Boston Maternity Imaging: A Photographer’s Perspective at 40 Weeks

A few weeks ago I woke up in a panic at 3AM.  My photography season was winding down in preparation for my due date (yesterday, 12/19), and I realized that I could count the number of photographs I had of myself or my husband during my pregnancy on one hand.  To be fair, the last 4 months had felt like a tornado: buying a house, moving to the country, finishing an incredibly busy professional season, adjusting to a new commute INTO Boston every day, finding and fixing all the lovely surprises you find in a new house, weekly doctor appointments,  designing and constructing a nursery, washing yet-to-be-worn baby clothes, battling the growing list of pregnancy symptoms, buying holiday gifts for friends and family, decorating said house for the holidays (my first time!),  and finally, struggling over a name for this child. So at 3AM I picked up my camera, and turned it on my life, my story.

Here’s the first frame I took.  I’m fascinated by the way light bounces around this house, even in the middle of the night.  I want to remember the little things that happened while we were waiting for him to arrive, and almost more importantly, I want him to know what life was like just before we became a threesome.

I love that our little guy is going to arrive during such a cuddly season.  I think that was part of my motivation in working so hard to make the house feel like home at Christmas.  I still have no idea how my husband got that tree into the house by himself.  I closed my eyes, crossed my fingers, and it was there.

We don’t have a large collection of personal ornaments yet, but there are a few that we’ll have forever.  Hard to believe we’ve been married over 7 years. I wouldn’t say that 10/11/08 feels like yesterday, but it’s been full of beautiful challenges that have left us both stronger as individuals and as a couple.

I managed to sneak a selfie with the tree.

My little wheaten bear Mosby has been following me around the house since September.  He is keenly aware that something, SOMETHING is about to happen.  Every time I leave the house he looks at me frantically, like he’s worried it’s the last goodbye forever.  I wish I could assuage his fears, but then again, he’s not totally wrong.  We’re planning on sending home a blanket from the hospital ahead of our return to help acclimatize him.  Anyone else have good ideas on this topic?

I freaking love fireplaces.  I had this thing going in October.  My way of rushing winter.  I sat in front of it a lot on the days when I felt like garbage and worked from the couch.  It’s the little things that make you happy when so much is out of your hands.

This was breakfast pretty much every single day of my pregnancy (after taking 2 zantac of course).  The cereal varied but always cereal accompanied by water and coffee.  I find staying hydrated while pregnant so difficult, I constantly have dry mouth.  So liquids, liquids, liquids.

3 weeks ago I finally got off my duff and packed a hospital bag.  This was the beginnings of it.  A few onesies (holiday style of course), a few hats, a few pairs of socks, and an easy-swaddler. Anything else, I’m counting on the hospital for.  You can see my feet starting to swell here.  I’m down to 1 pair of shoes that fit now.

On par with how much time we’ve spent on nailing down a name is how much time we’ve spent designing and crafting his nursery.  I didn’t want anything too childish, and I loved the idea of blending the country/farm feel out here with something baby-appropriate but unique.  The prints you see below were taken by Sharon Montrose, and they are all real animals taken in her studio.  She has so many great options on her site, so we decided to slim the pool by focusing on the neighborhood appropriate farm animals.  Except for the lion cub and baby monkey, which hang just outside his room.  I had to find a spot for those faces.

The wallpaper.  THE WALLPAPER.  I give all credit to Jarett for finding this amazing vinyl creation.  We had been to the paint store 5 times trying to narrow down colors.  Because the crib and changing table has some spunk to it, we needed something subtle for the walls that wouldn’t fight with what was happening below it.  This presented a huge challenge, until one day Jarett swaggered into the house with a book of textured wallpaper from C+T Paint in Wayland.  He knew he had done good.  I squealed and started sifting through options.  This print actually mimics touchable tree bark which couldn’t have been more perfect to sit behind those farm faces (detailed shots below).

This has been the scene in our bedroom every night.  A sleepy dog next to an earnest dad, running google searches for eclectic yet not far-fetched male names, a snoogle to help me get what little sleep I can, many, many reflux medications to layer on top of each other, and bit of general disarray.

I was struck by this pocket of light falling across my dresser one morning.  The thought that someday all of this jewelry will look like antiques crossed my mind, and I decided to shoot it as it lay there.

Every morning Mo watches me shuffle from the bed, to the bathroom, back to the dresser, then the closet, and finally back to the bathroom to complete my daily preparation ritual.  He constantly repositions so he can see me.  He is waiting for THE THING to happen.

