Categories
Waiting

Morning Sickness Is Not Only A Morning Thing (6 and a half weeks)

This is a post about the third image from my series Waiting For Things In A Time When You Rarely Wait For Things, where I documented my pregnancy from October 2019 to June 2020.

Morning Sickness Is Not Only A Morning Thing (6 and a half weeks)

#SoTheSicknessComesAndGoes
#MorningSicknessIsSuchALie #IAskedTheDoctorIfSheHadAnyTipsAfterIFirstWentWhenIFoundOut #SheSaidThatMorningSicknessIsNotOnlyAMorningThing
#WellSheDidNotLie
#SometimesItIsTheMorning
#YesterdayICouldHaveBeenSickOverEverything
#LastWeekItWasMoreAnAfternoonThing
#ButSometimesItIsTheEvening
#SomeoneWasTalkingAboutWarmCamelsMilkTheOtherDay
#AndItWasMakingMeSoIll
#ThenILookedAtMyCollectionOfSoups
#AndJustReadingTheFlavoursMadeMeFeelIll
#ItIsSuchAWeirdThing
#IKnowThatNoOneReallyLikesToVomit
#ButIReallyHateIt
#IOnceProudlyCouldSayIHadNotVomitedInAtLeast10Years #AndThenMyHousemateMadeMeSuperStrongRumCocktailsWhenIWasDoingMyBA #AndThatWasGrim
#AndACharmingExBoyfriendTookPolaroidsOfMeByTheToilet #EvenThoughHeWasSickMostWeekendsBecauseOfAlcohol #IDoNotKnowWhatHappenedToThosePolaroids
#BetTheyShowUpIn50Years
#Anyways #YesterdayIHadStrongMeatAndFishCravingsEvenThoughIHaveBeenVegetarianForOverHalfMyLife
#CouldHaveEasilyEatenCodAndChipsOrATurkeyAndStuffingSandwich #ThoughIThinkTheyWouldHaveMadeMeSick
#SoLastNightISettledForAVeganFishFreeBurger #ItWasProbablyTheFirstTimeIHadEatenAFishBurger #AndItWasAlrightButIWouldNotBeInARushToEatItAgain

A few outtakes

A little bit more sophisticated than the chosen image?
Am I capable of being sophisticated?
Perhaps also a bit more sophisticated – if sophistication can include a bit of nipple? I don’t like when my fingers get slightly cropped out.
Perhaps a better image than the one I chose. I was going to say it doesn’t scream ‘morning sickness’ at me though not does the chosen one, but I feel like I do get a bit of ‘trying not to puke’ from it. Or maybe it’s because I want to get that vibe?
I think I’ll save comments about censorship for another post.

Comments

I feel like the running theme of this blog series is ‘maybe I chose the wrong photo?’ When is it too late to change the selected image? Is it ever too late? I guess it depends on where the photo has been. For me it doesn’t feel too late yet as most of my images have only appeared on my Instagram account and who said ‘what is posted on Instagram is set in stone’? No one as far as I’m aware.

I want to produce a book of this project so I guess it is good that I am revisiting each image and outtakes to have a think about if I did make the right decisions or not.

I chose the photographs based on how I felt at the time, but with the passing of time comes different responses to the images. Maybe I need to value what I thought when I was choosing, though at this point in the project I was not editing the pictures on the same day or same week as they were taken. I kept shooting and hashtagging, and I didn’t really look at them properly for a few months – there is a picture in the project that talks about finally getting round to editing the project. I realised what a mammoth task I was leaving for myself, so I spent some time editing it down (which is what I’m doing now with my new project and is why this post is a day later than I planned). After that I tried to edit the pictures down quite quickly, so I had space on my computer and so I wasn’t left feeling overwhelmed at a later stage with a baby in my arms.

Anyways, in these images I am ‘wearing’ a scarf instead of clothes. I can’t remember making that decision – I really need to start keeping a shoot diary – but I am guessing that it was because I worry about wearing the same clothes in all my photographs. I say this and some of my clothes have been in quite a few projects.

