Two tiny pink lines can change your life.
Remember the moment when you held that pregnancy test in your hands, squinting to see if the second line was indeed fading in? Yep. It’s positive. You’re pregnant. It takes a few days or maybe a few weeks … ok, maybe months for the reality to set in but your baby is on his or her way and you cannot wait to hold this little precious baby in your arms.
I’ve been there. I have been blessed with four incredible kids and each pregnancy was miraculous, intense, special, difficult, amazing, and beautiful (except for those stretch marks which are less than beautiful, but hey, you can’t have it all, right?). Before my hands were full with four busy little darlings, my arms were empty and my heart had a gaping baby-shaped hole in it after two miscarriages. The losses were early, just 12 weeks and another at 9 weeks, but the pain was deep and I spent a year or so grieving two precious babies that we so desperately wanted but would never hold.
Fast forward 8 years and I am the proud mom of a whole bunch of crazy kids and I’m a photographer who loves newborns. I heard about an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep that provides free photography for those precious babies who are born still or who never make it out of the hospital. At first, my reaction was of horror. How could anyone do that job? I never could … or so I told myself. I couldn’t get the organization out of my mind and I decided to ask my OB doctor if she’d heard of NILMDTS, had she ever had to call them and was it really valuable to the families or was it just a way for photographers to feel good about themselves? She assured me that it was so helpful to the parents for their healing journey and so important for the families to have something to hold on to and a way for their baby to never be forgotten. I decided to join NILMDTS after her encouragement, in hope that I can be a help to the sweet families who have lost so much more than I could possibly understand.
I’m not going to lie about it, it’s a difficult job. The fact remains, however, that I can help someone in a very unique way, and that makes it worth doing. We need your help though. Because we are all professional photographers and many of us have young families and other obligations, sometimes it can be difficult to find someone to cover a call and we are desperate for more volunteers. If you are a photographer, we’d love to have you shooting with us. If you’re not a photographer, we could still use your help to be an advocate or Parent Coordinator for NILMDTS. If you’re in the media, or you know someone in the media, we could use your help to get some news coverage to raise awareness for this organization so we can reach more photographers. Ahwatukee Foothills News ran a great story yesterday (check it out HERE) and we could use more stories like this one!
For more information about how you can help us, visit www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org or feel free to contact me directly (click the contact button below).