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  • Writer's pictureDani's Suite Life

Markle Sparkle + Maternity

If you don't already know, you will come to find

I am thoroughly obsessed with The British Royal Family

and Meghan & Harry in particular!

I love Kate and her fashion and elegance of course,

but Meghan has without a doubt stood out in more ways that one for me.

The recent announcement of them expecting their second child,

has me overjoyed on so many levels!

First of all, this child is Meghan and Harry's "rainbow baby" .

This past November, Meghan revealed in a beautifully written op-ed in the New York Times

that she had suffered a miscarriage in July of 2020.

The article delves into so many emotions, revolving around all the types of losses we have experienced in 2020, and for her this includes the loss of their unborn child.

She goes into detail how unfortunately common it is, and how many suffer in silence because somehow it is still a taboo topic in society.

It's a great read if you have the time.

It really resonated with me, as our family was previously touched by miscarriage in July 2016.

In fact, our" rainbow baby" and her son Archie share the same birthday

just a few hours apart.

I've always admired her and thoughts of her maternity journey,

have reminded me of my own.

When you are TRULY happy it radiates out of you.

To me this picture almost has movement.

It's just bursts with euphoria.

Anyone who has read an article, even in passing, knows these two

have had a rough few years in the public eye with family, tabloids, blatant racially charged

attacks, moving back and forth out of the country, and even the loss of a child.

Here in this photo, they aren't The Duke & Duchess of Sussex embroiled in family drama.

They are casual Harry & Meghan; authentic, carefree, and at peace.

When people refer to the "Markle Sparkle", I think it has more to do with her nature

rather than her beauty. Of course she is breathtaking, however to me it's her self awareness and confidence in knowing who she is, that makes her most admirable.

Personally the most beautiful and confident I've felt in my life, has been during my pregnancies.

The fact that your body is capable of creating, growing, and delivering

another human being, still fascinates me no matter how many times I've done it!

Not to say that you have to experience motherhood to feel womanly or strong.

On the contrary, there are many things in life that can and will make you

feel that way, sans motherhood. For me personally, motherhood is what

gave me that sense of awe and beauty in my own body. It gave me self awareness

of what my body was capable of and what I was capable of.

It truly made me feel more myself.

Which brings me to the second thing that stood out about this photo to me,

and that is Meghan, herself.

We've seen "cool" Meghan. Hollywood Actress Meghan. Poised Royal Meghan.

But have we ever seen Meghan in such a natural state?

I'm not sure, but at the very least not in a long time!

Donning a favorite custom gown , made for her when she was pregnant with Archie.

Barefoot and lounging in the garden.

Effortless and unapologetically herself.

Being unapologetically oneself, can be the hardest thing in the world.

I have definitely found it difficult at times. I've always had a big personality.

(it's hereditary, you should meet my mother!)

I've always gravitated towards the opulent aesthetic of 1930's and 1940's Hollywood.

Red lips and perfectly quaffed hair.

Extravagant gowns and titillating walks down palatial stairs.

A tender kiss on an Opera Length Gloved hand.

Glitz & Glamour Galore

I'll take all of it and then some!

Growing up, it wasn't a common interest amongst my friends.

I got used to people introducing me as over-the-top friend.

Alternately as an adult, I was coined the bougie friend.

There was always a slight embarrassment to the nickname.

I liked what I liked, but I didn't like feeling that the things I liked

made me "too much".

My favorite little mantra that I now repeat,

comes from one of my all time favorite movies,

Aunt Francis is one of the greatest characters

and this little speech is everything :

Really where's the lie?

It takes courage sometimes to be uniquely you.

It takes time, experience, and I also think age.

As you get older, I feel like you grow tired of trying to fit in and

eventually just give in to being yourself.

This last pregnancy, is when I felt the most self aware.

I had more gratitude in being pregnant, in light of the previous loss.

The entire pregnancy was extremely peaceful. I tried to focused more on being

happy instead of being anxious. Staying positive and enjoying what we had,

was much more important than spending the whole 9 months afraid.

Though that doesn't mean it came without some fear.

Originally I had some reservations about doing a maternity shoot.

There are so many mixed emotions around that type of loss and it is so

natural to have fears of "what if".

Ultimately, if the miscarriage taught me anything, it was out of my control.

It also made me realize that my reservations, meant I was mentally in a a negative

head space of essentially waiting for something bad to happen.

Letting go of that was hard but when you do, you have complete freedom.

Freedom from your fears and even the guilt you feel for your happiness.

When it came time to do the maternity shoot, I had a new mindset and was ready to

truly celebrate "the rainbow after the storm". Furthermore, I decided to have fun with it

and go for a look that was 100% my style.

Traditionally most maternity shoots are light and airy - and ABSOLUTELY no shade

those shoots are stunning - but they have never felt like me.

I'm more of a dark & moody, film noir kind of girl!

The first call to make was to the one and only Anna Alesci Photography

Can't say enough great things about Anna's work!

She is an artist and that's exactly what you receive from her, ARTWORK!

We discussed my vision of vintage glamour, and the inclusion of something special.

For my 30th birthday, I bought myself, "the robe"...

some of you already know what I mean when I say that.

For the ones who don't, it is the mother of all glam robes.

Modern day Jean Harlow, sit by your vanity, powder your nose,

and scoff at your gentlemen callers kind of

Truly it's that serious!

The problem is they usually have a price tag just as severe.

Fortunately, I managed to find one on Amazon for a 1/3 of the price!

Still a bit pricey, but really if you're going to spend a little extra on yourself,

it might as well be for a big birthday.

Thus for my 30th birthday, I went 1930s!

A few years later, in all my pregnant glory, "the robe" finally had it's moment!

I won't showcase them all, but here is just a little taste

of how Anna knocked it out of the park with every shot!

(with some censorship to maintain privacy for the kids)

Outfit Details:

(this dress is so comfy & "forgiving" even post pregnancy that I now own it in two shades)

Purple Floral Little Girl's dresses from Amazon - but no longer available :(

Side Note: the day of our shoot there were GALE FORCE WINDS outside

that nearly knocked me over before entering the studio and these vintage waves

that @hairbyklo710 did to my hair rallied against them better than I did!

Major props to her and her hair wizardry!

Believe it or not the pictures below are from HOURS after

the photoshoot and the winds of epic proportions.

Needless to say, the shoot was so much fun and all my luxurious Hollywood dreams come true!

It also inspired me to not be embarrassed of my glamorous nature and just own it!

Don't get me wrong, after I gave birth to our little angel, there was much less glamour for a while!

This is to be expected! After the Mom-Zombie months, I got back into taking care of myself.

I started to care less about whether my style was "too much" and just embraced it

because for me it was just right.

It is what I feel most comfortable in.

The most beautiful version of yourself is seen in

your confidence and your comfort in your own skin.

Maybe for you, it's fresh faced and wearing a simple sheath dress

or ruby-lipped, lashed up, and wearing a floor length robe.

Nevertheless, it's the version that brings out your true & candid happiness.


Unapologetically YOU.

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