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.