Not that I’m assuming you were on the edge of your seat on this henna belly business or anything, but in case you WERE interested, just a tiny bit, here’s how the design turned out:



I think the artist did an amazing job, especially considering how often STP kicked and squirmed during the whole process.


It took about an hour, and it was oddly relaxing — almost like a massage. She used wonderful-smelling essential oils and the sensation of the henna dispenser thingie was like having someone lightly trace your skin with their fingernail. This is how the artwork looked right after she finished it, the dark inky part will flake off and leave a much lighter auburnish tone. I plan to take more pictures at that point, but thought I’d capture the fresh-henna look because it’s almost as pretty as the final result.


Yes, that’s the letter D in the middle of the design, but I’m not telling what it stands for. Maybe it has to do with Smalltopus’s name, maybe it’s a secret message from me to the baby, maybe it just means DORK.


108 Responses to “Initial henna photos: the bellying”

  1. misty on January 21st, 2008 10:19 pm

    how beautiful!!! you will truly have a wonderful memory of that! how sweet!

  2. Becky on January 21st, 2008 10:20 pm

    That is SOOOOO cool…makes me wish I was still pregnant so I could do it too!!!

  3. angela on January 21st, 2008 10:22 pm


  4. Sara on January 21st, 2008 10:26 pm

    Ooh! Two hints on the name, which narrows it down to two possibilities. And I like them both as first names (or middle). (I’m rooting for one, but I won’t say which…)
    Beautiful belly artwork, too! :)

  5. Yams on January 21st, 2008 10:27 pm

    Not sure if the henna lady told you to constantly dab the henna with lime juice. It intensifies the color.

    What a novel idea. I’m from India so have had henna put on my hands and feet on a number of occasions but never something like this. Lovely.

  6. Mary on January 21st, 2008 10:33 pm

    I absolutely love this. What beautiful artwork. I have had a few henna tattoos and liked them a lot, but nothing at this level. I’m jealous. Not enough to get pregnant again, but jealous all the same. Wish I’d thought of it.

  7. Yams on January 21st, 2008 10:34 pm

    Oops I forgot it’s lime juice + sugar, make it into a syrup and dab on the henna when it starts to dry.

  8. Rayne on January 21st, 2008 10:45 pm

    So very cool. I want to get pregnant just so I can have that done!

  9. Anne L. on January 21st, 2008 10:47 pm

    Man, that really is beautiful! I wish that someone in my neck of the country did this.

  10. Kirsten on January 21st, 2008 11:09 pm

    Oh wow, that is SO AWESOME!!! I want that!
    Feel like divulging how much it cost??

  11. Angela on January 21st, 2008 11:10 pm

    Wow. That is amazing, remarkable and beautiful.

  12. sundry on January 21st, 2008 11:22 pm

    Kirsten: the artist charges $60/hr and it took about an hour; I gave her $80.

  13. aoife on January 21st, 2008 11:23 pm

    Another way to make the ink darker… Blowdryer on warm setting… it always works for me… you won’t see results until later.

    Beeee-youtiful henna work. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Lauren on January 21st, 2008 11:38 pm

    yay! Congrats on doing that, it’s really cool.

  15. Laura on January 21st, 2008 11:50 pm

    Wow, that’s amazing looking. What a wonderful way to celebrate! :) Thanks for sharing.

  16. Jo on January 21st, 2008 11:52 pm

    That looks amazing, what a neat thing to do.

  17. Shelly Kang on January 21st, 2008 11:52 pm

    That is really neat! What awesome work, and great photos. I want to see how it looks once the paste flakes off.

  18. Lesley on January 22nd, 2008 12:20 am

    I’ll say it again: A.w.e.s.o.m.e!

    It’s so very beautiful.

    You’re in such great shape, too.

  19. WCD on January 22nd, 2008 1:04 am

    this is utterly stunning — love love love it. And your belly button is now officially popped — you are truly beautiful.

  20. Jennifer on January 22nd, 2008 1:45 am

    hmog! so pretty and you are in such fantastic shape! you’ve inspired me to get healthier for when we start trying for a baby!

  21. Super Sarah on January 22nd, 2008 2:23 am

    wow, just wow. that is the coolest thing I have seen in a while, beautiful! your belly looks amazing!

