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Belly cast becomes treasured token of pregnancy

picture disc.
Kathleen Borgmann captured her pregnant form in three-dimension with help from Andy Wolfe, director of The Brace Place.
Sitting on Kathleen Borgmann's dining room table is a full-size model of her pregnant belly.

It's not your typical centerpiece, but the distinctive sculpture is a treasured token of the Borgmann's growing family.

"It's really an odd thing to have and not something you put on your living room wall for the next 20 years," Borgmann said. "But, I knew if I didn't do it now I wouldn't have the opportunity."

The belly casting idea was conceived after the birth of her second son, Oskar. "I had missed the opportunity with him, but said if I had another kid I was going to do this."

It's a boy!

Egan Donald Borgmann was born Monday, June 7, at 3:45 p.m. weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces and measuring 21 inches. Mother and son are doing well.

So, last month, the UNMC research technologist began searching online for belly casting kits to forever capture her pregnant form in three-dimension. She didn't have four to six weeks, however, to wait for kits to be mailed. The couple's third child is due June 12 (see sidebar for news on the baby's arrival).

Instead, Borgmann called Omaha-area businesses in search of plaster gauze, but found none.

Then she called The Brace Place at UNMC's Munroe-Meyer Institute and spoke with Director Andy Wolfe, who has spent the past five years at UNMC making customized orthotics and prosthetics for kids and adults. "He asked me if I knew how messy that stuff was and proceeded to offer to cast it for me in fiberglass as a much faster and less messy setting," Borgmann said.

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Andy Wolfe cuts the lightweight body cast off Borgmann to allow it to further harden.
"Family is pretty important," said Wolfe, who charged Borgmann only for the supplies. "I knew I could do it more quickly and neatly and give her a better product."

Wolfe, who has eight children and 14 grandchildren, once made a fiberglass torso for his pregnant wife so she could use it to make maternity dresses and tops.

The next day, Borgmann and her husband, Jason, spent an hour at The Brace Place as Wolfe wrapped neutral-colored fiberglass netting around Borgmann from her armpits to her hips. Within minutes, Wolfe cut the lightweight body cast off Borgmann to allow it to further harden.

picture disc."It's a beautiful reproduction of my baby belly," a giddy Borgmann said. "Andy was so sweet to volunteer his time. My oldest son sees it and says 'mommy has two bellies.' "

For now, the $48, three-dimensional reminder of Borgmann's full-term pregnant profile sits on the dining room table. "I don't know quite what to do with it," she said. "When we find out the sex (of the baby) it might affect how we decorate it. Then we'll probably put the kids' handprints on it and keep it in the baby room for a while."

Borgmann and her husband have two sons, Kyricc, 3 1/2 years old, and Oskar, 21 months.

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