When I was expecting my second baby, pregnancy and gender reveals were becoming super popular. There were so many options and expectations about how and when to break the news in a way that was unique and never done before. I wanted the announcement to continue with my tradition and fit well into my home’s existing decor style.

So instead of trying to come up with something completely unexpected, I opted for another sketch of my growing family. I knew I had made the right choice when a friend commented, "I love these picture collection of stories!"

She had nailed my intention behind the artwork better than I could.

I thought about drawing myself pregnant but realized it wouldn’t serve the second purpose of lasting artwork to display in my home. I wanted it to serve as a family portrait, a snapshot of the special time that is the newborn weeks. My toddler would grow between the announcement and the birth so I was intentional about choosing a specific time to capture, just like a photograph.

The last element to consider was, of course, what is now my signature heart placement. In my first love story images, the heart represented the symbols love unique to each moment-a kiss, a ring. I placed the heart in my first pregnancy announcement on my baby’s blanket. Adding a child to your family for the first time is kind of a huge deal and certainly a defining moment in a love story!

But with my second, I didn’t want to take away from the love we had for our first child by placing the heart on the new baby. Instead, I tried to portray the idea that our love and unity as a family was growing, rather than defining the new addition as our new focus of our love. So I placed the heart above our entire family.