  22. Amber on January 22nd, 2008 2:54 am

    I THINK I KNOW!!!!

    BUT… I will be a good girl and not spoil the name-game surprise :-)

  23. Jem on January 22nd, 2008 3:29 am

    That is beautiful!!! I didn’t notice a D…can I hazard a guess with Daniel? I just like that name :)

  24. Eric's Mommy on January 22nd, 2008 4:50 am


  25. HollowSquirrel on January 22nd, 2008 4:58 am

    gorgeous! um, but why is your belly tinier than mine? Not fair. I think the artist would need a spray can for me…

    Personally? I think the D stands for the name… and I’m pretty sure you’re going with a “DeXxxx” or “D’xxx” — I’ve heard those are way in. Maybe DeJayhden? YES! WINNER!

  26. Tess on January 22nd, 2008 5:14 am

    Your belly looks beautiful and the artwork is stunning. I looks amazing! I have to hazard a guess at Daniel, but I can wait until February to find out. Enjoy your last few weeks!

  27. Katie (The Yap) on January 22nd, 2008 5:21 am

    Wow! I never did maternity pictures, but THIS? THIS IS AWESOME! I love the detail. It is so cool! How long does it last? I bet the doctor will shit if it is still there on Csection day!

  28. Katie (The Yap) on January 22nd, 2008 5:22 am

    P.S. I was CONVINCED the baby’s name was going to be Oliver. I guess I was wrong. Maybe it is Doliver.

  29. warcrygirl on January 22nd, 2008 5:48 am

    That looks great! Oh how I wish I had heard of this when I was pregnant, I’d have tried this in a heartbeat.

  30. Keri on January 22nd, 2008 6:05 am

    Wow! That’s absolutely beautiful! You’ve inspired me to do a henna design on my belly when I’m pregnant again! What did Riley and JB think of your belly?

  31. Kathryn on January 22nd, 2008 6:05 am

    That looks GORGEOUS, Linda. Now you just have to hope that this small D creature can hold off on being born until you’ve had some time to enjoy your beautiful belly art. :)

  32. superblondgirl on January 22nd, 2008 6:05 am

    That is so gorgeous!! I can’t remember the baby name list, but I am so going to find it and figure out the D names and…
    Actually, no. I will just go get more coffee and pretent to work. I am too lazy for all that effort. But, yeah, I’m betting a D name! Like Dork! Awww, little baby Dork, too cute.

  33. rakel on January 22nd, 2008 6:09 am

    So beautiful. Wish we had that over here, although they probably would have charged me double due to size! I think you should definately go wild with the camera on this one.

  34. jonniker on January 22nd, 2008 6:28 am

    So. cool.

    Also, because I am functionally obtuse, I never, and I mean NEVER, would have noticed the D if you hadn’t mentioned it. It’s backwards and all that, so I would have assumed it was some sort of fancy-dancy design, like a flower petal or something …

  35. Tessie on January 22nd, 2008 6:44 am

    Oh wow, that first one is especially gorgeous. You look like some kind of PREGNANCY MODEL or something!

    Also, I’m with Jonniker on the “D”, except, um, I sort of STILL can’t see it.

  36. Erica on January 22nd, 2008 6:53 am

    Linda, those are quite possibly the most beautiful pregnant belly pictures I have ever seen. What a fantastic way to memorialize STP’s stay in your belly!

  37. Christine on January 22nd, 2008 6:57 am

    Um, where are your giant, bright-red/purple, leech-like stretch marks? Oh wait, not everyone is as lucky as me?!

    Looks beautiful!

  38. Liz on January 22nd, 2008 6:58 am

    This is BEAUTIFUL, and I hope you don’t mind, I fully intend on stealing this idea a little later in my pregnancy.

    [[also, feeling totally ashamed that it's TAKEN ME THIS LONG to come visit your blawg. I knows hows me interweb friends lurves you so. I will now commence with the blog stalking.]]

  39. mona on January 22nd, 2008 7:06 am

    That’s beautiful, Linda!

  40. Leticia on January 22nd, 2008 7:16 am

    So sweet. It is soooo beautiful.

