Losing a Daughter
“In 2017 Samantha became pregnant with her first girl. We were all ecstatic for her, as the majority of our close friends have boys. On January 31, 2017, we got a text message saying that Sam was in labor, at 22 weeks, and at 22 weeks they do not consider her life viable, so no medical measures were taken to try and save her life. Had she made it to 24 weeks, there would have been some type of medical intervention. Unfortunately, Victoria had a prolapsed cord, and was born sleeping on February 1, 2017. We were all in shocked, scared, and angry, because how could this be happening, especially to someone you love. When we got the message that Victoria had been born sleeping we were crushed, so hurt for Sam. No one should have to go through losing a child.
When Victoria died, Samantha got in touch with an amazing couple who set up an organization called Ashlie’s Embrace. This organization donates cuddle cots to different hospitals so families can have more time with their children after they have passed away. Samantha was able to donate a cuddle cot in Victoria’s honor, with the phrase, ‘There is no footprint too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.’
Honoring Lost Loved Ones
When Samantha found out she was pregnant with her second daughter, she was flooded with emotion. The beginning of the pregnancy she was detached, paranoid, scared, and while she wanted to be excited that she was having a girl, she didn’t want it to feel like Victoria was being replaced. We began planning her maternity session, because it had to be something special. Victoria may have been born sleeping, but she left a huge impact on all of our lives and we needed to honor her in a special way. I searched and searched for ideas, but nothing jumped out at me. Then one day I was at the craft store when I passed the glitter section, and it hit me. We were going to honor Victoria with the sparkle that she left behind with all of us.
From there it all fell into place. We used Vaseline to help the glitter stick to Samantha’s skin, and then we applied the glitter in a rainbow sequence. This session fell together better than any session I could have planned in my head. The images turned out exactly how I had hoped, and we were able to capture the beauty of pregnancy, and honor Victoria.
When shooting this session, I was filled with so many different emotions. Watching a close friend struggle, you feel some of those emotions as well. I’m a mother of two boys and I’ve had two early miscarriages myself. It makes you wonder why these things happen to good people. Losing a child is the most awful feeling — you’re filled with so much anger, and you’re so hurt. You have questions that really can’t be answered and an internal struggle that is never really resolved. No child can ever be replaced, no matter how many kids you have after that. You miss out on all of the firsts. Their first birthday, first Christmas, their first word, weddings, and your first grandchild.
On December 14th, 2017, Samantha delivered a beautiful baby girl named Abigail. She is perfect in every way. I designed her newborn session to go along with the rainbow-themed maternity session. This was yet another way to honor Victoria, as well as capture the true beauty of new life. I got in contact with a prop vendor of mine, Devoted Knits, and told her how I needed something that incorporated a rainbow for Abigail’s session. She made the most beautiful rainbow knit blanket, and it was exactly what I needed.
When Abigail was born, we all just hugged her so tight. We are so thankful she is here, and photographing this session, you couldn’t help but to tear up, all the happy tears. She’s so beautiful, so perfect and innocent. She is loved so much, and she will always have Victoria watching over her.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nicole DeHoff Photography in North Canton, Ohio. Submit your story here, and subscribe to our best love stories here.
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