31/12/2016 6:57 AM AEDT

A Birth Photographer Shares Her Favorite Images From 2016

After capturing 65 births, here are the ones that stood out.

Monet Nicole

In 2016 alone, Denver-based birth photographer Monet Nicole attended 65 births, capturing an incredible range of intimate moments.

Nicole began specializing in birth photography in 2013 after the birth of her first daughter (she now has two). Birth photography, she believes, not only helps moms and families connect to the best parts of their labor and delivery experiences, but also see the small, powerful moments they may have otherwise forgotten or missed. 

Here, Nicole shares 15 of her favorite moments from the last year.

  • 1 When this elated mama met her sweet preemie.
    Monet Nicole
    "This woman's water broke at 33 weeks and we never dreamed her baby would stay inside for another 10 days. Once he was born, he received delayed cord clamping and immediate skin-to-skin with his elated mom before going to the NICU."
  • 2 When this little guy visited his mom's office.
    Monet Nicole
    "This little guy came into the world at the same place that his mom works! She's a local Denver midwife and gave birth to her first baby this year."
  • 3 When this proud auntie burst into tears.
    Monet Nicole
    "The bond between sisters is one of my favorite moments to capture. The look on this woman's face when she saw her nephew for the first time still takes my breath away."
  • 4 When this baby was born 'en caul.'
    Monet Nicole
    "En caul births, where the baby is born in the amniotic sac, are rare." [Estimates suggest that they happen only in about 1 out of every 80,000 births.]
  • 5 When this watchful pup wasn't so sure about his new family member.
    Monet Nicole
    "This sweet dog didn't leave his owners during the entire labor and birth. After, he looked a little skeptical about the new arrival!"
  • 6 When this mama tapped into her raw power.
    Monet Nicole
    "Labor is one of the most incredible acts to witness. The strength, the beauty ... women are pressed right up against the edge."
  • 7 When this newborn sucked on her surgeon's finger.
    Monet Nicole
    "This sweet baby -- born via C-section -- started sucking on her surgeon's hand as she was being born. You can see 'Happy Birthday, Everly' written on her mom's stomach as well!"
  • 8 When this ridiculously cute birth attendant stuck by her mom.
    Monet Nicole
    "This sweet little girl wouldn't leave her mother's side during labor. This image was taken only 15 minutes before her baby sister was born!"
  • 9 When this umbilical cord got all wrapped up—but everyone was OK.
    Monet Nicole
    "We all marveled at this baby's cord. It was wrapped around her body like a belt, but caused no fetal distress during labor or birth."
  • 10 When this couple fell in love all over again.
    Monet Nicole
    "Birth stories are love stories...and the love between this couple was passionate and immense."
  • 11 When this baby came out fast and furious.
    Monet Nicole
    "This home birth progressed so quickly that the midwife and I ran into the bathroom and found the baby being born. Dad reached down and expertly helped guide his daughter into the world."
  • 12 When this baby latched right on.
    Monet Nicole
    "Everything seems to quiet when a new baby is at his mother's breast. I love the peacefulness and intimacy of this moment."
  • 13 When this girl became a proud big sister.
    Monet Nicole
    "This little girl watched the birth of her baby brother with wide eyes and wonder."
  • 14 When she watched her own sister become a mom.
    Monet Nicole
    "My little sister had her first baby this November. She called me at 4 a.m. and I booked an immediate flight from Denver to Pittsburgh. Somehow, despite two last-minute flights and an hour-and-a-half car ride, I made it just in time for her birth. Her husband, who is in his final years of medical school, helped deliver her baby."
  • 15 When this mom and baby had their very first hug.
    Monet Nicole
    "The first embrace is one of my favorite moments to capture, especially after a hard first labor."

Captions have been edited and condensed. 

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