  41. Cara on January 22nd, 2008 7:23 am

    Ummm yeah, where are your stretchmarks???? How did you manage to have TWO children without them? I’m jealous.
    That is a really cool idea. I would hazard a guess at the name but my mind only comes up with unusual/Southern names. I’m guessing your child’s name isn’t going to be Declan.

  42. Jummy on January 22nd, 2008 7:29 am

    Your belly is beautiful and I hope I have a belly that nice when I’m pregnant.

    If I have to judge how my preggo belly will look based on my current belly, I’m doomed!

  43. mandy on January 22nd, 2008 7:45 am

    THAT is amazingly beautiful! And so are you! I totally hate you for your perfectly perfect baby belly. Totally.

  44. Mary on January 22nd, 2008 7:48 am

    Wow, that is so cool!! Very very pretty.

  45. Zoot on January 22nd, 2008 7:50 am

    So you know – I’ve contacted a henna artist 120 miles from here to see if I can get this done. This will probably be our last pregnancy and I’ve been wanting to commemorate it. How long did it take?

  46. Zoot on January 22nd, 2008 7:51 am

    Nevermind. I reread. An hour. Am dumb. Thanks.

  47. Swistle on January 22nd, 2008 7:54 am

    That is one of the most beautiful things I have EVER SEEN. Now you should go to a portrait studio (JCP is good in our area, and easier to get an appointment if you don’t have time to wait) and get pregnancy pics taken. With your henna and your arm tattoo, you will totally be the coolest pregnant woman EVER.

  48. michelle/weaker vessel on January 22nd, 2008 7:56 am

    Gorgeous gorgeous. Did you do this as part of a Blessingway ceremony?

  49. Kristin C on January 22nd, 2008 7:57 am

    Oh My Gosh!! This is so beautiful! I saw some pictures of a hippy chick in the deep rainforest with this done on flickr…and really liked it but had no idea were to even look for this type of “service”….thanks for sharing!

  50. jillian on January 22nd, 2008 8:01 am

    That is simply beautiful :)

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I wish I would have done something like that when I was pregnant.


  51. Amy M. on January 22nd, 2008 8:03 am

    The henna looks fabulous! I can’t believe how tiny you look for how far along you are! I’m so jealous. I’m only 1/2way through with my 2nd & becoming quite bulbous.

    I know – you’re a huge Jets fan & STP will be named D’Brickashaw. Or Deion for Deion Branch (or Grant) of the Seahawks.

  52. Jess on January 22nd, 2008 8:03 am


  53. Meg on January 22nd, 2008 8:04 am

    So cool! I am totally filing this away for when I start having babies.

  54. taryn on January 22nd, 2008 8:20 am

    i love it!! what a beautiful design. i would definitely do this….

  55. Kristie on January 22nd, 2008 8:30 am

    It’s absolutely breathtaking.

  56. ollka on January 22nd, 2008 8:31 am

    How incredibly beautiful! I wonder how it felt for STP from inside.

  57. Someone Being Me on January 22nd, 2008 8:32 am

    That is so cool. I can’t wait to see the henna once the black comes off. And you do not look huge. You look like I did when I gave birth at just under 33 weeks. No strech marks either. You are killing me!!

  58. Naomi the Strange on January 22nd, 2008 8:37 am

    WOW! The henna looks GREAT! When my sis was preg, we wrote on her belly w/ highlighter pens and then I took some long-exposure shots with blacklight. It looked super cool. I hope you get some professional photos taken of your henna belly! :) I love it!!

  59. Christina on January 22nd, 2008 8:44 am

    delurking to say that you look amazing! What a great way to celebrate the belly. Did she say how long it will last? Im intrested in what your OB will say and if it will still be there for the birth. I bet they will be amazed, what a suprise when you lift your top for the fundus measuring! ha

  60. BRash on January 22nd, 2008 9:12 am

    It’s beautiful.

    You have some comments about making it darker. In India and Pakistan, henna is supposed to be as dark as possible. There are some myths that when you get henna done on your hands and arms for you wedding – how dark the inside (palms) are show how much your husband loves you, and how dark the outside is shows how much your mother-in-law loves you. That’s why all the lime juice, sugar water, blow dryer suggestions to make it darker. I personally just keep getting it wet again. That seems to be the whole point of the lime juice/sugar water thing, and it makes sense. When its wet it’s seeping into your skin, so keep it wet = more seeping.

