Something I’ll always be grateful for is the nurse who encouraged me to have a Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer take pictures of my baby.
At the time I was laying in my hospital bed waiting and dreading the arrival of my son. I wanted the nightmare to be over. My nurse who was so sweet kept telling me about this photographer who comes and takes pictures. I was extremely hesitant. It sounded strange, having another stranger see you at such a vulnerable time. No one ever thinks about capturing the most painful or difficult times in a person’s life. The nurse kept insisting I won’t regret having these pictures! At the time it was a lot to process, and I didn’t understand the purpose of the pictures. Why would I want to look at something that brings me so much sadness and anger?
I decided to go with the nurse’s recommendation and get photos taken. She explained the process once more and insisted that I won’t regret them.
Our photographer came about 4.5 hours after Kane’s birth. She was extremely sweet and sympathetic. Surprisingly it was very natural, she photographed him in his bassinet, then moved on to us as a family.
She told me how sorry she was and told us how honored she was to capture these moments for us.
She never told us how to pose, everything was very natural. I was a mess the whole time (as one would be in my situation) her presence was calming, and she made us feel safe. She made me feel like my grieving wasn’t an inconvenience. She also understood that I was going through something unimaginable.
I have never once regretted that decision. If she didn’t come to take pictures I’m not sure if I’d have more than two from my phone.
Because of this volunteer photographer, I was able to spend more time with my baby. I got to hold him longer, soak up everything I could, and not worry about capturing my last moments with him. Besides my memory box and my actual memory – these pictures are all I have left to remember him by.
Not every hospital has a NILMDTS photographer. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to be at a hospital that has one affiliated with them. Please, if you’re a photographer or know of one who would love to volunteer – Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is always needing volunteers. Your pictures have the greatest impact, truly. Every family deserves to have pictures of their sweet baby(ies) especially in the short time we have with them.