By Josh Saunders
Beautiful photoshoot shows true sibling love and closeness between three sisters who are all pregnant at the same time.
Soon to be mothers Onyeka Ufere, 30, Chika Okafor, 27, and Ogechi Babalola, 26, glowed as they posed in white long dresses, delicately clutching their bumps and laughing with one another.
The sensitive shots show the tight-knit trio’s closeness at a poignant part in their lives where they are all embarking upon pregnancy and giving birth together.
Despite the sisters never expecting to carry at the same time, they believe their journeys will be easier being able to share it with one another.
The sisters are all due to give birth to their four children within months of one another.
Onyeka, who chose not to find out the sex of her babies until her gender reveal next month, is due to deliver her second pair of twins and the other sisters will give birth to baby boys.
They say the experience was reminiscent of growing-up together as they helped one another to do their make-up, hair and ready themselves
They were photographed on Manhattan Beach, California, by Cynthia Onyejiji, 32, who has known the sisters for more than 25 years.
Onyeka, who works for an oil and gas company, said: “It was never in our plans to become pregnant together, sharing something like this with my sisters never crossed my mind.
“I envisioned being the major support for them in their marriages and pregnancies, but I never imagined this.
“But being able to go through it together makes the happiness and craziness of pregnancy a lot easier.
“Being in my home together it was like when we were younger and living in our parents’ home.
“In that moment it felt like we were at a sister sleepover, it transpired onto the pictures and showed our chemistry.
“Cynthia was really able to capture the love we have for one another and the love for being pregnant, she made it look amazing.
“We felt beautiful and strangers kept giving us compliments and asked us why we were doing the shoot.”
The sisters grew up together in the same room, after mother Jacinta Nwoko decided to turn separate bedrooms into one large room for the three of them.
Despite initial protests, they believe it was a positive thing as it brought them very close together.
They would share that same room from when Onyeka was nine until she left for college at the age of 18.
Onyeka said: “Back then we were like ‘No we want our own rooms’ but sharing it meant we couldn’t keep anything away from one another.
“We shared everything, from secrets to helping each other through relationships, with friends and couldn’t hide anything.
“My sisters live in different homes, so we don’t get the opportunity to be together as often and made this even more special.”
The sisters were photographed several weeks ago, while youngest sister Ogechi was visiting from her home in Atlanta.
Cynthia Onyejiji photographed the women, who she grew up with and who consider her family even referring to her as a ‘cousin’, near the pier on Manhattan Beach during a one-hour shoot.
She said: “Having known them for so long I thought it was beautiful and wanted to be a part of their story.
“The oldest sister has already been a mother before, so I wanted to centre around her having been through it and the sisters looking up to her, which is not far from the truth.
“I wanted to use white clothing as there is something pure about that colour and I knew their skin tone would contrast, so it would be beautiful.
“It was very natural, I told them to have fun and be playful, which came across.
“You want it to feel real and authentic, they are sisters and have a very natural bond.”
Cynthia explains her favourite two photographs and that the connection between the sisters amplified the power of her photography.
She said: “The one where they are laughing seemed very natural and authentic, it surmises their relationship with each other and the journey they are embarking on.
“Then the image where the water is crashing behind them seems like poetry in motion.
“I was honoured to photograph such a beautiful moment and share their story, they are literally my family, I’m so proud and happy for them.
“It was a pleasure to take part in a little piece of their journey.”
Since the touching photographs were released, oldest sister Onyeka – who runs lifestyle and parent blog www.onyeeslifestyle.com – says the family have received a mix of positive and hateful comments online.
She said: “We are all successful career women who wanted children – you can have a career, a family, a happy marriage and be very young as well.
“We came from good homes and are not just babymakers.”