Maternity shoot x Alafaga

Maternity shoot x Alafaga

My best friend gifted me with some of the best memories as a soon to be mama.

I’ll always look back at these photos and remember all the weekly bumpdates you made me do when I wasn’t feeling it, all the apple waters you fetched for me when I was at my most potato-y, the trip we took to Manu’a, and all the hours we spent huddled over our laptops editing late nights at my office.

Thank you for being there for me at every trimester.

Love you forever my soul sister @alafaga 💌

Babymoon camera roll

Babymoon camera roll

I’m reliving these precious moments and memories from my babymoon. Slowing down the pace, and breathing in, and out. Letting the warm sun shine on us like we were made to soak in the rays to grow — in the same way nature works it magic for flowers to bloom. It’s not that everything is perfect, it’s that I am allowing every imperfect thing to become part of my growing process.

New Mamas Pregnancy Must Haves For Every Trimester

New Mamas Pregnancy Must Haves For Every Trimester

Congratulations to all you mamas out there!

This list is one I’ve compiled for myself as a new mama, and one that I wanted to save as a guide for recommendations on what are the essentials throughout each trimester.

This is a list JUST FOR MAMAS.

Because we deserve all the love and props for doing what we do… Amen? Amen!


Prenatal Vitamins

If you’re even thinking about or wanting to getting pregnant, you should start taking prenatal vitamins right away! I got two different brands… I don’t think the brand really matters though, but I do like these two because of its clean ingredients. I started with the Actif Organic prenatals but in the middle of my first trimester, I had some nausea and could barely swallow the pills without gagging just because I’m terrible at taking pills, so I also got the SmartyPants Organic Prenatal Gummy Vitamins so I could chew them, plus they taste yummy.

Pregnancy Journal

Even though I was very weirdly averse to journaling, I still think this is such an essential to have in your first trimester. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it can simply be a notebook or notepad you use to write down all your questions (instead of constantly googling, which I found out the hard way, is not the best idea if you’re anxious at all about your pregnancy), and list out your milestones, pregnancy symptoms, resources, and important dates for appointments, etc.

While it’s not specifically a pregnancy journal, my all-time-favorite notebook ever is actually from Traveler’s Notebook. The notebooks itself are very simple, but the notebook system is absolute genius and completely customizable. I’ve been using these notebooks since 2016 I think and it’s the one and only essential notebook I’ll never give up. I love that I can add a notebook insert specifically for pregnancy and motherhood, and other inserts for other aspects of my life.

This pregnancy journal called “Growing You” by Korie Herold was gifted to me by my neighbors Traci and Ano. I like it because it has thoughtful prompts to reflect on the bigger moments of pregnancy, and built in envelope space to store photos and notes.

Body butter

I know stretch marks are so common and it’s not exactly preventable, but hey, why not lather up anyways to keep your growing belly nice and moisturized. I used Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and then I ran out, and just used whatever else I had around the house like the Lush Body Moisturizing Charity Pot, Almond oil, and a locally made Mailelani lotion.

Bump wedge pillow

This is my definite MUST HAVE for the first trimester. I actually bought a pretty fancy pregnancy pillow, thinking that was all I needed… but one of my girlfriends who had just recently given birth gave me her Boppy wedge pillow, and this (on top of having a pregnancy pillow) was a godsend for my first trimester. It really supported my growing belly whenever I laid on my side and my bump didn’t quite hang all the way over onto the bed. I would rank this very high in my list of necessities in my first trimester!

Pregnancy pillow

There are so many pregnancy pillows out there. I wanted something that I could use beyond just my pregnancy (and something that didn’t take up too much space on my bed), so I got this adjustable body pillow by Norwegian brand bbhugme. It’s super soft and feels luxe, and it’s designed by chiropracters so it’s good for you too.


Maternity clothes

You’re probably showing more in the second trimester, and you might still be able to squeeze into your loose-fitting clothes, but I’m telling ya, just invest in a few maternity basics. I hesitated for the longest time, but then caved when even my regular leggings were feeling tight and uncomfortable. I got these biker shorts, this workout set (my actual fave thing to wear right now), and because I’m redundant, another pair of biker shorts (in cotton so it’s wayyyy more comfortable and really great to combat chafing issues). Get maternity clothes. You won’t regret it.

Comfortable underwear

All I can say really is, I recommend really comfortable underwear during this time. I only used seamless thongs (and I still wear them like every day as a preggo because I hate panty lines), so if anything, just size up! I didn’t get pregnancy specific underwear, I just sized up, and it’s been good. I also recommend getting some boxer briefs if you suffer from chafing issues.

