Last fall (2017 fall to be precise) I collaborated with Wilmington Coastal Doulas in an Instagram give-away to promote our partnership. Kelsey and Graham Elmore were the lucky winners. Not only did they win a Childbirth Education class with Whitney from WCD but they won a mini maternity session with yours truly. So not long after, I met Kelsey at Drift Coffee Kitchen for their pre-session consultation, to go over the logistics of course but mostly just to get to know more about her and Graham as they were entering this new chapter in their life together. As with most expecting parents, they had not given too much thought about newborn photos, let alone maternity portraits. In fact a friend of Kelsey’s entered her into the give-away so it was all a lovely surprise for her.
Part of the give-away for the maternity session was a professional blow out and makeup from the talented stylists at Beauty Bar Boutique. We all know how we feel when we leave the salon. You know, that feeling that makes you call your girlfriends for an impromptu ladies night. It puts an extra pep in your step and when your ankles are swollen and you can’t bend down to tie your shoes (or maybe even put them on at all) that extra pep goes a long way. Some of the stylists at Beauty Bar are my clients (read: friends) so I know that they are going to give my expecting mamas extra special care and attention. You’re a goddess. You should be pampered.
Fur babies are usually our first babies and Ripken, Kelsey and Graham’s Golden Retriever, was the biggest first babe. Kelsey’s sweet mama tagged along to keep an eye, and a hand, on this sweet boy. He was so good though. He was practically shaking he was so excited to be outside, on the beach but he didn’t run. And what’s more is that he really loved snuggling Kelsey and Graham when they sat at his level in the dunes. It almost felt as though he knew what was coming and was simply soaking in all the love and attention he possibly could.
So often women who are now grandmothers share with me how much they wish that maternity photography had been a thing when they were expecting. They went through the aches and pains and the joy and anticipation of childbirth during a time when pregnancy wasn’t discussed. Did you now that the term ‘maternity leave’ began in the 1950s? It actually referred to the period of time before a woman gave birth. When a woman’s pregnant belly began to show, she was asked to leave her job until she had the baby. And to boot, you weren’t promised your job when you returned. We have still have a long way to go but lord, have we come a long way already.