Parents

Moving portraits show children holding photos of themselves as premature babies

Thanks to modern medicine, many babies born prematurely are able to grow and thrive as healthily as infants born at full-term.

But the beginning is always a fight for little ones who didn’t get the time they needed in the womb.

Red Méthot, a biologist and photographer in Québec City, wanted to honor the strength of these special babies with a portrait series featuring prematurely-born children holding photos of themselves as newborns.

The kids look happy and healthy now — a colorful contrast to the black and white photos they hold showing them lying in incubators and hooked up to tubes.

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Samuel, born at 36 weeks. Shown here at age 5.

The poignant series, which Méthot published on Facebook, is called "Les Prémas," which loosely translates as “The Preemies.”

“I was looking for a way to show [what] great fighters the premature are,” Méthot, whose first language is French, said in an email to TODAY.com.

RELATED: 'Twinkle, twinkle' power: Preemie brains get boost from mom's voice

The idea initially came from his girlfriend, he said.

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Charles-Antoine and Mara, born at 27 weeks. Pictured here at 7.

The 38-year-old photographer initially figured it was too complicated, but came around after giving it some deeper thought.

The topic is close to his heart: Méthot has two children who were born prematurely.

Both are featured in the work.

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Zachary, born at 27 weeks, shown here at 2.

“Before [they were born], I knew pretty much nothing about prematurity,” he confessed. “So I decided that this photo project would [enable] people to know more about this topic.”

He found his subjects through personal connections and by asking for models on Facebook.

A couple of adults participated as well, including a pregnant woman.

Facebook/RedMPhoto
Olivier born at 31 weeks, his sister Ariane, born at 33 weeks, and their brother Noah, born at 34 weeks. The siblings are now 6, almost 4, and 1.

The series, he hoped, stands as “a big message of hope to parents going through a tough time.”

“I want the pictures to say: ‘Hey, look, they've also been there, and look how awesome they are now,’” he said.

RELATED: Zoe Saldana: Our premature babies were at 'the mercy of our nurses, doctors'

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Sarah, born at 34 weeks. Pictured here at 2-years-old.
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