Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

March 14, 2010 at 3:07 PM 1 comment

On December 4, 2009 we learned of Hailey’s fatal diagnosis, and we were moved to a private room where we were able to spend every minute with Hailey and truly enjoy her. We received a lot of information that day and had a lot of support services offered to us. (Talk about information overload and feeling overwhelmed!)  The palliative care nurse assigned to us told us that she could pretty much make anything happen for Hailey that we wanted – and yes, the idea of sneaking Opie into the hospital was discussed as a very realistic possibility. 🙂 But thankfully we didn’t have to do that…but they did order a birthday cake for us on her 1 week birthday 🙂

One of the pamphlets and services that was offered to us was something called “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” Now let me tell you, as a new mother who just learned that her baby had a fatal disorder, I was only able to read the title of organization before bursting into tears. The name was the saddest thing I ever I thought to myself… Thankfully the palliative care nurse explained the mission statement of the organization since I couldn’t read it on my own:

To introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with the free gift of professional portraiture. We believe these images serve as an important step in the family’s healing process by honoring their child’s legacy.

With the news still fresh and feeling shock, we said we didn’t know if we were interested, but took the pamphlet anyway. The next day I forced myself to look at the pamphlet. It was really hard to do. It made the reality we were facing sink in even more. It was sad to think of other families going or having gone through the same thing that we were facing. It was a sad, painful reality that is a part of our broken world. It was hard to look at many of the beautiful pictures in the pamphlet – so many cute, beautiful, fragile little lives… I cried as I looked and read. Josh had to gently tell me that many of the little babies in the pictures had already passed away. When I took a closer look I could tell. Of course it made me more upset and cry more. To be honest, initially it kind of disturbed me that there were pictures of babies who had already died. Don’t get me wrong, they are very tasteful and incredibly beautiful and are clearly done to honor that child’s life. But it was just ‘weird’ to me at the time. I didn’t understand.

Now that I have experienced the loss of a baby and have become more aware and knowledgeable about others who have miscarried, had a stillbirth, or an infant loss, I have a better understanding of the importance of an organization like NILMDTS and why some families choose to have photographs taken with their deceased baby. That life matters and families want, need, deserve a record and a memory of that child’s life – and NILMDTS does a truly beautiful and professional job doing just that and honoring that life.

Eventually after talking with Josh, we decided to take this opportunity. I think I wanted it more than Josh. But we both agreed to do it. On December 5, 2009, when Hailey was 4 days old, we had a photographer from NILMDTS come and take pictures of our Hailey and us with Hailey. I’ve included some of the pictures at the bottom of this post. My blog banner and the photo of Hailey’s foot with our wedding rings in the right hand column of my blog page are from NILMDTS.

When the volunteer photographer came, we asked that our visiting family members leave so that we could have privacy while taking our pictures. When the ‘photo-shoot’  in our private room started, it was really challenging to smile for the pictures. How do you smile and pretend your happy when you’ve just learned that your baby was going to die? It was hard at that point to smile in celebration of Hailey’s life when being so stricken with sorrow at the same time.  I managed to muster up some smiles – I was a proud momma regardless of the circumstances. But Josh had a tough time smiling…understandably so; it was hard to smile that day to say the least… (plus he had tried to get a haircut all day but no places were open which was frustrating for him)… But in the end we managed to have a beautiful session with Hailey.

Hailey started off the session by sleeping peacefully, but as the session continued and more time passed and more flashes went off in her face, she slowly started to wake up. I was thankful for that because we got some with her eyes open! Eventually though as time and flashes continued, she got a little fussy and had to be soothed with a paci and dad’s fingers … we have some NILMDTS pictures of those moments too. 🙂

Also, I am so happy that the photos do not have her with her oxygen and the nasal cannula, and it is just her in her beauty with nothing obstructing that. They are pretty much the only pictures we have of her without her nasal cannula in. I am truly thankful for NILMDTS and the beautiful photographs we have of our daughter.

Haily ~ December 5, 2009 ~4 days old

Photographs by Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep


Entry filed under: Hailey. Tags: , , , , .

Heartwarming mail A Healing Misunderstanding of Mine

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Grandma Cetty  |  March 15, 2010 at 3:07 PM

    Oh….. I love her!!!!


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In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

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