40 Moms Celebrate Rainbow Babies in 'Incredible' Photo Shoot After Suffering Miscarriages
Photographer Ashley Sargent has spent months photographing newborn rainbow babies — a baby born after a miscarriage or stillbirth. It was only a matter of time before she brought the mothers together for an extra special photo shoot.
On July 21, Sargent, of Ashley Sargent Photography, LLC, gathered 40 mothers in Fyffe, Alabama, with many holding their babies as they posed for photos while dressed in all the colors of the rainbow. The resulting images show the women holding balloons and letting them go to honor their lost little ones.
“It was very humbling and very emotional. I cried seeing them all together and seeing all of us who have overcome,” Sargent tells PEOPLE. “Knowing each of them and hearing their stories, it was just incredible to step back and see what we had all pulled together. I knew nearly all the moms personally. I had seen their stories unfold.”
Sargent says she got the idea after doing several newborn photo shoots of rainbow babies. She shared a few online, and several moms commented on the photos with their own stories.
“One mom even said she never liked the term ‘rainbow baby,’ but after seeing the photos she felt differently,” Sargent recalls. “After so many moms commented over and over, I began to have a vision of seeing all the moms standing together, dressed in shades of the rainbow, holding their miracle child.”
She shared the group photos on Facebook, and the post amassed hundreds of shares and comments and 2,000 “likes.”
Kelli Kidd, a mom of two, posed in the photo with her 4-year-old son, Lawson, after experiencing two miscarriages in 2012, according to Good Morning America.
“It was just true devastation,” Kidd told GMA of the losses. “You go in and see on a screen that your baby is not moving, no heartbeat … the silence. A lot of things go through your mind — you think, ‘Is something wrong with me?’ You do go through some fear and uncertainty.”
She added: “I felt so alone. I really didn’t have anyone to seek out help from. I felt like if I could be a part of [the photo shoot], it might help someone else.”
Sargent says each of the women signed up for a color and excitedly picked their outfits. The shoot took four weeks to organize, but “I love to have a project I can be passionate about,” says Sargent.
She documented the event in a video in which the mothers are shown laughing and sharing their stories.
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Sargent — who described the shoot as part of a healing process — spoke through tears as she opened up about struggling with infertility herself.
“I asked that they remember the feelings they had,” she told GMA, “and let go of the pain they had felt.”