I had started to wear the scarf out around that time as it gets very windy in Liverpool, so it was probably lying around the flat when I was thinking about what to wear. I did do a project where I wore towels, so it’s not that odd really.

I guess with the chosen image I wanted something that wasn’t that flattering, due to the topic. In the outtakes I look a bit more ‘put together’, whereas in the chosen one with the way I am touching my chin and with my general expression you can tell things are a little off. At this point I wasn’t actually being sick, but the feelings were sufficiently unpleasant.

The meat/fish cravings were odd and I never had them again. I’ve been vegetarian since I was 15 (I’m 31 now), so it was quite bizarre though the fake fish burger seemed to do the trick. I haven’t eaten another one, but the burger place has only just reopened after being closed due to Covid. (A fun fact for you there – you’re welcome!) Maybe my body just needed a bit of protein and after this episode I did make an effort to eat more protein.

I’d forgotten that I mentioned an ex-boyfriend in the hashtags. The same moment came into my head last night when I started to put this post together and I thought about writing about it, but I already had. However I do now remember feeling awkward when I posted it to Instagram.

Why the need to write about it? I’m not entirely sure, but my work is therapeutic for me and has helped me work on various things like my confidence. It started to decrease when my family moved when I was 7 (to about half an hour away which isn’t much at all) and then it got destroyed in high school. In college I let my barriers down and cried a lot so my art teacher recommended that I go to counselling. I cried through all my BA assessments, so dating someone who did nothing for my confidence probably wasn’t the best idea but I also felt like that was what I deserved and I would never find someone else. Writing this whilst being married to a great guy, and with our month+ old baby lying beside me I’m starting to feel a bit emotional.

Breaking up with someone/being broken up with is always weird as you don’t know what will happen in your future. It’s nice when you can look back and be glad it happened as it led you to being with someone else (who hopefully really suits you) or maybe you’re just really enjoying being single.

I haven’t spoken to this ex in over 10 years and I doubt he will read it. If he does then I’m sure he will admit that he wasn’t the kindest person. I think he had underlying issues that he needed to sort out, and I genuinely hope he has.

Another moment that I am sharing because I just find it so bad that it is funny is that when we were out at clubs (can not remember the last time I was in a club), girls would come up to him and tell him that I was so ugly and that he should be with them and not me. He would tell me with a massive grin on his face and not say anything to comfort me/make me feel better about the situation.

A couple of other things: He was embarrassed about me meeting his family because I was vegan. I stopped being vegan (for myself after 4+ years as I didn’t want to be vegan anymore) and broke up with him a week later. I never met his family. Also, he told me if I cut my hair short he would break up with me.

When I finally broke up with him (and cut my hair shorter) people around me would tell me how much they didn’t like him, but they were worried it would push me towards him more if they told me how they felt. True, I am stubborn but in this case I was just unable to realise how badly he was treating me. I felt like I deserved it/I would rather be with him feeling bad about myself than single.

If you recognise your partner in what you read above, then know you deserve to be with someone better. You deserve more.

As always my blog post turned out differently to what I thought it would be, but I’m enjoying the journey and hopefully this may help someone who needs to hear it right now/when they read this post.

After all this sidetracking and distraction though I think I did choose the right image. The other possibility would have been the last outtake, but even with whole projects based around nudity you may be surprised to know how awkward I feel about nudity in my work. It’s something that I feel deserves its own post rather than a paragraph at the end of a long post that has already taken an unexpected turn, so I’ll put that on my list for a later date!

It’s on the list under ‘nudity/censorship/awkwardness’.

One last note: Though my work is usually about me, I have always hoped that other people would find something helpful in what I do. I guess with this blog I can go into more detail and write about things that have led me to making the work that I make. I have always worried that people find me narcissistic and vain, though my reasons for making my work are from feeling the complete opposite. Sharing this blog now feels really awkward, but I really hope it might help someone, either with a situation they are going through now or to help process something in their past. Some parts I have rewritten over and over again during the day, but I need to just let it go and live with it.