Reusable water bottle

You’re gonna get thirsty, and you’re not gonna want to get up to refill your glass. So grab a reusable water bottle of your choice, and stay hydrated, mama.

Comfy house slippers

You’re on your feet literally, all the time, and with the added weight, you’re going to want some comfy house slippers. Heck, even slippers for going out. I see everyone’s wearing these Birkenstocks, clogs, and cloud slippers, but whatever your budget, there are comfy slippers that you won’t regret wearing. I just got a fuzzy pair of house slippers from a thrift store for like $3 bucks, and it’s been a dream.


Pregnancy/yoga ball

I just learned how important it is to start leaning forward in your third trimester. I usually like to recline on my back, but leaning forward is important to help prepare baby to get in place for birth, that way baby isn’t spine to spine, which makes it difficult for them to exit. I have a yoga ball at work and at home so I can work on my core and preggo posture.

Nursing bras

By the third trimester, your boobs might have doubled or even tripled in size! I have itty bitties, so I was able to get away with just sizing up early on in my pregnancy. But as you reach your third trimester, you might want to get nursing bras so that you’re prepared for any possible leaks and so you’re comfortable wearing them and using them by the time baby comes!

Belly support band

A heavy belly can cause back pain and pelvic pain, so belly support bands are your saving grace! There are many options out there, so choose one depending on your needs.

Compression Socks

I have been lucky to not have my feet swell up… yet. But I will be traveling soon so I got these compression socks to help with circulation and prevent possible swelling. I have also heard from many other mamas that their compression socks were their best friend in the third trimester, so it is definitely recommended for comfort.

Dress pajamas / robe

Hopefully in your last weeks before pregnancy, you’re able to kick up your feet and relax… after all the work your body has done, and the nesting phase you’ve probably gone through or are still going through… you deserve to just lay around in cozy pajamas all day!

And there you have it – again, congrats mama!

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Yes, I’m a Baby Mama

Yes, I’m a Baby Mama

At this point, it’s “old news” but since I’ve not been able to get on my blog for a long while, it’s “new news” on here…

I’m pregnant!

Yes, I’m a Baby Mama!

I am now in my third trimester, and gobsmacked at how fast the time has flown, but also wondering if the next last months are going to drag out. I’m patient though. Baby is kicking a lot and I have grown and changed a lotttt.

Being pregnant is a beautiful thing. I’ve been looking forward to this experience since the Mr. and I decided we were ready to start a family last year. And to be honest, I’ve had a bit of a rough go at pregnancy — nothing too crazy, but it’s been a roller coaster for sure. These days, even with all the aches and pains that come along with growing a human, I’m grateful to be where we are now, and for an exciting new chapter to come.

I’m adding a “Motherhood” category on my blog so in the future I can look back at this whole adventure, and in the meantime, share my evolution in words and photos whilst in the throes of my new life as a mama.

Cheers to me (honestly) and to all the mamas out there!

Sending all the hugs and belly rubs to new moms-to-be too!

xo, Nerelle

Photos of me at 24 weeks pregnant by my darling husband.

SESSIONS: JereMia is expecting!

SESSIONS: JereMia is expecting!

Over 2 sessions late last year and within a  1 month time span, I got to watch Jeremy and Mia’s (here dubbed “JereMia”) little family grow with the birth of their first baby, Jones.

For our first session, I took photos of JereMia and that adorable baby bump. Which, by the way, you can barely even see from the front or back. It was really just from a side profile that it was more than obvious! And she was already 36 months! The ever radiant Mama Mia had just gotten off of work. She was working an extra 2 hours after work for the past couple of weeks to build up some compensatory time because local government jobs does not offer maternal leave. Also, she was due in the next month!

Jeremy and Mia jumped out of their big white truck and led me to their house along the main road in Faganeanea. Jeremy took off his hat and tousled his hair. Mia put on lipstick and took a quick look in the mirror while offering me a glass of wine, and they were ready.

It was already almost 6pm and the sun was going down quickly. We took photos in front of the house, around the yard, and ran across the road to the seawall to snap some shots in front of the ocean, the rock landmark, and the bus stops. I mostly asked them silly questions, and we giggled over Mia’s baby mama waddle, but I also told them to talk to each other so they could basically hang out while I took photos. Actually most of these photos are candid! There were just a few incidents where I told Mia to cup her belly (so that you could see her bump better), told them to hold hands in front of their house, or for Jeremy to look at Mia and talk to her instead of to the camera. Other than that, Jeremy and Mia were naturals in front of the camera. In less than an hour before the sun had set, we were done!