An emotional photo of a mom in labor is touching parents across the interwebs.

When mom Nikki Colquitt gave birth to her third child, birth photographer LauraPaulescu was on hand to document the experience. While the mom was in labor, Paulescu captured this beautiful moment she shared with her then-youngest child before welcoming a new baby into the family.

LAURA PAULESCU/CROWNED PHOTOGRAPHY
“In that moment, I took the opportunity to savor holding my littlest before I had a new ‘littlest,’” the mom said.

Nikki Colquitt is married to Denver Broncos punter Britton Colquitt, and they are parents to 4-year-old Nash, 2-year-old Everly and 7-month-old Isla. In an interview with The Huffington Post, the mom shared the story behind her viral birth photo.

“The photo was taken during labor with my daughter Isla, just before my older two went home to spend the night with their grandmother,” she said. “In that moment my daughter Everly, had taken a break from bouncing around the room (literally, on one of those birthing balls) to climb on the bed. I can just hear her saying ‘hold me mommy,’ so in that moment I took the opportunity to savor holding my littlest before I had a new ‘littlest.’”

“It’s such a strange phenomenon in motherhood to feel guilty or sad saying goodbye to one baby as you are so excited to be introduced to another,” Colquitt continued. “I always ask myself if I gave my youngest child enough time as ‘the baby’ before having the next baby.”

Although the photo is from January, it’s been making the viral rounds this week, as several parenting-themed sites shared the image on social media. Colquitt said she believes the image has resonated with so many viewers because this feeling of goodbye is universal for parents with multiple kids.

LAURA PAULESCUCROWNED PHOTOGRAPHY
“It’s such a strange phenomenon in motherhood to feel guilty or sad saying goodbye to one ‘baby’ as you are so excited to be introduced to another,” Colquitt told HuffPost.

Paulescu echoed her client’s sentiment. “Holding your ‘little’ one so close one last time, before they aren’t the little one anymore,” she said. “That’s a moment that stays with you forever ― the gut-wrenching mixture of overwhelming joy, coupled with heartbreak letting your ‘baby’ go, and scared every time as you wonder how your love can grow even more.”

The photographer, who has two children of her own, added that she feels “honored” to have been able to capture that moment.

“Every mother of two or more children has had this moment, whether it’s a kiss on their forehead in the dark of night, a final tearful hug before leaving the driveway for a scheduled induction, or a last snuggle in the hospital bed before they leave with grandma,” she said. “No matter how it happens, the feeling is the same, and seeing this moment frozen in a photo brings you right back to how that felt.”

originally posted on The Huffington Post

Caroline Bologna Parents Editor, The Huffington Post

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