Giving birth to a baby is a special and exciting time in any woman’s life. But for Maria Crider, this momentous occasion took on an extra layer of poignance.
Maria was only 11 weeks along when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The brave woman fought a long and grueling battle against the disease. She also carried her unborn son to term.
Obviously, it was an intense and emotional experience when Maria’s baby was finally born. Luckily, photographer Bonnie Hussey was on hand to capture the incredible moment.
The Orlando-based birth photographer took a series of stunning images throughout Maria’s labor and delivery.
After being shared online, the beautiful photos went viral. Many women applauded Maria’s resilience and congratulating her on the birth of her new baby boy.
Scroll through below to see several of the gorgeous images that Bonnie captured!
Thumbnail Photo: Bonnie Hussey
[H/T: Huffington Post]
Maria and her husband were already parents to two kids when she became pregnant with their third child.
Maria was 11 weeks along when she received devastating news.
In October 2016, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Maria, who was able to receive medically safe cancer treatments during her second and third trimesters, explained to Huffington Post that being pregnant while battling cancer had been an ordeal.
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster,” she told HuffPost. “I’ve been through a unilateral mastectomy, a planned Cesarean, a salpingectomy, 16 chemotherapies, 25 out of 28 radiations. I still have ways to go before I can put this part of my life behind me.”
Maria finally gave birth to Logan on April 13, 2017. To the couple’s immense joy and relief, he was born perfectly healthy.
The mom of three was even able to watch her own C-section live, thanks to a camera and monitor set up by the doctor.
“It was very cool, but the biggest thing for me was seeing him born and be totally perfect,” Maria explained. “I did four cycles of Adriamycin and Cytoxan while pregnant. His delivery was confirmation that everything the doctors had told me was true and that he was perfectly healthy.”
Maria said that she cried when she finally saw the photos from Logan’s birth.
Bonnie, for her part, knew from the moment she heard Maria’s story that she wanted to give her a free birth photography session.
A mutual friend of theirs tagged Maria in Bonnie’s giveaway post. The photographer said she wanted to give back to the Central Florida community she’d grown up in.
Bonnie was particularly struck by the moment that Maria attempted to breastfeed and the kindness of the medical team attending to her.
“Even though she and the nurses knew that breastfeeding was a slim possibility, given the circumstances ― only one breast and having gone through chemotherapy during her pregnancy for triple negative breast cancer ― her postpartum nurses encouraged her to try,” Bonnie recalled.
Sharing the powerful photos with Love What Matters, Bonnie explained what she’d learned from being a part of Maria’s breast-cancer journey:
Maria taught me so much, through her fight with Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)…She was diagnosed with TNBC after she was pregnant. She went through chemotherapy up until a few weeks before birthing her baby, continued treatment shortly after birth and has recently completed radiation.
From the moment I met her, she has had this determination that she is going to beat this. It was truly an honor to be a part of her birthing day. I can only hope she will be able to look back on her images and see how strong she truly is.
Maria said that she wanted to share her birth photos to raise awareness that pregnant women faced with a cancer diagnosis can battle the disease and give birth to healthy babies.
“I hope it gives them the courage to talk to their doctors, seek a course of action that’s right for both Mom and Baby,” she told HuffPost. “I want it to give them reassurance that you can go through certain treatment while pregnant. Logan is proof, and he’s just one of hundreds of babies born after chemo.”
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