beauty

One Mom’s Unedited Maternity Shots Are Showing The World How Beautiful Real Can Be

by Sarah Bregel
Sarah Bregel is an editor at LittleThings.com covering entertainment, trending stories, adorable stuff, parenting, and more. She is also a freelance writer, mom of two, dog mom, feminist, and deep-breather.

Having maternity shots taken is a relatively new trend that many pregnant people are embracing. It’s totally amazing, and the results are always some kind of wonderful for so many reasons.

We’ve seen celebrities and regular people alike get all done up to show off their bellies, and it’s cool to see because it helps families celebrate a very special time, as well as the wonder of pregnant bodies.

However, those glamour shots often don’t show us everything. In fact, oftentimes they show us a certain idea of pregnancy, and honestly? Pregnancy is not all glamour. Didn’t you know?

Many times these kinds of photos purposefully cover up the real details, like stretch marks.

The truth is that most people have stretch marks, wobbly bits, and other imperfections, especially during pregnancy. It’s hard work on a body, after all! One new mom by the name of Christina Abiola recently did the opposite of hiding those imperfections.

Instead, she showed off her stretch marks in a series of photos. While she had been feeling self-conscious during her pregnancy, after she gave birth, she let go of her insecurities and proudly shared the images on her Instagram page. Of course, the internet loved it, and she’s inspiring moms everywhere.

Christina Abiola and her fiancé, Lamar Grant, had been planning a maternity shoot, like so many women these days do. She wanted picture-perfect images, of course. But her stretch marks were mucking up her plans.

The couple planned their photo shoot with PrinceLoove Photography, but at first, the 22-year-old requested to have her stretch marks edited out. She told Today Parents, “I wanted to do a maternity shoot, but I was feeling insecure because I was growing all these stretch marks and I’ve never really had stretch marks before,” Christina said. “I just kept delaying.”

Her due date was creeping closer, however. Soon, she realized that if she kept delaying, she wouldn’t have any maternity shots at all. She had to make a decision — and fast.

Christina put off her photo shoot until she was 38 weeks pregnant. Finally, before it was too late, she decided to go ahead with the shoot. Still, she was feeling worried about the results due to her stretch marks.

Even though she had planned on having her photos edited, the photographer let her know that he wouldn’t be able to do what she had originally asked. When her photographer told her he couldn’t edit her stretch marks out of the photos, she decided she still wanted to share the photos, even if they didn’t look exactly like she’d imagined.

First, she had to let go of self-consciousness, she said. A few days after her daughter, Aniyah, was born on October 24, Christina did let it go. She shared the photos on her Instagram page.

She captioned a gorgeous photo: “And we’re off!!! Motherly instincts are kicking in. There’s so much love and passion when creating a child And it takes that same love and passion to raise one!”

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October 24 2019 our princess was born! I could say so much but here we go..... Pregnancy, motherhood, Parenthood ! a beautiful thing. Our excitement is indescribable. I had a child with the man of my dreams! A man who loves me unconditionally, adores me, cares for me, and puts our relationship first! I love talking about my relationship and how excited we are to have a baby Girl! We picked out her name a few months in, and we made sure to talk to her everyday. But I can’t help but notice how people mention being parents as “life changing”, they say “your life will never be the same”, “being a mom changes you”, “it’s going to change your relationship”. Sometimes it’s positive but most times it seems they’d rather you pause on having babies.. lol. This is how I see it...... in life we make life changing decisions and sometimes those decisions are made for us. I can give examples of many things that can change your life, but so it is. We have to change, we must adopt to new circumstances, that is how God intended. Being a mom was already chosen for me by God and he decided now is my time! I see this new journey I’m embarking on as a blessing from God! A new found purpose along with all the others I embody. I am a powerhouse and being a mom will not only change my life forever but it will enhance it and fill it with wonders I could never imagine! Welcome home Baby A ❤️ Photos by @princelove__ Make up by @sk1nnyybeauty - - - #blacklove #darkskin #brownskin #love #lovechild #happybirthday @darkskinwomen @black.love.couples @fashionkidsnigeria #blackloveexists @theshaderoom @hudabeauty

A post shared by Christina Temitope Abiola (@jesusgang) on

She continued: “I pray for guidance as I embark on this new journey. My Fall, Scorpio baby is here and I finally feel at peace!! – COMMENT BELOW some words of wisdom and tips you’ve learned over the years that helped you in [your] first few months of motherhood!”

Of course, the internet loved it. That image alone has been liked nearly 12,000 times on Instagram. It’s not hard to see why. The picture is downright breathtaking.

Christina told Today Parents, “I was already in that process of (embracing my body) because my fiancé was supporting me and always letting me know I was beautiful. My sister was always supporting me and some of my friends online that I shared with were always supporting me.”

“So once she came, I was like, ‘Let me just post this picture,’ because it’s such a happy moment right now and this picture really shows our happiness.” It absolutely does. And it makes for a maternity shoot like no other, too.

It’s always inspiring to see mothers embracing their bodies. This mom has definitely opened up conversations about just that, simply by sharing her gorgeous imperfections. “I think a lot of maternity shoots don’t show the real, I guess,” said Christina on why the response has been so huge.

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A Darkskin Mami❤️👸🏿

A post shared by Christina Temitope Abiola (@jesusgang) on

“I know a lot of people do edit out stretch marks,” she shared. “One of my friends had stretch marks, but in her maternity shoot you couldn’t see them. And, when a lot of celebrities have their maternity shoots you don’t really see the stretch marks — you don’t really see the insecurities that women go through while they’re pregnant.”

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My little ladybug 🐞

A post shared by Christina Temitope Abiola (@jesusgang) on

Clearly, these photos have a lot to say. We’re so glad this mom shared them with the world. Pregnant bodies are truly amazing and should be celebrated down to the very last stretch mark.