A pregnant woman had a maternity shoot in the hospital after having to induce her pregnancy early due to complications with preeclampsia.
In a video that has since gone viral on TikTok, Lexi Pratt showed viewers how they transformed her sister Jackie Kunzelman’s hospital room into a makeshift studio and took the photos in under 10 minutes. The video has since received over 1.3 million likes and over 1,900 comments on TikTok.
Kunzelman told Insider that she didn’t plan on having her maternity photo shoot in a hospital, but her body had different plans. When the new mom noticed that her hands and feet became swollen during the 36th week of her pregnancy, her obstetrician advised her to go to the hospital.
Testing indicated that Kunzelman had preeclampsia, a dangerous blood pressure condition that typically develops after the 20th week of pregnancy in some women, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
“My OB wanted to induce me because the treatment for preeclampsia is delivery,” Kunzelman told the outlet, saying that her obstetrician had hoped to delay inducing until her 37th week. “She wanted the baby to be considered term.”
In the days that followed, she was given steroid shots to help the development of her son’s lungs and closely monitored to see if the baby could “hold out” until the 37th week. However, at midnight on 11 October, the obstetrician ultimately decided to induce labour.
The day before, the mom-to-be recalled that she felt “overwhelmed and scared”. She told the outlet: “I wrote on my Instagram Story that I hoped everything would be okay.”
After she posted, her mom texted her that a dress from Etsy that she had planned on wearing in her maternity photoshoot had finally arrived in the mail after “running late”. Kunzelman said: “I was tracking it every day, but I figured I had a couple more weeks.”
Kunzelman said she was forced to push back her maternity photo shoot to the later stage of her pregnancy due to her busy schedule as a medical student. With the life-threatening issue of preeclampsia, she decided to make the best of her circumstances with a little help from her mom and sister, who are both professional photographers.
Together, her mom and sister set up an impromptu photoshoot in her hospital room, per her mom’s suggestion. They brought all the necessary supplies: makeup, hair and nail supplies, cameras, light stands, a backdrop, and the gown from Etsy.
Pratt told Insider: “We trooped past the nurse’s station with all this gear. We thought that it would be better to ask forgiveness than permission.”
In a short amount of time, Kunzelman’s family worked their magic, with Kunzelman’s husband Nic manning the studio lights, while her sister-in-law and niece were enlisted to do the mom-to-be’s hair, nails, and makeup. “I was attached to all these monitors. They couldn’t paint one of my nails because the pulse oximeter was clamped onto that finger,” she said.
Then, they were tasked with easing the heavily pregnant Kunzelman into the pink Etsy gown, which somehow went successfully to her surprise. “I had an IV on my arm that we somehow taped under the fabric,” she revealed. “Looking back, I’ve got no clue how we did it.”
Describing herself as someone who has “always thrived in chaos,” Pratt said that she had to take Kunzelman’s photographs in less than 10 minutes before a nurse came by to check her vitals. In the video Pratt later posted to TikTok, she showed how she snapped her sister standing on the hospital bed, and in front of a makeshift velvet backdrop hanging over the hospital room’s bathroom shower curtain. “It was a really intense background with the medical supplies and equipment,” Pratt added.
The footage captured the nurse’s “shocked” reaction, Kunzelman noted: “Luckily, she thought it was funny.”
Kunzelman told the outlet that being supported and surrounded by her family was “calming,” and helped her combat the stress of ending up having to undergo an emergency C-section.
On TikTok, the impromptu photo shoot has proven to be a hit with viewers, with many applauding the lengths the family went to. “You’re iconic for this,” one person commented, while another said: “Main character energy even in labour. Get it mama!”