Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

I have thousands of pictures of my kids.  I want to document every precious moment, and record every memory.  Some nights, I scroll through old photos, and lament how quickly they have grown.  But for me, tomorrow is another day.  We get to make new moments and memories, and I continue to fill up my hard drive with countless images of their childhood.

For a family suffering from early infant loss, there is no tomorrow.  There is no next week.  There is no first birthday.  If they don’t have images of their angel before leaving the hospital, they have no chance of making new images.  When I think about the finality of their short relationship with their baby, my heart breaks into pieces.

Back in January, I put a portfolio and application package together, and sent it off to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS).  NILMDTS is a non-profit organization that provides free photography services to families that suffer early infant loss.  The organization is made up of volunteer photographers in the US and Canada.  Then in March, I was accepted by NILMDTS as a volunteer photographer, and I became listed on their website as a resource to call.

Today, I got the first call from the hospital.  A premie baby didn’t have much time left.  The nurse asked me if I could be there in an hour.  We live close enough to the hospital that I had time to pack up my gear and make it there with time to spare.  The baby was only about 2 lbs, and he relied on the ventilator to breathe. On the outside, I tried to be a professional photographer, getting all the shots I would want if it was my baby.  But inside, I am just another mommy who has all of her love and heart poured into her children.  All I really wanted to do was throw my arms around the tearful mom and cry with her, mourning the loss of her baby.

Tonight, as I watch my kids sleep soundly and their faces so peaceful and sweet, my heart is broken for this mom who went home without her baby.

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12 thoughts on “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

  1. We would love to help. We are llc and love photography. We had a baby born sleeping almost July 4yrs ago.
    Nilmdts took her photos

  2. As a former nilmdts photographer I just want to say that it’s ok to put your arms around a mommy and cry with them. It shows them you truly care and you’re there for them and their family. Good luck it’s such a rewarding thing.

  3. I would LOVE to help! I’m a photographer located in Houston Tx. I’m a mother and I’ve had friends and family go through this. I want to show my love by capturing these important moments in these parents lives.

  4. On April 3rd, 2006 we lost our 1st grandson Seth at 18days, of unnatural causes. Everyday I wish I had more pics of him. There was no NILMDTS at the hospital.
    I wish I had a good camera and experience, so I could give these precious gifts to other families.
    Bless you all.

  5. I’m located in Calgary and have had a still birth of my own. I’ve applied to NILMDTS but they require more auxiliary lighting images which I’m working towards submitting. In the mean time they’ve suggested I volunteer to assist another photographer. If you’d be willing to accept me as an assistant I’d be happy to help! Feel free to contact me via email.

  6. I lost a mirror twinned son at 3 months of age. Dr. screwed up an easy inguinial hernia surgery, simple as that. What you do is so incredibly awesome. I had several photos of my twin boys by the time he became ill and had to have surgery so I count myself as lucky. I was also able to be fortunate enough to make the decision to take my son off of life support, hold him in my arms and rock him to Heaven. There is no pain like that of a grieving mother. I was almost 30 years old and finally understood what it meant to have my heart shattered. Literally. The gift of Love that you provide to these parents is priceless. Please don’t stop. These families need your love. You’re a certain kind of special. Love and Light.

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