Like many mothers, Juliet Cannici loves taking pictures of her children. And while having two sets of twins might sound like a handful, Juliet’s family live in perfect harmony. In fact, the love she captured between her siblings in one recent photo shoot was simply magical.
Juliet and her wife Nikki wed over a decade ago. Juliet is a photographer who snaps weddings and other special events. Nikki, meanwhile, works at Nonotuck Resource Associates where she supports adults with disabilities.
However, the job both women longed for was that of mother. And so in 2013 the Massachusetts couple began trying for a family. First, they tried in vitro fertilization, known as IVF. The couple’s first few attempts at IVF, however, didn’t work out.
But Nikki and Juliet kept trying. And then, finally, they discovered that they were pregnant – and there wasn’t just one baby on the way. No, doctors had implanted two embryos, meaning that the happy couple were expecting twins. So in April 2014, the thrilled new parents announced the birth of their son Nico and daughter Siena.
The Cannici family had now doubled in size, but it still didn’t feel complete. Therefore, Juliet and Nikki decided to return to IVF and try for one more baby. And that’s when something quite unexpected occurred.
The couple did indeed discover that they were pregnant once more. But although doctors had only used one embryo this time round, it split. And so the family got ready to welcome another set of twins – only this time, they would be identical.
Fortunately, the twins couldn’t wait to meet their siblings. “Nico and Siena have been so excited for their baby sisters to arrive,” Juliet told the Huffington Post in February 2017. “They spent months snuggled with mama’s pregnant belly, talking and singing to the unborn babies.”
At the end of January 2017, the couple’s newest daughters Gia and Gemma were born. Still, the fact that there were two babies took a while to sink in. “We went through our whole pregnancy saying, ‘I can’t believe we are having twins again’… and we still are saying it to each other in the wee hours of the morning while we are both huddled in bed feeding Gia and Gemma,” Juliet revealed.
When Gia and Gemma were just 11 days old, their parents wanted to do something to celebrate their birth. So Juliet whipped out her camera and arranged a very special photo shoot. And because she wanted to honor their whole family, the new mom made sure to include three-year-olds Nico and Siena, too.
On the day of the shoot, Juliet rented adorable outfits for her babies and set up her studio. She dressed up Nico and Siena in their darling little costumes too, and then she began to shoot. However, things didn’t quite go to plan.
“I was so set on capturing Nico and Siena holding the babies in the outfits I had rented,” Juliet explained to the Huffington Post. “But Nico and Siena were SO bored with me, the photos looked terrible. I was disappointed.” That’s when the new mom decided to shake things up.
Juliet took off the rented outfits and allowed Nico and Siena to chill out for a while. And when she brought them back into the studio, that’s when the magic happened. Stripped of their unfamiliar clothes, the true, caring personalities of the older kids were allowed to shine. And their photographer mom was on hand to capture everything.
Juliet laid each of her four children beside one another. “They immediately held hands and wrapped the other arm around their baby sisters,” Juliet told the Huffington Post. “I got them to smile by asking them to ‘act goofy,’ which they recently decided is just a hilarious saying.”
The resulting image was simply stunning. In the striking photograph, Nico and Siena clasp hands with each other with one arm, while cradling their baby sisters with the other. “They were perfect and I couldn’t have asked for more,” Juliet told TODAY. “We will cherish that photo forever.”
For Juliet and Nikki, the photograph captures the unique bond Nico and Siena share with Gia and Gemma. “Several times a day Nico and Siena each say, ‘I just love my baby sisters. I will keep them safe forever,’” Juliet revealed to the Huffington Post. “We are taken aback by how seamless a transition it has been for all of us.”
The parents posted the wonderful snap on social media after deciding it was too good to keep to themselves. And the reaction to the image was overwhelmingly positive. In a matter of days, more than 950 people had liked the post on Juliet’s photography Facebook page.
It seemed like people just couldn’t get enough of Juliet’s heart-warming snap. And now outlets from as far afield as the U.K., Brazil and Australia have contacted the family asking them to share their story. Plus, according to Juliet, the incredible reaction is great news for LGBT families like her own.
“There is nothing more important out of any of this exposure than serving as a positive example for the LGBT community,” she told TODAY. “I feel it is important for us to show our struggles, to show what we’ve fought for so many years for, and to now show our accomplishment, which is how I see my children.”
“We have welcomed the messages from members of our community asking about our journey. We always will,” Juliet added. “It is a very hard path to go down without support, and we are happy to be that support for some.”
So not only are Juliet’s pictures incredibly cute, they also serve as a wonderful example of an LGBT family. The love this young family have for each other is quite clear to see. And not only do Gia and Gemma have two wonderful mothers, they also have two protective siblings to pave the way for them.