    Wonder if that means Baby Dork will love you lots. OOOH! If you’d had it done with your 1st pregnancy you could compare pictures and figure out which one of your kids loves you less!

  61. ali on January 22nd, 2008 9:48 am

    stunning! i so wish i had done that!

  62. M.A. on January 22nd, 2008 9:51 am

    If SOME of us were devious enough we could go BACK to your entry with the top 100 baby names, scroll through the first 40, and… well, you know the rest. I’m sure no one would do that — just sayin’. (Delete this comment if it creates a stir of ‘I bet Smalltopuse’s name is THIS!’) I bet it felt very cool to have that done — after all the workout your parts have had from the inside, to have someone gently dare-I-say-tickle the outside must have been fabulous. OH, and yes. No stretch marks. Perfectly, healthily (word?) pregnant — you have kept the weight off and look great.

  63. Shannon on January 22nd, 2008 10:02 am

    It is gorgeous! I wish I had thought to do something line that. I was always waiting until I got bigger…but having babies early means you don’t get everything done, haha.

  64. ie on January 22nd, 2008 10:07 am

    Awesome! And totally negates the whole “beached manatee” comments.

    What a way to celebrate!

  65. oregoncoastgirl on January 22nd, 2008 10:35 am


  66. skiplovey on January 22nd, 2008 10:38 am

    That looks fantastic! Makes you want show off the belly a bit more now huh? I’m totally doing that next time..

  67. Colleen on January 22nd, 2008 10:42 am

    Very cool!

  68. Amy on January 22nd, 2008 11:16 am

    That is one of the coolest things I’ve *ever* seen.

  69. Shelly on January 22nd, 2008 11:21 am

    That is absolutely gorgeous. I want to get pregnant just to do that. Stunning.

  70. Shelly on January 22nd, 2008 11:21 am

    That is absolutely gorgeous. I want to get pregnant again just to do that. Stunning.

  71. Bianca on January 22nd, 2008 11:25 am

    It looks so incredibly beautiful and I can’t wait to get pregnant to be able to do this too.

    I should probably work on finding someone to actually make a baby with first, huh?

  72. Laura on January 22nd, 2008 12:42 pm

    That is so cool!

  73. amber on January 22nd, 2008 1:15 pm

    OH COOL. I love it. You have the best ideas, I swear. I want to be pregnant now just so I can get cool designs on MY belly. I guess I wouldn’t HAVE to be pregnant, but…

  74. Vanda on January 22nd, 2008 1:22 pm

    I think that is just amazingly beautiful. How I eney pregnant women today. Celebrate that bump and y’all don’t have to hide like we did in my day.

  75. Molly on January 22nd, 2008 1:33 pm

    Google Reader recommended your blog to me today and the first thing I see is that beautiful belly! Stunning!

  76. Melissa on January 22nd, 2008 2:37 pm

    Beautiful! Thinking about doing it myself. :)

  77. Amy on January 22nd, 2008 2:41 pm

    THAT IS SO FREAKIN’ COOL! What a wonderfully cool thing to do. So much better than the baby cast thing….kinda freaks me out, and whoa, think about the storage issues. Thank you for sharing!!!!

  78. Leah on January 22nd, 2008 2:47 pm

    That’s incredibly awesome. You’re going topless now to show it off, yes?

    (I’ve been thinking it’s Owen all this time, but now I’m not so sure…)

  79. mixette on January 22nd, 2008 3:12 pm

    That is the coolest pregnant-y thing ever! You may feel like a manatee, but you look fabulous. Fabulous!

  80. Erica on January 22nd, 2008 3:30 pm

    That is just so beautiful!

    And I, too, did not notice the D until you mentioned it, what with it being backward and all.

  81. missbanshee on January 22nd, 2008 4:06 pm

    GORGEOUS! And both my name and my brother’s name start with “D” so I’m also taking it as a personal shoutout. And speaking of my brother, might I add that “Derek” is a perfectly cromulent name.

