Featured Fridays: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Through my experiences with Macy and with Special Delivery and, of course, with being a pediatrician, I've met many families who have had various experiences with the loss of a child. While it's a different case with the loss of an older child because the families have had a chance (months, years...though it's never enough) to spend time with their child, to bond, to make memories, with an infant, many of those memories are short-lived.
When I was pregnant with Macy, one of my good friends who also has mad photography skills offered to take pictures of us in the delivery room, if I was comfortable with her being there. It was such a generous and heart-felt offer, and I feel like I never thanked her properly at the time. (Thanks, Marigold <3) But, I already had a photographer lined up!
Suzanne with the Perinatal Comfort Care Program at the hospital connected us to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, an amazing and unique organization started by a Mom who lost her son too soon. We had an amazing experience--I didn't have to worry about capturing Macy's short life on camera because Jeff (Jeff Neal Photography) was there every step of the way with us. He was respectful and wonderful, and took such an intimate and heartfelt yet sad moment and memorialized it for us.
We have so many pictures of Macy when she was truly alive. It's harder for me to watch her video--it makes me sad because I can see her gasping for air. And I can see how scared both she and I look. (But not my husband. He was calm and collected, my rock.) However, Jeff took pictures in a photojournalistic style and each one was important to us--from the baby clothes I set out for her to wear to the birthday cupcakes that my sister made for us to celebrate. Yes, my sister made actual cupcakes so we could celebrate Macy's one and only birthday, even if it was her zero birthday. He also captured Macy's sweet face, her eyes and forehead that looked just like mine, and her tiny sweet feet and hands. So many wonderful shots. We are grateful to Jeff and NILMDTS every day for their gift of photography of Macy's short life. (Please see the photograph above of Mr. Bookworm and Mini Me holding Macy.)
The photographers at NILMDTS are volunteers and are also trained for what will be an emotional event. They also will come to photograph an unexpected loss, such as babies who are born still. For more information, please see their FAQ or to donate to this wonderful organization, please click here.
In honor of Macy, I'm doing a Featured Fridays special to highlight non-profit organizations on the nine Fridays leading up to her ninth birthday. It's my countdown for the winter holidays as well as a way of hopefully fundraising a tiny bit for some wonderful organizations. It's the time of GIVING and these are some fantastic places to support.