When a woman is having a baby, her doctor will often recommend an ultrasound to see how the child is developing. Yet these blurry black-and-white images do a poor job of communicating that there’s a real, living person growing inside.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to get detailed, colorful photos from inside the womb. Yet one talented mom is using her artistic abilities to bring these once dull sonograms to life.
Laura Steerman started painting sonograms when she was pregnant with her daughter back in 2016.
Laura Steerman is a lawyer from Dublin, Ireland and a mother of three. During one of her pregnancies, she was worried about her unborn daughter. So she took up a unique hobby to ease her mind.
“I began by painting my own daughter’s scans after several reduced movement scares,” she told POPSUGAR. “Each scan showed she was doing just fine despite the lack of kicks, but I felt the gray, blurry images just didn’t do her precious self justice.”
Ever since Steerman was a child, she would turn to arts and crafts as a coping mechanism. So she decided to return to this method of stress relief once more. She took out her paint supplies and started creating her own her own versions of the sonograms.
“It felt natural to take out my paints at my kitchen table at home and start painting to soothe my soul,” she told Love What Matters.
She made these paintings regularly, and soon her friends started to take notice.
Now she’s doing these paintings for others.
Once Steerman’s friends had seen her work, they started asking if she could paint their sonograms as well. When she did, word spread around to friends of friends and they too asked Steerman for paintings.
After many requests and even more soul-searching, Steerman started taking commissions for paintings as a second job.
“It became evident to me that working as an attorney was relatively devoid of any such meaning to me, and I was becoming unhappy,” she said. “Certainly, being an attorney paid the bills, but doing these baby ultrasound paintings feeds the soul.”
So she started Quaint Baby Bespoke Ultrasound Art, a business decision that she became more than happy with. Accepting only copies of sonograms for requests, Steerman can knock out a custom painting in just 2 weeks.
“It’s emotional painting babies in the womb for families. I have met so many wonderful people who have shared their stories with me. No two experiences or babies are the same,” Steerman told Popsugar.
Perhaps more exciting than the painting process itself though is the reactions parents get when they see the finished products.
“People’s reactions are unbelievable — ranging from joy, tears and gasps of surprise (in a good way!),” Steerman told Love What Matters.
Over the past 2 years, Steerman has painted all sorts of babies, including a set of twins with Down Syndrome.
Steerman paints all kinds of sonograms: Some babies are deep in development, others have just started. Some babies kick a lot, others remain relatively motionless. Parents often guide Steerman through the painting process, telling her what style they think best suits their child.
Some of the most memorable paintings she’s done are of children with special needs. When she read about Nicole Taylor, a mother expecting identical twins with Down Syndrome, she knew she had to reach out.
This was an ultra rare type of birth (with odds less than two in a million), so Steerman wanted to commemorate the occasion by giving Taylor a surprise painting free of charge.
“It was about reaching out as a mum when you naturally feel a desire to support another mum,” Steerman told Babble. “We all do this every day — whether it’s exchanging a glance of understanding, minding another’s kids so one mum can take a well-earned nap, or just being there when a friend needs you.
“I just reached out to a stranger and painted her baby’s ultrasound scan because I thought she was so very brave and it might make her day.”
Considering that every parent responds to these pictures in excitement, it’s very likely that the painting did indeed make her day. The rest of Steerman’s paintings have been shared widely on social media and for good reason.
“It’s capturing memories, emotions, personalities, and parenthood in a painting. A lot of moms are stunned to remember that baby grew in their tummy and they shared this remarkable time so closely together,” Steerman told PopSugar. “It’s their baby and their masterpiece.”
And finished! No filter used on this picture at all! Mum loves #dancing, especially through each #pregnancy. To reflect the dance that is pregnancy, all that wonderful movement we feel inside and each baby being rocked to her heartbeat, she's perfectly captioned this painting of her babies' #ultrasound…. "They danced with me" 💃♥️ #quaintbabyultrasoundart #abstractart #uniquegiftideas #uniqueart #sonogram #sonogramart #theydancedwithme