A Heartfelt week: today my little girl would have been 7

Today my little girl would have been 7……

I would give anything for her to be celebrating with us today. I would give anything to have not loved so desperately and lost so tragically. I would give anything for that not to have happened. But it happened. And from that event, the next chapter of my life had to happen too.

My daughters life and death at 4 and half months, obviously had a profound effect on everything I now do. There are paths I have taken that I know I wouldn’t have, had I not met her.

I would never have gone on to study my Masters in Counselling, confident with the knowledge I could truly help people. I would never have started this blog and business. I wouldn’t be so passionate about parents enjoying their lives with their families free of stress, anger and misunderstanding. I wouldn’t be so passionate about working with parents to help them look at life through the eyes of their children. To help them understand why they do what they do and how we can help them. I wouldn’t get so upset when I see parents rushed and stressed and unable to take in the joy of their families. I probably wouldn’t be so intent on recognising how precious the time is that I have with my other beautiful boys.

I would never have become a photographer and now the State Representative for Heartfelt. I would never have known the desperate need of families to have something tangible to hold on to. I would never have known that fear of what it would mean to forget a face, the creases of skin at the back of a neck or strawberry blond eyelashes. I would never have imagined what it would be like to leave a hospital with empty arms.

But I do know.

And it is that knowledge that keeps me from trying to make sure no family ever has to have that fear of forgetting. To some they are just images, a digital file and a 6 x 4 inch print. But to those of us that know, and to those of us who meet these families, talk to them, see their pain and become part of their heartache, we know that they can be something so much more. And something, at a time when you think your have nothing, can be everything.

So thank you my beautiful little girl, for everything you have given to me and for everything that you continue to give to others.


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This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Mandy

    I was moved to tears. The courage to get up each day after your child dies is an act I do not know.

    Be gentle on yourself today.

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thanks Mandy, I was lucky to be surrounded by gorgeous friends and family.

  2. Carly Findlay

    What a beautiful little girl. I’m so sorry for your loss. And I’m so happy for all you’ve gained. Congratulations on your success and living an amazing legacy for your daughter. You’re changing the world. Much love x

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thank you so much Carly. That is so lovely of you to say…. and you know you are changing the world too! x

  3. Kirsten

    tears, of love, sadness mixed with happiness, in awe xo

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thank you beautiful friend x

  4. Hayley

    Just a beautiful post filled with love and heartache Martine.
    I can’t imagine the pain in your heart but I do know first hand how you use that pain to help others who feel a similar pain. We are beyond lucky to have you as the first point of contact for families suffering their worst nightmare. Thank you for all you do and Happy Birthday Ava xx

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thank you Hayley…and I have a pretty amazing team to back me up x

  5. Natalie

    Once again you have bought emotions in me that I try often to hide. You are an inspiration lovely Marine and I am honoured to call myself your friend.

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thank you my lovely friend x

  6. Liz

    I have been trying all week to suppress these feelings, but your words have really struck a chord with me and I struggle to keep it all in. I am who I am today because I lost two beautiful girls from my life. Thanks for reminding me of that fact.

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thanks Liz, and yes I believe we are certainly changed by this experience, not only what we do but who we are. Take care x

  7. Kristine

    We lost our first grand child nearly 13 years ago, aged 11 days.
    We treasure every moment we spent with her & every photo we have.
    Heartfelt is a wonderful idea, I can not imagine what it would be like not to have those records of those previous days.
    Happy birthday to your little girl.

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thanks Kristine, I am glad you have those photos. x

  8. Seana Smith

    Thinking of you and your sweet little daughter. You’ll always be a mother of six. How good to give people the gift of understanding as you photograph their babies. It must be healing but at the same time bring up many feelings and emotions. Good on you.

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thanks Seana, and yes there is always mixed emotions x

  9. Kelly Exeter

    Oh Martine. I only found out about this a few months ago – my heart broke then and it’s breaking again now. The work you do, it is clearly your daughter’s gift to the world xx

    1. Martine Oglethorpe

      Thanks Kell xx

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