The light I can’t take my eyes off of out my bedroom window each morning.  The sun pours over the rolling hills and through the oak trees of the farm across the street, then spills onto our yard.

Cookies.  A few of us made Christmas cookies in my kitchen.  Well I photographed it, and these ladies made them taste really good.  

That’s Briana Moore seriously committing to the proper way to present instafood.  Always square up to your subjects, people.

OK, here’s my first appearance in this post.  I decided enough with the iphone selfie, I had to take a few with staying power from my camera.  I’m 39 weeks and 5 days in this photograph.  Feeling pretty rough.  But trying to make the best of it.  I find myself in bouts of tears multiple times a day, often without exact explanation.  It’s frustrating to feel so out of control of what’s coming next.  One of the things I’m looking forward to most after giving birth is getting back control of my emotions and of course, taking back my body. My husband has the patience of a saint, and his support and empathy have made this crazy ride all worth it.

Below are a few other shots I took around the house where I found the light doing amazing things.  The image below is our sun room, which I have vowed to keep as a zen room.  No kid stuff, just greenery, loungers, soft music, and real books (no kindle!). What’s that?  Um, yes that’s a baby swing.  But we’re moving it.  Soon.

Afternoon light inside and outside the dining room.  And thank you’s.

Jarett, putting up the stockings that came in the mail yesterday.  I can’t show you the next frame I took because it has our son’s name on it, but you’ll find that out soon enough.

Instead, I’ll leave you with this shot of me at 38 weeks.  Christmas is coming.  I’ll see you on the other side.

Boston Maternity Photographer - 61All images ©Karen Kelly Photography.  You can see more of my work on my website, or on Facebook.  If you’d like to email me directly, you can find me at

Facebook Share|Tweet Post|Email Post|Contact Me
  • December 20, 2015 - 3:10 pm

    Kiera - I love you mama! This brought me straight to tears! Such beautiful memories you’ve captured for your babe! Can’t wait to meet him soon! Hang in there!! XoxoReplyCancel

    • December 20, 2015 - 8:00 pm

      Karen Kelly Photography - Thank you so much sweets! I am so glad you are part of this journey with me!ReplyCancel

  • December 20, 2015 - 4:40 pm

    Lisa aeGal - So excited for you both. Wishing you a delivery similar to mine – short and bearable. Happy, healthy baby. Cheers to your new “normal”ReplyCancel

    • December 20, 2015 - 7:59 pm

      Karen Kelly Photography - Thank you love!ReplyCancel

  • December 20, 2015 - 6:31 pm

    Monika - Dear Karen.
    I love reading your stories. They are so real. Your house is beautiful and the nursery is magical. The little guy is already so lucky to have such awesome parents! You will be an amazing parent!ReplyCancel

    • December 20, 2015 - 7:58 pm

      Karen Kelly Photography - Thank you so much Monika! It means so much to me to have your support – and that you enjoy the stories I love to share.ReplyCancel

  • December 20, 2015 - 6:51 pm

    Sarah - We were worried about our dog too, I assume the dog will be just fine. When we brought Olivia home we sent the hospital “onsie” and the hospital blanket home the day of her birth. Our dog snuggled with it for a day or two. He was very disinterested in her initially… Which was fine with me.
    You guys will blaze your own path. Live in your comfort zone, but don’t be afraid to try things. That’s literally the only way to find what works.
    Best wishes!!ReplyCancel

    • December 20, 2015 - 7:57 pm

      Karen Kelly Photography - Thanks Sarah!ReplyCancel

  • December 20, 2015 - 7:10 pm

    Cindy - I love everything about this post Karen! You have a wonderful gift of storytelling. I’ll be praying for a safe and easy delivery and look forward to the first photos of your precious baby!ReplyCancel

    • December 20, 2015 - 7:56 pm

      Karen Kelly Photography - Thank you so much Cindy! It means so much to me 🙂 I can’t wait to meet him and share his little face with the world!ReplyCancel

  • December 20, 2015 - 9:30 pm

    Allison Ahern - I truly enjoyed reading this! These photos are beautiful. I am thinking of you! Merry Christmas 🙂ReplyCancel

  • December 26, 2015 - 1:29 pm

    Michele ellis - Hi lady. Congratulations on the birth of Wyatt. He is absolutely perfect. I miss you terribly but loved reading through the blog and seeing the pics of the beautiful new home. The nursery is amazing and you look beyond amazing. Miss you and hope I see you soon.ReplyCancel

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *