By Melissa Holloway
By mid-September, when my husband and I started telling people I was pregnant (we waited the conventional 12 weeks), I was checking myself out in the mirror every day. Was the slight pudge around my middle beginning to resemble a bump?
With each conversation in which I shared the big news, I felt eyes drop from my face to my waist, looking for a sign of the bun in the oven. I still looked just a bit fat by 20 weeks, much to my chagrin, but after that point it looked more like I was having a real baby than a food baby.
That’s when I made up my mind about booking a pregnancy photo shoot. While this was my first pregnancy, who knows whether there will be another one, I reasoned. Five years ago I had vintage boudoir photos taken as a wedding present to my husband, and it seemed somehow fitting to strike a pose again to mark this new chapter of our life together.
As I reviewed the sample galleries on the photographer’s website, I realized that some of the ‘au naturale’ poses would show off my actual tummy that I use for my insulin pump and my CGM sensor. I discussed whether or not to show my diabetes technology with a number of people: diabetes friends, friends who recently had babies, diabetes friends who recently had babies, even my husband. I decided that at least a few shots with my technology on display were worth trying.
On the day of my photo shoot (5 February), I was 32 weeks pregnant and my bump was in full force. I had my hair and makeup professionally done and I felt ready for the camera. As we worked through the suitcase of clothing I had brought and a few items from the photographer’s clothing rail, I knew we were getting closer to the photos without clothes.
With just my bra and panties on, and then with even less on, I smiled for the camera, looked wistfully into the distance, gazed down at my belly and even stretched out on the floor. I kept reminding myself that the photographer had seen it all before. Well, she’d seen it all except for the pump and CGM sensor, which I proudly showed in some shots and discreetly concealed in others. As much as my diabetes technology made it possible, my pregnancy was not the result of my diabetes so I didn’t want diabetes photobombing every shot.
I got to see the images from both my pregnancy shoot and our newborn session at the same time. After 11 weeks and the birth of my son, I could barely remember the day of the pregnancy shoot. But one of the photos with my diabetes technology front-and-center is going in the printed album for posterity.
When my son is grown, when I am old and the album is an heirloom, I imagine my son looking at the pictures and asking me, ‘Mum (because we live in England), what’s on your tum in this picture?’ and me saying, ‘That’s medical stuff I wore for diabetes when I was pregnant with you. Times have really changed since then!’
I love diabetes technology. I’ve even taken vacation from work to go to diabetes technology conferences. And I will always be grateful for how diabetes technology helped me have a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. But I look forward to less visible treatments, less invasive monitoring, and of course a cure even more.
Photo Credit: Melissa Holloway