During my pregnancy, like many other moms out there, I took month to month photos documenting the changes my body underwent to make room for my daughter, Keala Rose. It was through this collection of photos that I wondered how I could remember this life changing moment with a permanent homage to it. Something that was just as precious as your baby’s first footprint.
Belly casting was introduced to me by my close friend Filippo Ioco. He is an extremely gifted and creative artist. He walked me through the process and it seemed like a beautiful and unique way to capture my pregnancy. I wasted no time in scheduling my appointment!
We decided to do it around eight and a half months. When the day came, I was so excited. It felt like a celebratory moment for my journey into motherhood. We played music and my fiancé Kevin helped with putting on the plaster. It was hard for me to stand still and stop laughing because the plaster was cold and wet! The whole process took under an hour; Twenty minutes to plaster and another twenty minutes to dry and harden. When the cast was done, we discussed how Kevin and I wanted it to look. Keala means ‘the path’ in Hawaiian, and since her name is Keala Rose, we wanted the cast to reflect all the meanings of her name; A rosy path. With our ideas fully outlined, we gave him creative freedom to bring the belly cast to life. It’s funny, a girlfriend of mine said she did a cast as well but it stays in her closet. When I asked her why, she said it was just the white plaster and when her nephews came over, they asked if those big things were her boobs! I gave her Filippo’s information so she could get it painted and be proud of it!!! lol
After a week, the final touches were made and my belly cast was ready for me to pick up. Naturally, I was anxious to see what it looked like! The final product brought tears to my eyes as I stared at this beautifully painted reflection of my pregnancy. Filippo puts so much love into his work, I couldn’t have imagined it better!
He painted a stream of water, like a path, that led up and into a light in the heart space, with roses everywhere! Then sprinkled it with fairy dust glitter, which I’m sure Keala will love! It’s absolutely stunning! The pictures don’t do it justice)
The experience was so awesome that all I could think of was sharing the story with my daughter later in life… Saying “that was you in mommy’s belly”. It also serves proof of how big my belly really was. :) Overall, it was a fun project that will always connect me to the memory. My belly cast now hangs in my daughter’s room as a reminder of the journey we took together!
Keala Rose was welcomed into the world September 18, 2011