Entries in Now I Lay Mw Down to Sleep (1)


Hearing your baby's heartbeat, touching their tiny hand, and holding your baby for the first time are memories that are dear to any parents heart.  But all too often those moments are gone before they are even experienced for some parents.  It's a reality that people don't care to discuss and often shy away from but the sad truth is, it happens everyday.  Sometimes parents are aware of a problem ahead of time and sometimes they aren't. There isn't any rhyme or reason, it doesn't show favoritism or prejudice, it quietly and suddenly shatters worlds!! The loss of a child can only to me be described as unbearable.  I, personally, have never experienced this as a mother.  But I have and continue to experience this on a personal level on a frequent basis. 

A few years ago I came across a wonderful organization named, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  This organization asks professional photographers to team up with local hospitals to provide a service to these parents that can bring healing in such an uncertain time.  When the hospital has a mother come in that has or is in the process of loosing her baby, they call a team of photographers to see if a volunteer can come in to capture the baby in a professional atmosphere.  Photographers are always contacted first to make sure a volunteer can be available.  The services are never offered until a photographer is secure, the last thing we would want to do is to offer the service and then not have a photographer available. Once a photographer is secure, the services are offered to the family at no cost.  This service is offered but never forced. Although this brings comfort to some, for others it is simply too much.  If the family has expressed interest in the service, a photographer comes in and takes professional quality images. Approximately 4 weeks later the photographer delivers a disc of edited images with copyrights to the parents.  There is never any payment and this is based solely off of volunteers.  With that being said, I wanted to take moment to talk about these services on my blog.  

Currently, I am the only volunteer photographer in the immediate area.  We do have a 2 or 3 others that come form New Bern on a regular basis when these calls come in but as you can imagine that can be difficult.  When these calls come, they aren't like a normal session. We aren't given a certain time and there is never anyway of 100% knowing how long it may last.  Sometimes as soon as we get the call and arrive the family is ready for us, other times we know it is about to happen but mom is currently in labor, sometimes babies are in NICU and still on life support, and sometimes we get there and the parents just aren't quite ready to say goodbye.  Regardless of the situation, every time is different and typically lasts a few hours, but no matter how quick or long the process is, there is always only a small window of opportunity for us to do the actual pictures.  As a volunteer, nothing is more heartbreaking than getting the call and realizing because of prior obligations you can not perform the service.  It is even more difficult when you realize because you can't be there the service will not even be offered because the volunteers simply aren't there.  This isn't a session that can be rescheduled, it is a one shot deal.  

So today I wanted to take time to raise awareness for this amazing program in our area. Hopefully this post will  draw interests from some local photographers that may have a heart pull to join with us in providing a once in a lifetime gift to these parents in such an uncertain time.  If you are interested in possibly volunteering, take a moment an visit the NILMDTS site to get more info.  If you still have questions or want to sign up let me know and I'll guide you in the right direction. 

Below I am (with the consent of the parents) letting you into the world of what some parents experience when they have to say goodbye too soon.  Please take a moment to consider what you can do or help me spread the word in my effort to find more volunteers. 


Posted on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 08:57PM by Registered CommenterCrutchfield Photography in , | Comments1 Comment