The best gift you can give is one that cannot be repaid and this organization provides just that. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep offers remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture.
This topic hits home for me. When I was six years old my mom had a still birth. I remember the bassinet was set up with the clothes washed and folded ready for her to join our family. My parents went to the hospital expecting to deliver a healthy baby girl but during delivery the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. Not only was this completely heart breaking and devastating, the only pictures that we have of Jamie are from a few days later when she was dressed in a gorgeous gown laying in a casket. I wish my parents had access to pictures of this beautiful baby. I truly believe it would have helped in the healing process.
Cheryl Haggard had a similar situation which inspired her and Sandy Puc’ to begin this nonprofit. “Maddux Achilles Haggard was born on Feb. 4, 2005, with a condition called myotubular myopathy. It prevented him from breathing, swallowing or moving on his own. On the sixth day of his young life, his parents, Mike and Cheryl Haggard had to make the excruciating decision to take him off life support. Before they did, they called photographer Sandy Puc’ to take black and white portraits of them cradling their son. Puc’ photographed the couple with Maddux at the hospital before he was removed from life support and after — when he was free from the tubes and the wires that had sustained him.”
“That night was the worst night of my life. But when I look at the images, I am not reminded of my worst night. I’m reminded of the beauty and blessings he brought.” -Cheryl Haggard
Those tender photographs documented Maddux’s eternal connection with his parents. These photographs inspired the creation of this nonprofit organization that has provided thousands of families of babies who are stillborn or are at risk of dying as newborns with free professional portraits with their baby. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep has over 1,700 photographers around the world and reaches every state in the United States. It is also present in 40 countries worldwide.
For most families this moment in time is foggy and confusing. This organization offers the parents a tangible piece of their baby that will live on forever. It is a photograph that has stopped time. It is priceless.
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“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” -Dorothea Lange