From bump to baby – a view from the other side

The wonderful Gemma was my patient model for our Bump to Baby animation, she’s written an account of our project from her point of view…

Pregnant woman dressed in black forming heart shape over her bump with her hands

I never really took many photos of myself when I was pregnant the first two times, in fact there is very little photographic evidence to prove that I was ever, in fact, pregnant. I suspect that this is because life just ran away with me and I never captured the way my body changed throughout the nine months.

When I looked at my body after I had birthed my first two boys it was hard for me to remember what I looked like in all my pregnant glory! That seemed such a shame and such a wasted opportunity.  Its such a life defining moment having a child so it seemed pretty silly that I didn’t have the photos to go with it! 

So when I found out I was pregnant for the third and what will be our final time – (I have promised my husband no more babies!) –  I knew that I wanted to document the journey from having no bump to watching it grow to humungous proportions and then back down again. I had a rough idea of what I wanted and I tried to set about trying to timeline it myself. Sadly it soon became apparent that not only did I not have the photography skills to make it look as polished as I wanted (all I had was my phone camera!) but that a selfie every month just wasn’t going to cut it! 

This is thankfully where fate took a hand.  When I saw that Janet was looking for newly pregnant ladies to take part in a pregnancy stop motion video, it seemed like the perfect thing to do. I had seen these before and they are truly awesome! 

So I jumped at the chance! And she thankfully agreed (Thanks Janet!)

At our first meeting I was 16 weeks and had a little bump (most of which was due to the crisp craving I had at the time!). We shared our vision for how we wanted it to look and how we were going to manage the shoots (shoots – how professional does that sound? I refer you to my original plan of a monthly selfie – I knew this was going to be amazing!)

We picked a spot in the house where I would stand, I would where the same clothes, keep my hair the same and keep all the furniture in the same spot so that the only thing that would change would be my bump. 

Every week, Fridays at 2pm,  Janet would arrive and take that week’s photo. Our routine became so set in stone that I would have a cup of tea waiting for her most weeks before she even knocked on the door! We started in the Autumn, snapped our way through Christmas, New Year, Easter and birthdays and each week my tummy got bigger and bigger! It was truly fascinating to flick back through the photos and see how much my body could change in just a few days!

The time came when the bump could grow no more and baby Ben was due to arrive. In the final pregnant shot I disappear off up the stairs with a wave and come back down holding Ben. Of course in reality a couple of weeks had gone by and I had to wear a bit more concealer than normal to hide the telltale signs of the sleepless new-born nights. But the shots were so seamless that the effect was beautiful. 

It was such a lovely and highly emotional project to be involved in and something that I know I will treasure forever. Janet can vouch for the fact that I am prone to hormonal rants when pregnant but she smiled sweetly throughout – the woman has the patience of a saint! 

Ben is now 10 weeks old and I have lost count of the number of times I have watched the video and each time it always gets me and there are tears! Its a truly priceless keepsake that I will probably still be watching it in my eighties! 

Thanks Janet 🙂 

Gemma and baby Ben x 

you can see our project here: