Many of you know the struggles my husband and I had on our path to pregnancy (if you don't, no worries - those blog posts are in the works). In short, after 3.5 years of trying I found out I had stage IV endometriosis. I had two surgeries for endometriosis and then we went straight into fertility treatments and procedures to attempt pregnancy before the endo adhesions grew back. When we finally did get that elusive positive test with the help of both Physicians for Women and Wisconsin Fertility Institute, we were in disbelief, quite a bit nervous but also full of hope.
I wanted to find a way to celebrate each week of the pregnancy as we went along because each week was a blessing. I was inspired by the fruit and vegetable size reference pictures on a few of the pregnancy apps I followed. Each week they would tell you that your baby is "now the size of an olive" or "as long as a bunch of swiss chard". I loved the references because they helped me picture the growth of my little one and made the miracle seem more real.
My artistic history is in fine art, graphic design, cake decoration, and face and body painting. I have painted baby bumps for other mothers in the past and thought I would try it on myself. At first it wasn't too challenging because I could look down and paint but as my tummy grew, I could only see the top portion of my canvas. I ended up using a swiveling mirror to view the area while painting. The paints I used are professional grade body paints with FDA approved ingredients which are very gentle on the skin and safe to use. After my loving husband would photograph me, I washed the painting off with soap and water.
Mark, my husband, is a funny guy and would frequently make jokes while taking pictures. Once, when our baby was as big as an onion, he took a short video without telling me. The result gives a nod to the phrase "belly laugh".
As the baby grew and her movements could be seen externally, I began taking videos. When she was as big as a pumpkin, I took this one:
I wanted make it as far as the size of a watermelon which is 39 weeks. We just made it and our adorable daughter, Eliana, made her appearance on June 10, 2015 at 39 weeks and 3 days. We fall more in love with her every day.
|Photo by Naomi Walsh|
|Photo by Naomi Walsh|
|Eliana with new book from friend, Ryan Haack of LivingOneHanded.com|
Some more images from the project: