As a professional newborn photographer, I get to work with families in many different situations, and this photo shoot with a precious rainbow baby felt really special. At my studio based in Katy, TX, I had collected together some rainbow baby props to use during the photo shoot. This has been planned in advance with the couple, and I was really looking forward to welcoming them into my studio.
After a season of longsuffering, a vibrant rainbow began to form.
“I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart) I am never without it.” —e.e. cummings
After experiencing a series of tragic pregnancy losses between their last son and this pregnancy, the Stellhorns began their in-vitro fertilization (IVF) journey in May of 2017. Shannon Stellhorn is a midwife who I work with frequently. Being able to photograph her precious rainbow baby was quite an honor and a privilege. Another birth photographer and I planned to capture this miracle IVF baby at Shannon’s home. However, Baby A simply couldn’t wait. Around 30 weeks, Shannon began experiencing contractions…intense contractions. Because it was far too early for Baby A to come earthside, Shannon was ordered to bed rest. Her time of rest definitely helped, but just a few weeks later, we’d learn the baby had other plans.
At 34 weeks, the long-awaited rainbow burst forth.
Baby A was born at the hospital. For her safety, we waited two-and-a-half weeks to do the rainbow baby photography session. We planned this session, giving special emphasis to the challenges that come with IVF – one of those being all of the vials and injections necessary to support the pregnancy. IVF is a silent struggle for so many and we were able to document a part of the magnitude of their journey in one impactful photo.
All of this plus bed rest, preterm labor, and numerous hospital visits are part of this miracle baby’s journey. The road through IVF is truly life-altering. It’s all so intense, and all worth it. After you enjoy the photos from this rainbow baby photo session, I’d encourage you to learn more about this sweet family and their IVF journey. Check out the full birth story for inspiration and encouragement, here.
Rainbow Baby Prop Ideas
In the photo below, I used a cute rainbow blanket I sourced from one of my vendor friends. If you are looking for rainbow baby photo ideas, this is an idea for a prop.
No matter your journey, I would love to help you document new life within your family. My studio, based in Katy, TX is a warm and welcoming environment to have photos created of your family. Your story is only yours and deserves to be celebrated. Let’s talk about it.