My Maternity Photos

Why they're important, and how I've displayed them in my home

Although my pregnancy was the delightful shock of a lifetime, the lead up was extremely deliberate.  

I thought I’d get pregnant right away.

Despite my naivety, I knew that once I was pregnant, life would change… that I would change!

I was scared I’d forget this version of me.

The day I scheduled my first fertility treatment, I panicked. “I need to get my haircut and I need to have my portrait taken!”

I don’t remember why I felt a haircut was crucial, but I know exactly why I wanted my portrait made.

I wanted proof of her—of my—beauty and hope.

And proof for my future child.

Those photos never happened, which I still regret.  And the fertility procedure failed too.

In the end, it took years, five failed treatments, and a miracle for me to get pregnant.

As those years passed, that version of me—the one who needed a haircut and portraits—faded into someone else entirely.  

When I found out I was finally pregnant, I could feel myself becoming new again.

This time, I’d ensure my portraits were made.

Around my 40th birthday, I went to Toronto to have maternity photos taken by Laura Rowe (it’s her work on this page). It felt perfectly timed. A new decade for a new version of myself.

To confess, as much as I’ve loved being pregnant (I’ve never felt so happy to feel so terrible), I struggled with my shifting identity.

I felt my life both starting and ending.

Now, there are days when I accept the transition with grace and kindness to myself. But, I still rail against this in-between state.

And now that my baby has arrived, I feel myself transforming yet again.

My maternity photos symbolize my fight against time and change.

They remind me of who I once was, before I was folded into another version of me.

I struggle to display family art in my home.

Surprising, isn’t it? I mean, I plan, design, shoot and install gallery walls for a living.

Like many of my clients, I get overwhelmed by the options (“Which pictures? Which frames?”) and life is busy.

So, I called in some expert help to get the project off the ground.

My mother!

Sometimes you need someone objective and removed from the project to keep things on course. So, if you’ve been dreaming of a gallery wall for years with no execution, I understand.

I prefer to display my own family art in transitional spaces—like hallways, entrances or staircases—rather than in living spaces. With this in mind I decided to create a simple, but strong, collection in our main hallway.

My home has Shaker doors and cabinetry, so I chose a simple frame, but more elevated than the basic white moulding that echoes our house finishes.

I was thrilled to find this timeless, thin, gold moulding with white profile edges. These frames feel special without being too ornate.

Many clients ask me what they should do when they want to change their family art. For smaller pictures, I always recommend a legacy box.

I’m also considering what’s next for my gallery wall. I know my framed maternity portrait won’t live in a place of prominence forever. Now that I’ve laid eyes on my baby’s little face, I want to deck my halls with her likeness.

I’ll find a new home for this artifact that represents my beauty and my hope.