Don’t look away.
The parents of baby Monroe, a little girl who was stillborn years ago want us all to see their beautiful daughter. They are proud of her; of having made her. And despite their utter devastation that she did not survive and they could not take her home, they want us all to know how much she was loved. Is loved.
Monroe Faith Staley was born weighing 6 pounds 2.5 ounces, 19 inches long in August 2014 in California.
Her parents, Emily, 26 and Richard, 29 approached photographer, Lindsey Villatoro from Love Song Photobook to capture the birth of their daughter once they’d been told Monroe had no heartbeat during the final weeks of Emily’s pregnancy.
The result are these incredibly moving photos of a family sharing their first and – heartbreakingly – final moments with their precious daughter.
Present at her birth, Villatoro said when she saw Monroe she looked at the baby's parents and told them, "she is perfect" and they all began to cry.
Villatoro has posted about her experience (with Emily and Richard's permission) on her Facebook page:
"It was a dream, this family was living a total nightmare. I can’t even begin to describe the pain I knew Mom and Dad were feeling at that moment. As mom pleaded for her baby to wake up, her sweet husband brushed her hair with his hands crying with her. Cheek to cheek, clinging to their baby girl in disbelief; the two of them were pillars for each other."
Monroe's 5-year-old brother was said to be counting down the days before his sister's birth. Villatoro said the death was unexpected but extended family wanted to meet Monroe and she spent the day taking photos of their memories, too.