(RNN) - A California couple used pictures to create a lasting memory with their stillborn child, baby Monroe Faith, in the moments following the birth.
Mother Emily Staley and father Richard Staley can be seen kissing and holding their daughter in the black and white images. The wrapped child is held to her mother's chest as the couple looks at her in another.
In one, a sign reading "For this child I have prayed" rests beneath Monroe's crossed hands.
The beautiful and heartbreaking moments were recorded by photographer Lindseyann Natzic-Villatoro. The photos and story she posted on Love Song Events and Photography's Facebook page July 28 have been liked nearly 500,000 times.
Upon seeing the child immediately after the C-section, Natzic-Villatoro exclaimed, "she is perfect."
"As mom pleaded for her baby to wake up, her sweet husband brushed her hair with his hands crying with her," she wrote. "Cheek to cheek, clinging to their baby girl in disbelief; the two of them were pillars for each other."
They all moved from the OR to the mom's room, where Natzic-Villatoro spent nine hours taking pictures of the Staley family with their daughter.
"Throughout the morning and afternoon family members came to meet this perfect angel," the photographer said in her post. "I took the baby to the infant warmer and snapped away. Any image that came to mind, I shot. I wanted this family to have every possible memory of this child I could physically give them."
Emily Staley only discovered something was wrong with her pregnancy that morning, Natzic-Villatoro wrote. After noticing her baby did not kick like she usually did in the morning and failing to get a reading on the heart monitor, she went to the hospital. They discovered baby Monroe had died from the umbilical cord getting wrapped around her neck.
The mother told Yahoo Health she decided to have pictures taken because "I wanted our family to have some way to show how beautiful our daughter was."
She also expressed that she wanted her daughter's life to be remembered, and she hoped the pictures could help others who had dealt with losses of their own.
"I was proud of her, and I wanted to show her off and make sure her memory lives on," Emily Staley said.
Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Hawaii News Now
420 Waiakamilo Road, Suite 205
Honolulu, HI 96817
Main (808) 847-3246
News (808) 847-1112