3.26.2007

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Wow, I am blessed with an incredible opportunity. I was just notified today that I made it into the "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" Program. Let me give you some background info as to what this is.



For some soon-to-be parents, broken hearts and dreams are shattered when told that their baby may have a life-threatening problem. Most of these couples will go through the entire pregnancy knowing that they will not be granted the certainty most parents get with the gift of new life. Some parents won't know about life-threatening issues until after baby is born, while some will know immediately because of a stillborn child forcing the pain to be very raw and imaginable in a blink of an eye . These couples don't think about what outfit they'll bring their baby home in, about upcoming birthday parties, or any of the things we take for granted when we have a healthy child born to us. They think about planning for the very worst because they are told they have to.

It's something I cannot fathom and I know it's not something any of us want to think about, but truth is, it happens. It has happened to one of my best friends, Alexis. And because of her, I sought out this organization and was put on a list as a possible professional photographer volunteer who would volunteer time (free) to take portraits of these babies.

Photographs are something most parents don't think about, but Alexis said she would give anything to have had pictures like these taken of Allison. She wished she had had that beautiful opportunity and I wish I had had the opportunity to do this for her because I would have done it in a heartbeat. But I wasn't in photography yet and I honestly the thought of doing something such as this never crossed my mind. With that said, I knew right then when Alexis told me these things, that I had made the right choice to put in my name as a possible volunteer (I had done it before she even said anything to me), and just today I found out that I made it in.
This is Alexis's sweet Allison. I actually did have the opportunity to take this one picture before her final heart surgery, and before she became an angel. No one ever wants to think about the possibility of their child not making it through, but you have to, which is where I would, passionately and sensitively, come in.
Thinking of you, Alli, as your birthday approaches us . . . we'll be celebrating you.

While it's not something to be in jubilation about, it is something that I am very proud to now be a part of. I am good friends with my OB-GYN's nurse practioner and I plan to tell her about this and see if I can have a hand out for Dr. M's clients just in case, God forbid, they need me. And one of my dear friends is a doula, also knows my OB and NP, among other doctors, and so already I will have a connection with some OB's and hospitals here in central Illinois. I just feel so blessed that I now have this opportunity to bring such a vital service to families in search of healing and peace.

This is NILMDTS's mission:

Parents through out the world experience heartache and grief every day due to the death of a baby. This heartache can happen to anyone one of us. Through our experience, being able to introduce this art form of photography to parents suffering this grief will help them in their healing process. We want to bring awareness to parents and caregivers everywhere to this method of healing. We aim to bring parents together with professional photographers that are volunteering their time and services to helping parents create these heirloom memories of their time together as a family. Our goal is to ultimately be able to present Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep to families through out this nation. NILMDTS also aims to educate other photographers to the sensitivity and compassion of this topic.

You can find me at their website under "find a photographer".

One last word from me. . .
I dedicate my future service (and this blog entry) to my friends who have lost infant children . . . Alexis (angel Allison), Whitney (angel George), Amanda (angel Lochie), Karen (angel Luke), Ronna (angel Luke), Reva (angel Ryan), and I apologize if I forgot anyone else . . . please let me know. xo Love you all.

13 comments:

Jen said...

bless u Val
I had a nephew who died at about 20 weeks gestation my sister chose to give birth to him. We had a funeral at home and I saw him. I dont know whether they took photos but I will never forget Ezra he was perfect just so tiny. I believe what u have voluteered to do will help parents in their griefing process. Again I say Bless U Val hugs

Ann Kroeker said...

What a great program! I'm going to tell several people who need to know about this organization. One is an OB nurse who is trained as a bereavement counselor. She would be a perfect contact. Another friend is a photographer who might be interested in applying. You're offering something powerful. How inspiring!

Michelle said...

Sounds like a wonderful program to be a part of and invovled in!

Alexis Jacobs said...

You will be blessing so many people. You have such a big heart. ((hugs)) Thank you.

sognatrice said...

What a wonderful project; congratulations on your acceptance :)

Leesha said...

Val this is such an awesome program. I'm so glad they choose such a sweet, kind person like you.

You will be such a blessing to many families :)

Anissa said...

Val, you are so kind! Just one of the reasons I <3 U!

amanda said...

Oh, Val! I could hardly read your post, because it's too sad--and wonderful! How awesome that you get to be a part!

lil ole' me..... said...

This is amazing Val! It warms my heart to know that you are so caring and thoughtful and put your incredible talent to good use! I know you will be such a blessing to many families.

Victoria Martin said...

Wow Val! What an awesome thing to be part of! Sad yet wonderful at the same tie! xo

Johanna said...

Val,

You have a such a warm heart, and are such a good friend. How blessed we all are to call you one of ours.

mama2dibs said...

You have such a servant's heart Val. You seriously push me to be a better Christian. Although I have never met you, I admire your heart greatly. Thank you for inspiring me.

Anonymous said...

ttemh [url=http://www.drdrebeatscheapsales.com]beats by dre sale[/url] mrrqoq http://www.drdrebeatscheapsales.com oqcc [url=http://www.drebeatsstudioheadphones.com]cheap beats by dre[/url] qrdwgv http://www.drebeatsstudioheadphones.com wzmi [url=http://www.beatsdreheadphonesonsale.com]beats by dre sale[/url] ndcdrp http://www.beatsdreheadphonesonsale.com kxkto [url=http://www.dreheadphonesonsales.com]beats by dre headphones[/url] tobobh http://www.dreheadphonesonsales.com jzteo [url=http://www.drdrebeatssales.com]beats by dre sale[/url] eleoz http://www.drdrebeatssales.com ediok [url=http://www.beatsheadphonesbydrdre.com]beats by dre[/url] zrmbh [url=http://www.focsa.org.au/myreview/beatsbydre.phtml]cheap beats[/url] pujot http://www.focsa.org.au/myreview/beatsbydre.phtml qgw