When a baby dies, it is, in short, terrible. I remember sitting in my hospital bed, waiting to deliver a stillborn Avery, a million thoughts rushing through my tortured brain but none I could actually grab onto and process. The nurse had mentioned taking pictures after her birth, and the same thought kept pounding through my skull:
Why would I want a picture of a dead baby?
After my deceased daughter was cleaned and dressed, we passed her around like the porcelain doll she was, took deep breaths, and fake smiled for the camera. They aren’t the most artistic pictures in the world, but six years later I feel so blessed to have them. I’ve heard other bereaved parents say that they don’t have any pictures of their children, and it breaks my heart.
The non-profit organization Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep was founded in 2005 to provide the gift of remembrance photography for parents suffering the loss of a baby. They train, educate, and mobilize quality photographers to provide beautiful portraits to families who have lost a baby too soon. They didn’t take my pictures, but I can’t stress the void these amazing photographers fill and the importance of these portraits for grieving families. Cosmopolitan Magazine recently did a story on this incredible organization and published a few beautiful pictures of these angels. You can read the article here.