Even If You Don't Believe in Ghosts, This Maternity Photo Will Give You Chills

Rainbow baby maternity shoot
Jessica Brandau: Photographer

Many parents refer to their little ones born after a miscarriage or a stillbirth as rainbow babies because it alludes to the brightness after the tragic storm. For Kelly Luethe, her loss was compounded when a heartbreaking miscarriage was followed by the unexpected death of her husband. However, Kelly was 18 weeks pregnant with their rainbow baby at the time of Jarrett's car accident in August, and although he is no longer with them on Earth, what was captured during her chill-inducing maternity shoot shows that this devoted husband is still by his pregnant wife's side.

  • Kelly didn't take maternity photos during her first two pregnancies and still wasn't sure about the idea.

    "I was very hesitant to even want to because I was unsure how my emotions would be," Kelly tells CafeMom. "The main reason I wanted to do them was to have Jarrett photoshopped in and be 'faded' to include him in pictures of our little boy who is yet to be born." 

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  • On the day of the shoot, Kelly's photographer noticed both a rainbow and a green orb hovering near her belly.

    "When Jess, my photographer, showed me the rainbow over my belly while we were shooting, I instantly thought of Jarrett and how our son was our rainbow baby, and [I] knew then Jarrett was there," she says. "It really gave me goose bumps and I started to tear up. It breaks my heart that our little guy will never get to meet his dad. So having the rainbows and orbs was a complete shock and such an amazing surprise."

    More from CafeMom: The Tear-Inducing Story Behind This Angel Tattoo Newborn Photo

  • In addition to the sentimental rainbow, the green orb in the photos also has incredible meaning.

    At first, the color stood out because green is her favorite and Kelly had been hoping for a sign from Jarrett since his death. But the more research she did into orbs, the more convinced she became of its connection to her husband. "I looked up what the color of an orb could mean and green is from a happy spirit visiting and sending healing energy," she says. "Which I believe. Jarrett was happy, he loved life. He was an amazing husband and father. How I’m trying to look at it is he left this world a happy man. It may have left me questioning and sad and grieving but I’m so thankful he was happy."


  • For Kelly, this is what faith looks like and nobody can take that away from her.

    "There is something much bigger out there and you can take my experience however you want but I know my husband is my and our kids' guardian angel now," she says. "He is so deeply missed, and to have this happen warms my broken heart. I needed this from him. He is still taking care of me even after he has passed."

    More from CafeMom: These Raw Photos Capture What Life as a NICU Mom Is Really Like

  • Although some question the significance behind what the camera captured, Kelly knows that it was simply her husband.

    As some are quick to point out that the rainbow and orb could be nothing more than glare from the sun and Jessica's camera lens, both mom and photographer doubt it. "While we know that happens in photography, the placement of the rainbow and brightness of the colors and the fact that I moved around and we even switched locations and the rainbow is still there and so is the orb .... " she says. "I believe and I just know my husband had something to do with that."

    Photographer Jessica added that she had noticed the "rainbow" in one of the photos during the session, and although she thought it was eerie in the moment, it wasn't until she looked at them later that it hit her. "After I got home that night I uploaded the photos to my computer and was shocked to see that the rainbows and 'orbs' had shown up in almost every single photo," Jessica says. "I know that some people will chalk it up to lens flare and light refraction, but in the time that I have been photographing professionally I have never seen it show up as strongly, and in every photo, the way that it did in Kelly's photos. I truly believe that Jarrett was with Kelly that day and that these photos show that beauty can rise out of devastation."
  • Although Jarrett and Kelly knew that she was pregnant before his car accident, she didn't find out that she was having a boy until the day after his funeral.

    "I decided to keep the appointment even though it was the day after his funeral and I took my mom and his mom with," Kelly says. "It was extremely bittersweet." 

miscarriage & loss