Something that I have been saying a lot lately is that when someone is mean to you, it says a lot more about them than it does about you. And this goes for how I have acted towards people as well. I am happy to admit that I am not ‘perfect’ – whatever that is – but I want to work on becoming a better person for myself and my family. Asking yourself why you do things and react the way you do – and really listening to yourself and the answers – is a good place to start.

Who would have thought a blog post about morning sickness could get so deep?


Thanks for reading!

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Categories
Waiting

I Can Tell My Body Is Already Changing (6 weeks)

This is a post about the second image from my series Waiting For Things In A Time When You Rarely Wait For Things, where I documented my pregnancy from October 2019 to June 2020.

I Can Tell My Body Is Already Changing (6 weeks) from the series Waiting For Things In A Time When You Rarely Wait For Things.

#WellWeHadBeenTryingToGetPregnantSinceTheStartOfTheYear #WeHaveAWeddingToGoToInPortugalInJulyNextYearSoIThoughtWeShouldPauseThingsForABit #ButTiagoSaidWeWereBetterOffTrying #AndToBeFairIThoughtICouldNotGetPregnant #EvenThoughIHadABloodTestAtOvulationOnceAndTheySaidAllWasGood #SoIDecidedIWantedToBeLessStressedOutInLifeSoIStartedToMakeAnEffortToBeMoreRelaxed
#WhenMyPeriodWas4DaysLateIKnowSomethingWasUp
#SoIBoughtATest #AndIForgotIWasGoingToDoOneSoIHadToKeepDrinkingWaterAndEventuallyIManagedToGetAResultFromTheDamnThing
#AndTheCrossCameUpPrettyQuickThen
#AndIWasNotThatSurprised
#IDidNotHaveMuchOfAReaction
#IWasJustRelievedToKnowICouldGetPregnant #AndThenIJustGotRealStressedAboutWhatIfThingsGoWrong #IDoNotKnowHowPeopleDealtWithPregnanciesPreInternet #AnythingAndIAmCheckingIsThisNormal
#AnywaysICanTellMyBodyIsAlreadyChanging
#AndIHaveBeenFeelingSick
#MorningSicknessIsALieItStrikesAtAnytime #ButItIsEarlyDaysForMeSoItIsNotYetThatBad #IKnowINeedToEatMoreCalciumSoIAmIndulgingInCheddarOnSandwiches #WasTryingToCutOutSugarButWasEatingChutneyAndPickleSoAmHavingMoreMarmiteThanThoseNow
#AndIAmGoingOffFoods
#LikeDaalOrDalOrDahlWhichWeEatAllTheTimeUsually #AndMyFavouriteLunchOfASpicyBeanBurgerWithGherkinsTomatoesAndHoumousIsNotAsGreatAsItUsedToBe
#AndIHaveEatenThatWeeklyForYears
#AndIMeanYEARS
#AndICanNotDrinkMostOfMyLargeCollectionOfHerbalTeas #AsEverythingHasLicoriceInIt #SoItIsRooibosAndHoneybushEverydayForNowUntilIFindOtherOnes

Link to post about the first image.


A few outtakes

Very similar to the chosen image except I’m looking at the camera.

With shoots I end up taking a lot of images and with most of them it’s difficult to edit them down as the differences are so subtle. In the beginning I take a lot of pictures to make sure that I am in the right position – as central as possible as I am usually central-ish in my images. Then once I find something I do a lot of little variations and take enough to make sure that I ‘have the shot’. Now I’m debating if this is better than the one I chose but I think looking off makes me look a bit more thoughtful whereas this seems more confrontational? Maybe I’m talking rubbish. I can’t believe my hair used to be this long…

Your typical ‘I’m pregnant and here is my belly and I’m looking at it grow’ shot.

The whole project is full of belly shots and I think I realised how ridiculous a shot like this would be in the beginning, though does it really matter? No. Even though I have done nude projects I do feel awkward about sitting around in my pants for shoots, though less so after having 6 people at the birth of my child, and having my boobs prodded and poked by lots of women whilst trying to breastfeed in hospital.

