I know that you are on a devastating journey and you may not want to read other people’s stories. If you don’t want to read mine, I completely understand. I am only sharing because I hope it will help you see the value of the photographs NILMDTS provides.
It breaks my heart when parents find out about NILMDTS when it is too late, or they decline our services and then it becomes the biggest regret of their lives. I hope this will help you if you are unsure about taking pictures. Or, maybe I will say a few things that will relate to your experience.
Our 20-week ultrasound appointment with our first baby was so exciting! We found out our baby was a BOY! The appointment was with a technician and pretty much that is all we learned. What else were first-time parents supposed to learn at the ultrasound?
Two weeks later, my OB called. He had been on vacation and called me as soon as he saw the results of the ultrasound. Our baby did not have kidneys. We went to a perinatologist who confirmed our son David’s lack of kidneys. We learned that David would die shortly after birth if he made it through the birth process.
Desperately, I searched online for answers and solutions. What I wanted to find was hope. Nothing. There was nothing I could do.
My husband and I made the decision to carry David as long as he would be with us. We chose to spend as much quality time with David as we could. We went to a Denver Broncos game. We took him to the zoo. We cherished every minute with him.
During that time, a friend told me about NILMDTS. I wasn’t sure if taking pictures of my dying or dead baby would be something I would want. When I went to the website, I saw the gorgeous images and decided that even if I never looked at them, at least I would have them.
October 25, 2007, I went into labor at 34 weeks. David was coming. I made it a point to try and remember everything about him and the time we spent with him. I remember how he smelled and how soft his skin was.
I took snapshots in my mind of our moments with him. Even more importantly, I received images of David from NILMDTS. They are my most prized possession. I wasn’t sure at first if I would ever look at them, but I can honestly say that now, I can look at them and smile and feel joy knowing he IS my son and I love him with all my heart.
I am able to share the photographs with people to show my baby was real. He not only existed, but he also had a profound impact on my life and the lives of many others.
What I recommend to you: Take your own pictures too.
I received gorgeous heirloom portraits capturing my baby in a way that I could never do with my camera. Those will always be most precious to me.
But even with all of the images I received, I wanted more. The pictures I would have taken probably wouldn’t have been the ones I would share with others, but I would have them whether or not I would ever look at them.
Don’t take your own pictures in lieu of a NILMDTS photographer though. Your own pictures are just in case you want more or if you want to capture moments with your baby when the photographer is not there. You can never go back and take them again.
My journey continued and gave me even more insight into remembrance photography.
Until then, take care of yourself and do what is best for you.
Gina Harris, NILMDTS CEO