Military couple Nicole and Wesley Bedwell may have been half a world apart from each other, but one photographer found a way for the expecting parents to be together to celebrate their first pregnancy.
Having been deployed to Japan during his wife’s pregnancy, Wesley – a hospital corpsman with the U.S. Navy – was unable to be with his wife for their first maternity photo. But instead of leaving the new dad out of the experience, photographer Traci Lynn Fugitt found a way to incorporate his presence into the pair’s photos.
But it was one photo in particular that has caught the attention of social media.
“Nicole hired me for maternity, birth and newborn sessions – what I call ‘belly to baby,’ so she could document and share with Wesley overseas,” Fugitt, owner of Traci Lynn Photography, told Global News. “Wesley was bummed that he couldn’t be a part of the sessions, so we came up with a way for him to be included in the photos.”
So while Fugitt took the photos of Nicole back home in Mabank, Texas, over 10,500 km away, a friend took a picture of Wesley on his knee with his hand out reaching toward her belly.
Fugitt then worked her magic and placed the two pictures side-by-side.
“I enhanced the photos to bring life to them, and show that even miles apart, they were waiting for their little blessing together,” Fugitt said. “Nicole was very thankful for the portraits. She was speechless when they were delivered and said her family were calling her in disbelief of the emotions that were rushing over them, looking at these images.”
Initially, Nicole was set to give birth after April 22, but because Nicole had developed hypertension, doctors decided to induce her on April 12, Today reports.
After scrambling to find Wesley a flight home, he was able to arrive home the day before – just in time to see his baby girl come into the world.
And on April 13, Pyper Bedwell was born.
After the birth, Pyper spent some time in the NICU due to breathing issues but is now home with Mom and doing great, Fugitt said.
Luckily, however, Wesley was able to spend a few days with his new daughter before being deployed once again.
“There’s nothing else that I want to do more in the world than capture memories that families can hold dear for lifetimes to come, passing them from generation to generation,” Fuggit said. “We made something that Pyper can cherish for the rest of her life, and the story will forever be told.”