Elijah’s Story

Elijah’s Story

Elijah Quinn Portillo was my first baby.

He was my miracle baby.

He is the most special person that has ever existed in my life.

I have a diagnosis of PCOS and was initially told it would be hard to have a baby, if at all. When we got pregnant with Elijah, we were over the moon with excitement and shock.  And then at one of our appointments, we got the news that Elijah had a chromosomal disorder called Trisomy 18. We were told to prepare for the possibility that he might not make it to birth. We were devastated.

We chose to continue the pregnancy to term in hopes of spending time with our son.  Elijah came out, surprising us all, and spent three whole days with us. It was a whirlwind to go from expecting our first baby, our miracle, and then preparing for him to make his journey to heaven.

Baby Elijah by NILMDTS Affiliated Photographer Noritzya Vanegas

While at the hospital, we were told about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and their services. We quickly decided to have them come out and take photos of us with Elijah so we could remember the time we had with him.

Our NILMDTS photographer was amazing. She was so careful and showed so much care in how she took our photos. She captured all of our family members around Elijah. She captured the little details of who he was. She included everyone and took the time to help by posing us.  She created memories we will never forget.

She didn't just take photos; she made memories in those moments.

It brings joy to my heart knowing that I can look back and see my husband as a first-time daddy and my mom as a first-time grandma. I will never forget seeing Elijah with his little smile in the comfort of their arms.

Looking back now, the photos of Elijah allow me to remember and go back to the day he was born and how my world, for that moment, felt perfect and filled with so much love, joy, and happiness. It allows me to share Elijah with those who didn't meet my beautiful boy. It also gives me a chance to share his story and bring awareness to families going through a diagnosis that may be incompatible with life. I want to share my experience with other families to show how carrying to term can be beautiful. Our decision with Elijah allowed us to spend time with him and get to know him. We cherished every moment with him while he was here and know we made the best decision for our family.

Our NILMDTS  photos have also helped throughout my grieving process. I look back at these photos and see my baby boy's perfection. The pictures of his small, little clenched hands showed their perfection. The pictures of his face show his beautiful chubby cheeks, cute little nose, and cute ears.

I will admire him for as long as I am alive, all because of these beautiful pictures.

It allows me to remember those three days we had with him and everything that made him, him.

These photos have allowed me to share and always remember my first baby. I was always afraid of not having anything to remember him by, and instead I have photos that bring me back to all of the moments I spent with him and I get to remember that forever.

Baby Elijah by NILMDTS Affiliated Photographer Noritzya Vanegas

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a dedicated 501(c)(3) non-profit, offers families experiencing pregnancy and infant loss with complimentary remembrance portraits, capturing precious moments with their babies. Your generous donation can help us extend this heartfelt service to more families in need. Please consider supporting us here.