Newborn baby lays next to twin brother's ashes in emotional picture
Cherie Ayrton, 31, said she was left "heartbroken" when she found out one of her twin boys had passed away before he entered the world.
People reported that Cherie and her husband Hayden have two girls ages five and two already. They were ecstatic when they found out they were pregnant again with twin boys last year.
The New Zealand woman let her friends in on the news 14 weeks into her pregnancy. She already had names: Tiger and Johnny.
The heart-wrenching photo of the two is found below. Follow us on Twitter for more @amomama_usa.
Despite losing a daughter, Cherie was hopeful. One baby was absorbed into Cherie's uterus years before but it did not dampen Cherie's newfound joy.
Her pregnancy moved forward without trouble. But in December 2017, an ultrasound revealed that there was no heartbeat for baby Johnny.
"It was horrible, losing a child is the worst thing any parent can go through. It's changed me forever."
The despairing event brought up past memories. Cherie said that she "was gutted that it had happened to [them] again."
She described the wait as a "mind-screwing" experience in which she had to watch her boy "slowly breaking down over a TV screen" during ultrasound visits.
For several months, she was a "temporary coffin." Cherie explained that she felt more attached to their boy because she spent months pregnant with him.
The distraught mother was obliged to carry both twins to full term because it was her second trimester. She delivered in May.
"We cried, we smiled, we loved and we enjoyed one night with our two boys together and family surrounding us."
Cherie delivered her son Johnny in a devastating stillbirth situation. His twin Tiger may not have lived otherwise.
"I was looking forward to completing my family. Two boys and two girls was awesome because it meant that my boys had a brother and a sister."
The couple cremated Johnny's remains. Then they worked with Sarah Simmons of Charlie Horse Photography for a newborn baby shoot.
The emotional picture featured Tiger and the ashes of his brother. The boy is bundled in cloth in a brown basket.
The cloth's tail, depicting an umbilical cord, reaches out to the side to surround a basket containing his brother's ashes.
Newborn Lays Next to Twin Brother's Ashes in Emotional Photo: 'I'll Always Have a Piece Missing' https://t.co/uLPXCYH8xa— People (@people) September 19, 2018
Cherie said the shoot was "sad and very emotional." She wished Tiger was "cuddling" next to his brother instead.
But the changed woman has learned to move forward despite her loss. She "appreciates life and [her] gorgeous family even more than ever."
The portrait photo won the newborn category at the international 2018 Portrait Masters Awards. There were 7,000+ entries.
Cherie is happy that she can "raise awareness for stillborn loss" and help others heal in similar circumstances.
Back in March, one brother saved the lives of his new twin brothers who were diagnosed with a rare genetic condition after being born at 33 weeks.
Born in October 2017, twins Santino and Giovanni were diagnosed with a chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) just ten days after release from the hospital.
The only way to save them was via a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Their brother was a candidate for the surgery and he selflessly agreed to do it in order to save his brothers.
They extracted the necessary cells at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and after two months, the twins were taken home.