Widower and his daughter recreate maternity pictures he took with his late wife

In a commemorative photoshoot, a widower has recreated the photos he took with his late wife while she was pregnant.

James Alvarez was married to Yesenia and they were expecting a baby.

Tragically, she died after being struck by a car at 35 weeks pregnant, but miraculously their daughter, Adalyn, was born healthy.

For the child’s first birthday, James decided to put her in a photoshoot to mirror the one he did with her mother before her death.

‘Adalyn’s birthday was coming up and unfortunately her birthday is the same day I lost my wife,’ said the 37-year-old Los Angeles intake specialist.

‘I wanted to do something meaningful and special to celebrate her birthday and honor my wife.’

It was the photographer that took the original set of photos who suggested recreating them in this way.

Wearing a pink dress – like her mother had worn – the father and daughter posed just like James had done with Yesenia.

James said: ‘I had someone make a pink dress for my daughter to wear and we went to the same exact location, around the same time that we did the maternity shoot.

‘We tried to reenact it to make the pictures identical and it was truly amazing.’

Seeing the photos side by side was naturally an emotional experience for the widower, but now is considering doing the shoot yearly to honour the later Yesenia.

‘It reminded me of the day we took those pictures and how beautiful my wife looked,’ he added.

‘Looking at Adalyn dressed up like her mom, it was very emotional and touching. It reminded me how proud and how happy my wife would be seeing how gorgeous she is.’

‘My daughter will never know my wife like I did, but I hope I can one day show her all these beautiful moments and explain to her exactly how her mommy was and commemorate my wife.’

On August 11, 2020, 23-year-old Yesenia was hit by an alleged drunk driver while taking her daily walk with James.

‘Nothing was different that day except we took a different route,’ James said.

‘We were preparing for the baby’s arrival and deciding on curtains.

‘There was a store around the corner from where we lived, so we decided to go and walk the long way back home.

‘I remember holding her hand and talking about curtains and then we heard screeching and screaming.

‘We turned around and saw the car hop the sidewalk and head in our direction.

‘All of a sudden, I didn’t feel her hand anymore.

‘I remember the ambulance arriving and telling them “please try to save her and if you can’t, please try to save our daughter”.’

James, unable to be in the ambulance due to covid rules, only found out his wife had died when he arrived at the hospital.

Though an emergency C-section, Adalyn was born then given CPR and placed on a ventilator due to lack of oxygen.

‘When they told me my daughter survived, I was in shock,’ James said.

‘I was like “you told me my wife passed away because of injuries, but my daughter’s alive?” and they said yes.’

While doctors feared Adalyn’s lack of oxygen could have long lasting effects, James said she’s been healthy so far.

‘The doctor said she was going to be there for months, but the second day they took her off the ventilator because she was breathing on her own,’ he said.

‘I believe she’s a miracle child, everything she was facing though her birth, she overcame it.’

He credits her with helping him go on while mourning his wife.

‘The biggest lesson my daughter has taught me is to be a fighter too,’ he said.

‘She gave me the strength I needed to carry on.

‘I want people to know my wife was an amazing woman and she gave her life to save my daughter.

‘I can’t thank her enough, because I have my daughter and she means the world to me and I don’t know what I would do losing both of them.’

He added: ‘Seeing the pictures and seeing Adalyn dressed up like my wife, it reminded me that I still have a piece of my wife with me and that’s my daughter.’

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