I've written a lot over the years about the importance of photographers giving back. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is one of those organizations giving you an opportunity to put your skill set to exceptionally good use. They're a pretty amazing group of people.
This is the first post in this series thanks to Christopher's Mother, Ashley Krapf. Christopher was born still on June 1, 2012, but the way he touched the lives of his family and especially Ashley is remarkable. A big thanks to Vicki Zoller, the photographer. We'll hear from her in a guest post tomorrow!
Note: NILMDTS is constantly looking for more volunteers. To find out how you can be involved just click on the link above.
I carried my son Christopher until six days before my due date. We found out he no longer had a heart beat and I was induced and delivered him.
The feeling when you find out your baby is gone is like no other. Everything you saw ahead and the life you planned is suddenly gone. You will never hear your baby cry, or change their diapers. You won't feed them or spend the next years of your life teaching them to be a good person. You all of a sudden have nothing to do.
I had no idea when I first was told he passed, that I would have such an amazing opportunity to have beautiful pictures of him taken that I would cherish forever. Swedish Hospital told me about the NILMDTS photographers. I immediately knew I wanted the pictures done.
Even though it was such a painful time to have a stranger in the room, it was almost like they were there for support as well. Most people I talked to agreed they would have wanted photos too. After all, it is your only time you will ever have with your baby after you dreamed of years to come.
These pictures of my baby not only represent the hard time I went through and the love I have for my son, but the love and support of all our family. Each grandparent and aunt had a picture taken with him as well. When you lose your baby, a lot of times people don't have these beautiful pictures taken.
When I found out, I had said, "I don't want to remember him looking dead." I remember him as perfect as he was ever supposed to be. When I look at those pictures he looks like a peaceful sleeping baby. It's not eerie and I don't have to remember the bad that happened, but how perfect his hands and feet were instead.
NILMDTS has truly been a blessing. I got a chance to see my baby through those pictures how I envisioned seeing him; strong, handsome and at peace. I would tell any photographer who is thinking about joining to most definitely do it. It's so much more than the photography itself. You literally change someone's life. I couldn't be more thankful for Vicki and the photos we forever have because of her.