Now a mother to three thriving children, U.K.-based photographer Victoria Doyle wanted to somehow commemorate the babies she lost over the years due to miscarriage.
She selected a photo of her kids – Darcy, 8, Jenson, 5, and Blake, 2 – and added a silhouette to represent the child she never got to have in honor of Baby Loss Awareness Week.
“In April 2006 I first experienced the pain of miscarriage,” Doyle, 36, shared in the emotional Facebook post accompanying the photo. “Although it was a long nine years ago, I feel that lump in my throat and ache in my heart every time I think about it.”
Unfortunately, it was the first of several miscarriages she would suffer.
“I went on to experience a further eight losses over the years, and thankfully gave birth to three wonderful healthy children, but the first was always the hardest,” she continued. “Sometimes I wonder how different life would have been.”
Doyle actually didn’t intend for the photo to become a memorial to her lost child.
“The photo was taken last October when I was taking some autumnal images of my kids for the family Christmas cards,” Doyle tells PEOPLE. “It always looked as though Jenson was holding hands with somebody else.”
After looking at the image as her desktop background for the past year, Doyle got the idea to create an apparition to represent the child she lost in 2006.
“He or she would have been 9 now, and probably bigger than Darcy,” she says. “I wanted the little figure to have a playful feel.”
Doyle created the image for mothers everywhere who have dealt with the loss of a child.
“I do truly feel that the little silhouette is an entity in itself, not just representing my own loss, but everybody who has had their hopes and dreams taken away so soon,” she says.
The photograph has resonated with hundreds of people, many of whom have reached out to share their appreciation.
“I’ve had tons of message of support and acknowledgement from fellow parents who have also lost babies and infants in the past,” she says. “Plus I have had a lot of requests to create similar images for other parents, which is overwhelming.”