When a couple has a new baby, all that is on their mind is the joy of their new little bundle of love, who the baby looks like, whether he or she will play soccer or the piano and wondering if they’re prepared to manage the next few sleepless months ahead.
For some couples, that joy never happens. A parent’s worst nightmare comes true for them, and for some reason, they won’t ever get to bring their precious child home. The world they imagined for their child came to a sudden and crushing stop, and they now will have to leave the hospital with empty, aching arms and hearts instead of their sweet little one.
No one wants to imagine that happening, but sadly it happens more often than we realize. That where an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep steps in, to provide a gift to these parents of remembrance photography, at no cost to the families, through a network of volunteer affiliate photographers. These photographers provide portraits of their precious children to hold on to so they can remember every detail about their precious child they didn’t get to bring home with them, so they have a way to remember everything about their baby they were only able to spend such a short time with.
I’m an affiliate photographer and area coordinator for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, and that this organization is VERY close to my heart. Right now, the needs of the families far outweighs the number of volunteer photographers we have, which leaves some grieving families who need our service without them. It makes me sick to my stomach when we get a call and I scramble to find people, and just can’t find anyone to cover a call, then have to call the hospital back to let them know no one will be there…
The families I have met through NILMDTS let me into their lives at their darkest hour, and allow me to meet their child and share the precious few moments with them, letting me photograph their baby’s beauty and their love for their sweet little one they will never get to bring home. They love their baby with all they have for the time they have with them, and they choose to share some of that time with me, and to me, there is no greater honor than that.
These photos NILMDTS provide are some of the most treasured possessions these families will have and are the only way they will be able to look at their beautiful baby’s face over and over again, something so many people take for granted. It’s a moment in time captured for them, so they won’t forget those tiny toes, the shape of their brow, or how little the baby’s hand was compared to theirs.
I know there are some photographers who follow my page, and I know that anyone who sees this will know at least one person who is a photographer, and I ask you to PLEASE, share Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep with them, or consider if you’d be able to give these families the priceless gifts of a portrait of their precious child. If you’re on the fence and have thought about applying, I’d be more than happy to talk to you about NILMDTS and the impact it has and answer any questions you may have! Just please, don’t say no before you consider the amazing gift you could give these families who need your talent the most.
For more information about Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep or to contact a photographer for a family in need, please visit www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org.
(Written by Mallie Ray of Photos by Mallie, www.facebook.com/photosbymallie, firstname.lastname@example.org)