It was 2008, and I had just delivered my stillborn son, Ethan. The doctors tried to prepare us for the condition he would be in, but it was even worse than I imagined.
A year prior, my husband and I were at that same hospital with Ethan’s big brother David. David was also stillborn, but we lost him due to a different cause. We have beautiful heirloom images of David from NILMDTS that have helped us with our healing.
Even though we had personally experienced the healing impact of the photographs with David, my husband and I knew this was not a situation we wanted to invite a photographer to capture, but Ethan still deserved to be photographed.
I thought about the camera in my bag. What if we got a picture of us holding him and looking at him, even if Ethan was not shown? His hands and feet were perfectly formed. What if we took pictures of his hands and feet? It would still be a documentation of his existence. At a time when remembrance photography was a new concept, so I kept these thoughts to myself. Even my nurses, as wonderful as they were, did not suggest taking the few photos that we could.
We missed the moment and now……we have nothing except for an ultrasound picture and pictures of us at Ethan’s funeral.
Biggest regret of my life……
So how can we continue to grow our reach and help serve the Ethan’s of the world?
Each year in the United States alone, approximately 50,000 babies are stillborn or die shortly after they are born. Through your generous support, NILMDTS is currently able to photograph more than 4,000 babies annually.
NILMDTS Photographers will ALWAYS be the first option. But we know that for a variety of reasons, a NILMDTS photographer cannot be the only option. Last Spring, we shared with you the initial plans for the NILMDTS Medical Program.
The training was recently approved for Continuing Education Units and will allow us to equip nurses with the photography skills needed to capture quality portraits and submit the images to NILMDTS for retouching. The NILMDTS Medical Program will fill the gap and significantly increase the number of families that will benefit from receiving heirloom quality portraits.
Your contribution will help to serve families like mine and will close the gap on the quality level of images that families currently receive from untrained nurses when a NILMDTS photographer is unavailable. Will you continue your support to help preserve the memory of the Ethan’s of the world through heirloom portraits?