There are lots of ways that people work to make the best of unconventional life situations: Take the divorced couple who still reunite every year for family photos with their son, or Vanessa Hudgens and her beau using uncensored honesty as the key to making their long-distance relationship work. But some challenges that come up require a little more creativity, and one couple’s recent maternity shoot is a perfect example of making the best of what you’ve got.

Navy Corpsman Wesley Bedwell has been deployed overseas since November — just a month after he and his wife Nicole found out they were expecting their first baby. Not only was Wesley unable to be with Nicole through the pregnancy, but he was also going to miss the baby’s due date, so Nicole hired a photographer to take photos throughout the labor and delivery for her husband.

Phototrapher Traci Fugitt of Traci Lynn Photography and Nicole also came up with an idea for a maternity photoshoot that would include a framed photo of Wesley in his Navy service dress uniform, as well as tiny newborn clothing items and his service dog tags. They also had some ideas for how they could crop him into the photos in a more meaningful way. When Nicole saw the results, she was speechless.

“I cried, both of our families cried,” Nicole told Inside Edition of the photo featuring Wesley posed as if he were able to place his hand on his wife’s baby bump. “It’s been really emotional for me to have my husband gone my whole pregnancy, so the fact that Traci was able to include him in my maternity session was very emotional. We will never be having our first child again. He’s my family, so having him included touched my heart. It made me happy.”

According to Inside Edition, Nicole was induced after developing hypertension, and so Wesley was able to make the trip home for the birth after all. Fugitt says their new little girl, Pyper, “has [their] hearts obsessed already” as she remains hospitalized to get her oxygen levels up.

Not everyone (okay, literally no one) can pull off a Beyoncé, but this shoot is def one of the year’s most memorable. All the best to the Bedwells!

Do you try to make the best of less-than-ideal situations? Let us know over @BritandCo!

(h/t Inside Edition; photos via Getty)