I am blessed. 2-3 times a week, give or take, I have the awesome job of capturing happiness. The joy that children bring to their parents, a young couple in love, or the awe of a new daddy as he stares at his newborn. I am thankful every day for my clients, old and new, and how you let me share in the light that makes up your lives. In reflecting on this, I am constantly trying to find ways to give back to others. I have spoken of one of my volunteer positions before on this blog, but in light of the fact that October is infant loss awareness month, I wanted to blog about it again. I am an affiliate photographer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. We are a group of photographers from across the country who have joined together to capture memories for familes who have lost or are losing a child. I am passionate about this organization. My husband(and maybe many of you) doesn't understand fully why I would want to do this. Why would I want to take pictures of a baby that has passed? My simple answer is that if it was my baby, I would want something more than a hospital polaroid to remember him by. I would need some tangible evidence that she was here and my life had been blessed, even if it was for a very short time. I have a hard time remembering how my boys looked when they were one day old. If I didn't have pictures, I don't know that I could really remember at all. And what if I had only gotten to see them for an hour before they left my arms? Pictures of that hour would be more important to me than anything else I can think of.
Recently, I had my first NILMDTS session. I had not conducted one prior to this past week because I didn't feel I could handle the emotions of it until Fin was at least a few months old. I can't share images or many details from this experience, because the family needs their privacy. However, there are a few things I think it's ok to share. The way the sweet baby that I photographed had a whistful smile on her face, as if she knew that mommy and daddy would be sad, but she wanted them to know she was ok. That will stay with me forever. Her little feet. Oh, they were tiny in their perfection, no bigger the tip of my pinkie. The way the nurse gazed at her with a mix of sadness and resolution. Knowing that this would not be the last time she hovered over a sweet angel. I left with tears in my eyes, but knowing I had done something amazing.
Perhaps it's because this is still so fresh in my mind, but I really want to encourage you to consider giving to this astounding organization. I know the economy is taking its toll on many of us, and that it may be hard to think about giving to one more thing. If you are able to make a donation to NILMDTS in the month of October, please let me know. If you send me a copy of your receipt, I will match your gift with a print credit of up to $200, which you can use at your next session. Please Click here to make a donation. I do want to warn that some of the images on the site may be hard to browse, especially if you are pregnant or have a newborn. By clicking the above link, you bypass the main page and go straight to the donation page.