BLUFFTON, S.C. — Eight expectant mothers in Bluffton, South Carolina, are all eight months pregnant and it may be due in part to Hurricane Matthew, which hit the state in October 2016.
People reported that for some of the mothers, the timing just happened to line up with the storm.
“I feel babies always come at a time when they are most needed. When he is born, I feel he will fill a hole in our lives we didn’t even know was missing. I’m so eager and excited to meet him,” one mother said.
“After trying for a year and a half, it was our first month on fertility medication, and it worked,” another mother said.
Another expectant mother told People that she and her partner “decided to leave it in God’s hands if it was the right time for us or not (to get pregnant) and I guess he thought it was.”
For photographer Cassie Clayshulte, a surge of expectant mothers and newborns was no surprise.
"Nine months after a holiday, blackout or storm is always a very, very busy time for me," she told "Today".
Clayshulte used that knowledge to being a Facebook search for "hurricane mamas." According to "Today," Clayshulte put out a call on her business' Facebook page March 6 for a photo shoot that shows "beautiful things always come from not so beautiful things!"
Mothers Danielle Lewis, Lindsey Binkley, Taylor Pait, Lindsey Gullett, Brittany Day, Kayla Sumler, Savanna Dorsey and Molly Spears all posed with their bumps in two photo shoots -- one at a nature preserve in town and another on a beach at Hilton Head Island.
"If it weren't for Matthew, these eight couples wouldn't be expecting these little miracles," Clayshulte told ABC News. "Some of these couples had trouble conceiving, experienced difficult previous pregnancies, and even had to undergo several rounds of fertility treatments to become pregnant. This storm destroyed trees and property and our area's tourism industry took a big hit, but the storm helped these couples create something even more beautiful and these stunning mommies-to-be are living proof."
A follow-up newborn shoot is planned for the babies -- seven girls and one boy -- who are due in June.
“I want to go back to the same beach and do the same setup, but with the moms holding their swaddled newborns,” Clayshulte said.
Cox Media Group