I was wearing the pants that I was already wearing for the shoot, but guessing I changed them to black for them to be less distracting. This was taken before the others shown here.

This seems a bit too adventurous and belly squashing for a pregnancy picture. Even though it took about 9 months for me to get pregnant I then was doing lots of stupid things like falling over for a video repeatedly as I think I could not believe I was pregnant. Perhaps I knew I would not be able to do these more flexible poses for much longer which is why I milked it as much as possible with this shoot.


Comments

A big secret (that isn’t so secret and especially not now) about how I shoot for my self-portrait projects – generally I have no idea what I am going to do for a shoot.

My first few self-portraiture projects (Reality of Youth Going Backwards In Vain, One Is Not Like The Other, The Many Faces of JFA) were very controlled; I knew exactly what shot I needed. Well to a degree I guess as there were test shots and location changes for Reality of Youth and One Is Not, but I had more of a clue than I did for a lot of projects afterwards.

With this shoot I had no clue and looking back for outtakes I can see that, though the theme seemed to be that pink top that my younger sister gave me and being sat on the floor.

I play around and then when I find something that I like I ‘riff on it’ – yeah like a musician or something.

In 2010 after my BA I was shortlisted to take a portrait for the National Museum Wales and National Portrait Gallery. I travelled from Birmingham to Cardiff for the interview and proudly talked about how I don’t plan shoots and you could just see in their faces how disapproving they were, yet I kept going on. The thing is at university me and my friend Sarah (who started and runs We Are Hairy People) did fashion shoots all the time when we were in the mood and we generally had no plan; we were always winging it. I’d photograph and she would model. We would just pull random clothes from our wardrobes and mess about with usually quite good results. I feel the need to pull a photo out, so let me have a look…

Here are a few pictures from 2010.

Sarah in a dress my older sister gave me with the neighbour’s dog on the other side of the fence – definitely not planned.
Sarah with a Christmas tree that was in her garden – it was May.
Sarah with her housemate’s drum cymbal.

I feel like this post is going a long way away from where it was supposed to be. I’ve talked a lot about how random and made up my shoots are, but then again with my pregnancy project there have been shoots where I knew what I wanted to show.

Don’t be fooled (especially if you want to hire me and now are thinking I’m too risky – come back!) I guess I do plan things to an extent… now I think I am just saying this so you hire me.

No, what I mean to say is I have planned shoots more so with this project. For example: I had a blood test, I want to show that etc. I guess there was a reason why I did improv comedy in London, as much as sometimes I lack confidence I like just seeing what happens and what I come up with.

I did mention in my interview that when I do plan shoots I never like the images, but I guess they provide a starting point.

With shoots if you don’t try then you don’t get – if I don’t do a shoot then I have no pictures to possibly like or dislike. If I do then I might have a shot that I can use or at least have an idea for something to recreate. With this project I took poses/shots that I liked and recreated them later on, especially if one was good but I felt like another one was better. Though towards the end of the project I got more indecisive and often chose two images from shoots – perhaps because I was running out of time to photograph myself pregnant.

Anyways, some of the hashtags are kind of similar to the first image from the series. I had planned for this to be the first image, but I then remembered that I had done the previous shoot and wrote hashtags for it. It was hard knowing what to write for the first one as a lot of it had already been said here. There was a noticeable difference within myself though, especially with feelings of morning sickness beginning to start. I had forgotten that I got food aversions that early.

Everyone always asks about cravings, though I had never really heard about food aversions. I seemed to hate everything I had ever loved – I was really upset about not being able to eat my favourite lunch that I had been eating for YEARS. At one point I could only eat pasta and vegetables for dinner, as everything else made me feel sick. Luckily I could start to eat different things just as the Great Pasta Shortage of 2020 rolled in, otherwise that would have been a very grim time…

It was hard to imagine myself ever being pregnant, let alone imagining myself pregnant during a pandemic, but I guess that’s something I’ll talk about again and again during these posts…


Thanks for reading 🙂