I want to tell you a little more about the organization that took those pictures. When Abby's future was uncertain and it did not appear that she would be with us for much longer, our wonderful social worker brought up the subject of bringing in a photographer from the group Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. I had heard about this organization from several friends who had lost their babies at birth and they had said how wonderful and caring the photographers were. But at that point, I felt like saying yes to NILMDTS was giving up on Abby. I vehemently said NO and wouldn't discuss it further.
The next day, as things continued to look grim, Matt and I talked about it again and decided that we would really like to have pictures of all of us together. I wasn't sure how Caleb would be if we got them taken after she died, so we tearfully told our social worker that we wanted to have them while Abby was still with us. Well, the pictures were scheduled for the day Abby ended up getting her trach, so we naturally had to cancel. We couldn't hold Abby for a week after the surgery, so we decided to wait until we could.
When our photographer, Nancy, came, she was so compassionate and loving. She didn't ask questions, although we did tell her a little about Abby's condition.
She captured so much of the love we saw in Caleb's eyes when he looked at Abby.
She really was able to photograph the joy Matt and I felt at having our whole family together.
It wasn't the sad or gloomy session I thought it was going to be; rather, it was a celebration of the life Abby was living at that moment.
I know that very few of the families that NILMDTS serves get to have the amount of time with their child that we have had with Abby. As strange as it sounds, I've even struggled with feeling guilty that Abby survived after having the pictures done!
We are so thankful for Abby's life, but we want to also acknowledge the pain those families must be feeling as they say goodbye to their child. NILMDTS helps to create some beautiful memories for hurting families.
I would encourage you to read some of the stories on the NILMDTS website...but have your tissues handy! It is a wonderful organization that gives families lasting memories during a very difficult situation.