A kind photographer helped honor the memory of a woman’s late son while she photographed his newborn twin sister.
Heather Bowman went through IVF treatment to get pregnant. Not having a life partner, she knew she would have to raise her baby alone. When she got pregnant with twins, she was nervous after having already lost one twin pregnancy which she conceived through a donor.
Because Bowman has a unicornuate uterus, a condition when a woman only has half a uterus, her pregnancy was considered high-risk, and she said she was nervous for much of it. At 18 weeks pregnant, she found out her son, James, did not survive.
“I think at this point my anxiety reached its all-time high, I was so afraid that this somehow would affect my daughter,” Bowman told InsideEdition.com. “Every week I went in for my weekly ultrasounds expecting the worst and hoping for the best.”
She made it to 36 weeks, carrying both James and her daughter Leticia, before doctors had to perform a C-section due to preeclampsia.
“Hearing her cry was the biggest relief I have had in my entire life,” Bowman said. “I couldn't believe I was looking at the most perfect angel that ever existed. And she had 2 little birthmarks on her forehead that look like footprints - To me they are her brother’s stamp that he is watching over her.”
So when photographer Jessica Young came up with the idea to honor James, Bowman was overwhelmed. In a precious photo, Leticia is swaddled in a pink blanket that is connected to a blue blanket with little angel wings atop it.
“I knew I was going to use the wings, but I wasn’t sure exactly what it was going to look like until I started setting up that morning,” Young said. “Once I got everything together that I wanted to use, I started weaving the blankets together to symbolize their bond.”
Young said she has experienced loss herself so she wanted to do something for Bowman.
“I had told Jessica my story about all of my loss and the loss of Leti's twin brother. Jessica had emailed me the morning of Leti's newborn shoot saying she had a wonderful idea and way to honor her brother if I was comfortable doing so,” Bowman said. “When I arrived and saw what she had set up, I lost it.”
Bowman broke down crying and when the time came to take the photo, Bowman said the moment was priceless. She added that all her daughter could do was look over to where her brother would have been.
“I couldn't help but feel he was lying there, letting her know he was there and that he is always with her. She smiled quite a few times while looking in his direction,” Bowman added. “This photo means the world to me, I will cherish it forever.”