonderful friends and lean into the grief I am feeling. I have also tried hard to get back into the routine of daily life, to keep moving forward. But in this space… I have felt uninspired to share much of anything. Nothing that I could write feels right compared to the weight of what I’ve been feeling. Everything feels insignificant when I know that there’s a list of posts I was so eager to share just a few weeks ago, things that all related to pregnancy—being pregnant while also having a toddler, how we were preparing our son to be a big brother, my hopes and worries about being a mom of two kids aged two and under.

I’ve wrestled with whether I should share this experience at all, but so much of what is on my heart these days is focused in motherhood, and what this loss means to me as a mother, and how everything we anticipated for the coming year will now be very different.

I also know that it has meant so much to me to have had other women who have been through this same grief share their stories stories with me. It helps me realize that I am not alone in this and that there are others out there who know exactly what I’m going through. I think about how maybe knowing that I’ve also been there could help someone else who is hurting with the same pain I’m feeling right now.

So what feels right — and what also feels like a small step forward in this journey — is sharing the post that I had planned to share that week that everything changed. It feels right to acknowledge the joy that we were feeling in those months that I refer to as “the before,” to honor the excitement and anticipation we felt for the arrival of our little one.

​*****

I’ll never forget that morning. My husband was already at work, and I was lying awake in bed. It was unusual for me to be awake before hearing the sounds of my toddler groaning and stirring over the monitor.

I knew I should be taking advantage of this rare opportunity to have a bit of alone time to enjoy my coffee in solitude or start a load of laundry, but instead, I was having a mental tug-of-war. Should I? Should I not? Should I wait? I mean, what’s another day?

My curiosity got the better of me. I plodded into the bathroom, found the box I was looking for under the bathroom sink, and extracted one blue package. The fact that there were still two tests in the box rather than just the one I remembered seemed like a sign. There’s still one for another day.

I followed the instructions on the packaging and waited. I tried to think of anything but the thing that was really on my mind.

After a few minutes, I looked at the screen to see if the results were there yet. The tests were months past the expiration date printed on the package, so I honestly wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

My gut, my intuition, had already told me what I would see if the test worked, but my logical brain had tried to convince me otherwise.

The countdown timer disappeared, and my eyes grew wide at the single word on the screen.

Pregnant.

I caught my breath and my heart began to beat faster. Could it be? Could it really be?! The new reality began to set in. Oh, my gosh! We’re really doing this! This is really happening!

*****

We’re becoming a family of four! Our little guy is going to be a big brother! We’re having another baby!!!

I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it has been to keep this secret for the last few months, especially with so many pregnant mamas and sweet little newborn babes on my Instagram feed recently!

There have been so many times that I’ve almost alluded to a baby on the way (like when my son and husband were sick), but now that we’re well into the second trimester and have shared the news with our closest friends and family, I’m so excited to finally be able to not hold back (and ask all the other mamas of two to share all the advice!!).

We’re so, so excited to be welcoming a new little one to our family! I don’t think our son fully understands yet what’s going to happen, but we try to talk about it with him as often as we can to try to prepare him. When we ask him where the baby is, he has started patting my belly (which is definitely growing!).

There are even times when I’m strapping him in to his high chair or changing his diaper and my baby bump is right at his eye level and he’ll lean forward and plant a little kiss on it. It makes my heart explode with happiness every. single. time.

I know it will be an adjustment for him to no longer be an only child and to have to share mommy and daddy’s attention, but I can’t wait to watch him step into his new role of big brother and see how close these two will be as they grow up!

I will also admit that there have been moments after a trying day of being a toddler mom when I think to myself, How am I going to do this with two?!

I keep reminding myself that I’m not the first mom that has ever done this, and there will be a period of transition. But eventually, we’ll find our groove, and if what my friends have told me is true, it’s easier sometimes with two!

So as for the BIG question that everyone likes to ask once they find out you’re expecting… we don’t know yet if it’s a boy or a girl, and (as we did with my first pregnancy), we won’t be finding out the gender until our little nugget makes his or her debut next year! No, we’re not crazy… 😉. It made for a fun surprise at the end of a very long labor last time, and it was fun to get to guess all 9 months! I don’t have any strong predictions right now, but we’ll see how I feel as this little one continues to grow! 😊

I’m very, very thankful to have had a fairly smooth and easy pregnancy so far, though it has certainly been much different from my first since I spend a large part of my day keeping up with my toddler! ​Now that the secret’s out, I’m looking forward to sharing much more in the coming weeks and months, and we would love your prayers for good health for both the baby and me as we continue to grow together!  

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