Monday, November 7, 2011

35 Weeks...almost

One day till I turn 35 weeks.  It is kind of amazing, realizing I'm only 5 weeks from my babies "guess" date, and that she'll actually be here so soon.

Things have been crazy here, and I'm starting to get an inkling that the next five weeks may not be quite as much fun as the last 35...don't get me wrong, everything is fine, I just started getting a lot more late pregnancy symptoms that can be classified as less than enjoyable and sometimes quite uncomfortable.  The important things though: belly is still measuring right on track, baby is active and has a steady heartbeat, and overall everything looks great and completely normal.

I had a an embarrassingly emotional weekend over something I really shouldn't have been so emotional about at all...I'm blaming pregnancy hormones.  It started with my wish of having one of those beautiful maternity photo shoots that I see so so often on the internet.... 

The scenario:
After sorting through several local maternity photographers, and gathering some recommendations, I found what I thought was the perfect one.  She would come to our home, her photos were gorgeous, and she was well priced to boot.  I couldn't believe our luck...apparently, I was too naive to understand that the price did not include actually having ownership over our images and that the cost of getting those images would be astronomically high.  I never asked for a contract, we just made the arrangements by email, and about a week after our fun, Sunday morning photo shoot I received my beautiful pregnancy pictures in a little online slide-show I could temporarily share with family and friends.  

This is where it gets messy...It turns out the price just to get ownership of the high-res digital images: $3,000!  Now, I knew prints (if professionally touched up and everything by her) might be pricey, and an album might be altogether out of our price-range, but I seriously never thought I would not have the original digital images included as part of our initial package (nor did I know she would be touching up each of the 30 we received - hence the added cost for her time).  $3,000 is almost as much as we paid for our wedding photos, and we had thousands of those (over 3 days of shooting), plus a non-expiring slide-show and a giant, beautiful, professionally touched-up album of about 40 of our favorites.  Plus, when we paid for those, we weren't already majorly in debt and expecting a baby.

As I sat there, dumbly staring at the slide-show and evil shopping cart info, and realizing these beautiful images of my little family would be gone, forever, in just a few hours time, I completely fell to pieces.  Some part of me that was still holding onto the emotions of the past two and half years, the dreams that went into making the pregnancy possible, and everything we had been through, just pushed its way to the surface.  I was hysterical crying in a heap on the couch when DH found me, and I felt lower than I can remember feeling in a long time. 

Over the next few hours, DH negotiated with the photographer while I cried on and off and just generally felt like a complete idiot.  They reached an agreement, we would get our images and it would only cost us another $400 dollars on top of what we'd already paid, plus the photographer would keep the money for the newborn shoot which now of course wouldn't be happening.  The cost was huge blow to our fragile budget, even at this far lower price point, but I got my images.

Why were these photos so important to me?  I don't know exactly.  I think somewhere inside me, I felt like these pictures made it all real.  They are shot after shot of this glowing pregnant woman, basking in her round body and in the love of her husband, and just being happy.  There is no evidence anywhere of what it took to get us to this point, of any pain or doubt, and there is nothing in any of these photos that isolates THIS woman or THIS pregnancy as different from any other.  It's just us; captured in this intimate, special moment of expectant joy and peace, and I truly love looking at them.

A stolen screen shot from the slide-show (sorry it's just a silhouette shot, but hubby still wants to keep things on this site as anonymous as possible):


  1. I'd be so upset too! I'm glad your hubby worked something out. I'm feeling very blessed that my best friend who is a semi-professional (just getting into the business) is doing our pics. I have just heard horror story after horror story.

  2. Not a good time for something like that to happen, emotions are already on overdrive... right there with ya! Hope you can get most of the pics that you want as part of the deal! I'm thankful to have a friend who did ours because goodness knows we've spent a small fortune just getting baby here! Sweet pic that you've posted:]

  3. oh geez Kerri, what an ordeal! I can only imagine the basket case that you must have been discovering that YOUR photos were not YOURS. That kind of thing just makes me sick to my stomach, and if my emotions are anything like your right now, I would have been a HOT MESS.

    (I;m not actually sure where all of my emotions came from, but they've shown up in full force this past week.)

    I so totally LOVE the picture that you posted.

    I really need to get my act together and schedule our maternity shoot.

    much love to you these next few weeks!

  4. If I lived near you, I would do them for free. I have done some maternity pics in the past and loved doing them. I can't bring myself to do any now, for obvious reasons, but I think I am pretty good for being amatuer.
    I am really sorry you had that crazy shock. That is far too much to charge for ownership of images.

  5. Aw man! That is crazy expensive! I had no idea! I love that pic :) I'm so excited for you! It's almost time!

  6. I am so glad you worked out a deal with the photographer. I learned my lesson the hard way once before as well with pictures so I knew to ask for prices of the actual photos before I started. My maternity photographer is taking forever to get me the photos and I've had moments of despair about what if I never got my pictures... I am so glad you got yours! We are getting so close.

  7. You definitely have to be careful with photographers. They're good at ripping people off. (Well, some of them are).

    I had a photographer picked for my wedding and we didn't sign any contracts or anything and 3 days before my wedding, she upped her fee by $500.

    I ended up having a friend (amateur photographer) take our wedding pictures and they turned out incredible.

  8. Just wanted to stop in and say hi! Hope you're doing well..and had a happy Thanksgiving!