An unexpected thing happened to me just recently. It happened during a bridal show Mark and I had signed up for. We love meeting couples and talking to brides about their wedding plans whether they include us photographing them or not. We both just love hearing each couple’s excitement as they tell us about their wedding plans, the look they exchange when they see a photo that touches them. Does it bring back memories for us? Absolutely! But what happened had nothing to do with a wedding, it had to do with a birth, the birth of an angel born sleeping. Or to put it differently this is a story of two separate families and their loss and how they impacted our lives.
I got the call to come to the hospital; a terrible call to come and photograph a baby who had been stillborn. I have never liked getting these calls which can come at any time, day or night, and always with heartrending news. I remind myself that I have been blessed over and over in my life and pick up my camera and go. Which brings me back to a few months ago at the last NILMDTS session I photographed. I walked into the delivery room to be faced by the grief filled faces of a couple whose wedding Mark and I had photographed only months before. That moment is indescribable, and terrible…to see their precious stillborn daughter and the agonizing sorrow in their faces. I photographed their beautiful child and barely held my own tears while they cried theirs. I went home and decided I couldn’t do this…not this again. Soon after I called the hospital and cancelled my membership with NILMDTS.
I have been back to the delivery room since for the birth of my daughter’s first baby. Such a gift.
At the bridal show another couple walked up to our table and Mark and I instantly remembered their faces. They are getting married and wanted to find out if we could photograph their engagement session, then went on to thank us for photographing their baby the day their sweet child was also taken from them. They told us how they each still carry a photo we took that day in their wallet and talked about what we had given them by photographing their family that one day. But the best news yet was when they told us, their eyes shining with joy and hope, about the baby they are now expecting. Can you blame me if I had tears in my eyes?
We had the privilege of photographing Jackie and Josh’s engagement session. Here are a few photos from their session that we loved.
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Your can find out more about our past involvement with NILMDTS HERE or visit their website at www.nilmdts.org to learn more. My challenge is to other photographers who may find it in their hearts to help families going through such a difficult time to consider volunteering if this is something that you are able to do.
Thank you to Jackie and Josh for allowing me to share their story and for inviting us to document their beautiful love for each other.