Giving Back

IMG_1215p8x10Seven years ago I stood with tears streaking my cheeks as a photographer handed me beautiful photos she had taken of my stillborn baby Luca.

She volunteered for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep – a non-profit organization that takes photos for grieving parents.

She gave me dozens of treasured images of my baby boy just days after his death. Images that are priceless to me and my family.

I knew right then that someday I wanted to be able to do the same thing for other parents.

This week I held a sweet little angel in my arms as I started that journey. I don’t volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (although I’d love the opportunity some day) but when I found out they weren’t going to be able to take pictures of my friend’s stillborn baby, I asked her if I could.

It was my honor to capture her sweet tiny baby boy who was born stillborn on Monday.

As I walked down the hall to her hospital room, I walked down memory lane.

I’ll never forget when the photographer came in to take Luca’s pictures. She was so patient. So sincere. She took whatever pictures we wanted and stayed far longer than expected.

I remember my legs feeling like lead, still frozen from my epidural.

I remember my oldest son scowling in pictures. I remember my middle son goofing off.

I remember my parents and grandparents cradling my sweet angel baby as we all got breathtaking photos with him.

When the photographer dropped off the images I remember asking her why she did them. Tears welled in her eyes as she said, “Because I know what it’s like.”

I too know what it’s like. What it’s like to never want to forget the face of a child you have to bury.

I will never be able to express how much it meant for me to take pictures for my friend. I thought it would be really hard for me. But it was strangely therapeutic.

In a way it made me realize that Luca’s death was not in vain. I have learned and grown so much since then.

I wish more than anything that he wouldn’t have died, but his death has given me a chance to reach out to other parents dealing with that same nightmare.

I’ll never forget the angel mothers who stood by me and helped me through those first darkest times after his death. They were some of the only people who knew how it felt to lose a piece of your heart.

And though I wouldn’t wish the death of a child on my worst enemy, I know that more parents will have to live through that hell. And I hope I can help them in some small, simple way.

Maybe I’ll sew some more wraps for tiny babies. Maybe I’ll crochet some more hats. Maybe someday I’ll take more angel baby photos.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: