Beautiful Koda: Heartfelt by Amber Gardener

 I am sharing this blog with the blessing of Koda’s parents.

After hearing of Heartfelt on the web,  then seeing the incredible images their members had taken, I knew instantly I wanted to be a part of this organisation.

I wanted to give back.

I have been the resident photographer at Peninsula Private for over 5 years, informing the midwives when I joined Heartfelt in 2011, they never offered such a service and were glad to be involved with Heartfelt.

I received that call in early December 2011.

When I arrived at the hospital room, Mum had just delivered her beautiful boy and I entered to find both Mum and Dad cuddling and admiring their handsome little bundle.

Koda has passed away in utero at term and was born sleeping.

Koda was perfect. His chubby little lips, long eye lashes and dark thick hair was as it should be.

I wished with all my heart that he hadn’t passed away and that I was meeting this amazing couple with their baby under different circumstances. Life can be just so unfair.

I photographed Koda.

Capturing his hands & feet, perfect face and photos as his parents bathed and dressed him for the first time. I felt a true honour and privilege to share this sacred moment as I photographed their short time with their first child. Watching them be parents before my eyes – choosing his first outfit, washing his hair and figuring out which way the nappy went, Koda was blessed to have such wonderful parents, they are naturals.

When I got in my car,  I burst into tears – after composing myself, I realised I held a special irreplaceable gift on that little plastic memory card and I set to editing and preparing their beautiful images, between tears, to upload to Heartfelt, the minute I returned home.

Koda was laid to rest on the 6th Decemeber 2011.

I wanted to write this blog as a tribute to Koda’s life, to share that his sweet soul means a lot to me and that I will never forget him.

I want to Thank his parents for being brave enough to allow a stranger into their life at such a difficult time – resulting in beautiful photographic memories I know they will cherish forever.

Also I want to let people be aware that such an organisation exists and that Heartfelt is a volunteer organisation from everything from the photographers who give their time, the online services and to the lab who prints photos to give to the families. Heartfelt: