While a pregnant Veronica Phillips’ husband is overseas, she stays connected to him through a series of beautiful photographs.
Due to limited rights, Phillips is unable to say when or where Brandon, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, was deployed. But he left their Homestead, Florida, hometown around the time they found out the sex of their baby boy.
“All I can say is that I miss him,” Phillips, 29, tells PEOPLE. “I wanted to honor my husband, and even though we are a far distance from each other, we are close in this picture.
“It symbolizes our love and commitment from afar.”
Phillips met her husband five years ago and they tied the knot in November. She is currently 9 months pregnant and “ready to pop!’ she says with a laugh.
But from miles away, it’s been hard for Brandon to be a part of his wife’s pregnancy. Phillips drives herself to most appointments and struggles moving around alone with her pregnant belly.
“It definitely gets hard,” says Phillips. “As my belly gets bigger — the more I miss him! I just wish he was here.”
So, photographer Jennifer McMahon of Jennifer Ariel Photography took the pictures and photoshopped Brandon in to make it seem as if he was touching his wife’s pregnant belly from overseas.
“They are so beautiful, I tear up whenever I look at them,” says Phillips, a social worker. “He loved them too. It was a really nice outcome.”
McMahon also too photos of Phillips wearing her husband’s military jacket and holding his dog tags.
Unfortunately, Brandon won’t be home for the birth of his son, whom they’ve decided to name Landon.
But Phillips says looking at the pictures gives her comfort— and reminds her that she’s not alone.
“I cry easily,” she says. “There’s not set return date for him, but hopefully it won’t be too soon after the birth.
“I can’t wait for him to meet his son.”