11.06.2007

NILMDTS


I couldn't hardly sleep last night thinking about my new "job". You know how I joined "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" a while back? Well, I have not done a job yet, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Good thing because hopefully that means less babies are dying, and a bad thing because I'm afraid maybe the hospitals and doctors just aren't informed . . . parents especially.

So a few weeks ago I got an email from the photographer who leads up NILMDTS here in central Illinois. He wondered if I was interested in getting together with the other photographers. I said, "yes, definitely, I wouldn't miss it". So even though I'm probably the busiest I have EVER been work-wise, I still drove 1-1/2 hours after Neil got off work to meet with these exceptional photogs.

I wanted to bawl my eyes out while I was there, but I didn't. I stood strong. (Yay me.) I learned tons more about the program, what hospitals are educated, what I have to do "when called", what I need to bring with me, how to act (in a way) as a psychologist while I'm there (because you never ever know how a parent is going to be once you are there), and the main thing -- how to photograph these babies. I learned so so much. The experience last night was invaluable. I'm so glad I went.

Now this means I am going to get a call. And maybe soon. (We're all on a rotating list.) I, myself, am covering a huge radius in Illinois. Three pretty major cities and 3 major hospitals. One of the hospitals has, on average, over 100 infant deaths :( Usually about 70 of those are called in to NILMDTS. There are about 6 of us who will work this area. And I'm nervous. Very nervous. Not because I don't think I can do it physically, because I know I can, but because emotionally and mentally I'm not sure how well I will be able to take it. But I'm hoping I surprise myself. So much of the time the baby has died already. But I have to do it for these families.

I'm not even sure why I'm posting about this. Just kinda talking out loud, I suppose. I so hope I can actually do it when I'm called. Good thing is, I have two people to go with me as support (equipment-wise, set-up wise, and emotional-wise). But the thought of not knowing when I may get called is a bit overwhelming, but then I think about the parents and what they're feeling. Oh my gosh, I can't even imagine. A few shaken nerves and my sadness is nothing, absolutely nothing, compared to those feelings the parents are experiencing. So I think that will put it all back into perspective so that I can do a good job. I so hope that is true when the time has come.

When that call is made to me, I will probably post very quickly just so I can have some prayers with me. I'm going to need them. I never realized just how hard it's going to be, until last night. But again, I can do this. I have to.

19 comments:

Mrs. M said...

such a wonderful project. it definately takes a special person to do this--God will use you, don't worry.

MP said...

You are a STRONG woman. I couldn't even view that website...

Alexis Jacobs said...

You know my feelings on this service. Val you will and can do this. You have been such a rock to me and I know you will be the same to these parents. This option was never given to us, however I wish to God it had been. The last pictures I have of Allison are ugly ones with her hooked to tubes and machines.

You are right, who knows what the parents will be like. Don't ever take anything personally that may be said or reactions they may be having. Remember that a part of them is dying too and we don't always have a clear head during that time. But in the end you are giving them one last gift that they will take with them forever.

Call me, day or night, when you get a call. I pray that you never get one, but sadly life doesn't work that way.

And thank you.

it's me, Val said...

Thanks, mrs. m and MP. I'm not sure how strong I am, though. This will be the test. I didn't think, though, that I'd make it through an entire birth from "down there" and I did with flying colors. I didn't think my stomach could handle the blood. But I know this is different. Much different. I hope God gets me though! But I know I wouldn't have been called to do this if I couldn't handle it. So I'm going to try my best. It seems like when the time comes and you're in situations you don't want to be, your strength surpasses what you ever thought it could reach. I look weak and sometimes don't react to tough situations well, but I think I can do this. I heard that the first time is the hardest. But I bet it doesn't get any easier, either. Just promise me you guys will hold my hand.

xo

it's me, Val said...

Thanks, Alexis. You betcha that I will call you. Probably as I am driving there. You do know that I am doing this for you, don't you? :)

Cerella said...

Wow. I think it's wonderful that you are doing this. :)

Deborah said...

what a special gift you are giving to those parents....

Erin said...

What a blessing you'll be to those families. God will give you the strength you need for each new situation. (((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

Val, this is more of a blessing than you could know. Just like Alexis, we did not have any pictures. Our Heather was born in the middle of the night and the nurses couldn't find any cameras at all. What you will do is a blessing!! Your faith will pull you through and your pictures will help the family to heal as well.

Jen said...

I think this is something only YOU could do. You are stronger than you think, Val. You will do well at this and you will definitely be a gift to these families. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Love ya,

Jen in MS

joleen said...

this is a beautiful thing you are doing - thank you.

Jen @ One Moms World said...

What a wonderful gal you are Val to give your time for this. That's amazing, but I know you are probably on the edge at the same time.

Jennifer said...

Blessing to ya girl...I'm balling up with emotion thinking about it! If anyone could do it..it would be you:)

jen said...

well done Val
Im sure they will treasure it
My prayers are with you my dear friend

Alexis Jacobs said...

Yeah Val I know :) Maybe we can get Clay to write a song about how awesome you are.

Chel said...

That is an amazing program, and I'm quite impressed with all of you who work with it. You'll do fine... you'll surprise yourself. And in the end, with much of life, all you really have to do is show up... God will handle the rest.

amy said...

I know that you will be able to do it. I was in a situation with a friend of mine & I helped take photos of her little one. She cherishes those photos more than I can describe. I have a peace about knowing that I helped her in her darkest time of need, even though it was very difficult emotionally & mentally for me. I was honored to have met her baby, if only briefly.

oh amanda said...

Val, what an amazing thing for you to be involved in. Those pictures will be so precious to the families. And you'll be a part of it. (I was about to say, "and I know you. I know you don't get in anyone's way or come in like a big shot...but it's funny b/c I've never seen you take pictures. I just imagine that's how you are...and I'm SURE you are!)

mama2dibs said...

You are so sweet. I know a lady who just lost her two month old. I know for a fact that she would have appreciated that. She might have gotten her wish. I know the girls were on their way to the hospital to get that last family picture when he died. I know it has to be hard, but you are doing a good thing.