  82. Miss Cee on January 22nd, 2008 4:14 pm

    It looks amazing – I now want to be pregnant just so I can be henna-ed. And because I’m a horrible creepy stalker, I went back through the names list and checked out those that start with D – I think I’ve figured out which one I’m placing my bet on ;-)

  83. reddirtroad on January 22nd, 2008 4:37 pm

    That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.

  84. Jen on January 22nd, 2008 4:52 pm

    You look great and the henna is amazing!
    I would have giggled the entire time!! I giggle when I get a peddi, so something like this would have had me in fits of giggles! :)

    You look wonderful!!! Hang in there!! :)

  85. Anonymous on January 22nd, 2008 4:54 pm

    Please be Dylan and not Daniel!

    (This is going by the only two D names in the first 40 top baby names you said STP’s name was in)

  86. lisa-marie on January 22nd, 2008 5:16 pm

    The design is amazing! It’s really beautiful!

  87. AmyChop on January 22nd, 2008 6:06 pm

    love love love this

  88. Emily on January 22nd, 2008 6:40 pm

    This look great! I most surely want to get this done when my time comes.

  89. SJ on January 22nd, 2008 6:42 pm

    Wow, I love it. Absolutely love it! And I have to say….wish I was having a third so I too could do this.

  90. Joanie on January 22nd, 2008 7:38 pm

    Beautiful. Too bad it’s to freakin’ cold to show it off. DAMN THIS WEATHER! ;)

  91. Val on January 22nd, 2008 8:50 pm

    It beautiful. What a cool idea!

  92. C on January 22nd, 2008 11:02 pm

    The name is Delovely. I just know it.

  93. Kristin on January 23rd, 2008 12:07 am

    That is some seriously brilliant belly art. And you have the perfect bump: taut, stretchmark-proof, and how did you avoid the sketchily protruding belly button? Wish I’d done this.

  94. incvd on January 23rd, 2008 2:36 am

    Wow! Awesome!

  95. Oh, The Joys on January 23rd, 2008 9:32 am

    How cool! I did that too!

  96. Tanya on January 23rd, 2008 1:05 pm

    Wow – this is absolutely gorgeous. Your belly looks amazing!
    If I ever have kids, I am definitely doing this.

  97. victoria on January 23rd, 2008 1:29 pm

    You always look fabulous, clothed or naked, hennaed or not, but I’m thrilled you shared this photo with the internets. Thank you, you cutie!

  98. SemiDesperate Housewife on January 23rd, 2008 3:47 pm

    That is AMAZING! I just had my son five months ago and so haven’t been feeling too many pangs to be pregnant just yet, but that picture did it! I want a big belly again!

  99. Donna on January 23rd, 2008 4:10 pm

    so lets see the finished product! The tattoo, and then the smalltopus. I love them both already!
    And JB said?
    I vote for Daniel. Danny and Riley. Riley and Danny.

  100. Lawyerish on January 23rd, 2008 4:33 pm

    That is super, super cool. You have a phenomenally beautiful belly (with or without henna). And I never would have noticed the “D” but now I will revise my earlier guess of Owen and say it’s D’Owen. D’Oh! for short.

  101. Josh on January 23rd, 2008 8:47 pm

    Well then little miss crappy hints, if I am following the clues correctly, your new spawn will be dubbed either Dylan or Daniel. Cool either way. Rock star, survived the lions den. Both rock. Of course, you could just be fucking with our heads in some sort of sadistic blog game you’ve created in the spirit of Cloverfield previews. Who knows.

    Your belly looks wicked cool. Mine has an L in the middle. For lint.

  102. Sara on January 23rd, 2008 9:43 pm

    Am guessing “Dylan” for Smalltopus’s name, because what’s better than Internet strangers getting all nosy about something as personal as your unborn child’s name? NOTHING, THAT’S WHAT.

    The henna looks great — I couldn’t lurk any longer after I saw it. That is the way to be a kickass mom.

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  104. Leah on April 8th, 2011 7:52 pm

    Hi! Is it possible to get the name of the henna artist who did this design? I have a client who wants a similar design, and I’d like to give the original artist some props if I end up posting a photo somewhere. Thanks so much!!!

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