Saturday, September 15, 2007

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I cried as I read the newspaper this morning.

Let me give a little background. In 1979, the year after we were married we had twin boys who died. Wendy and I were just kids and hardly knew about life let alone death.

Wendy was about five months pregnant when she went into labor. The boys died during the delivery. One was fourteen ounces and the other eight. There was nothing that could be done to save them.

The nurse asked Wendy if she would like to hold them. Of course she wanted to. A few minutes later, they took them away. We were asked to sign some papers. The hospital would take care of the details. We never saw them again.

As the years went by, we were blessed with two daughters and three sons. A couple years later Wendy was pregnant again. Two weeks before her due date something seemed wrong; she could not feel the baby move. We went to the doctor, an ultrasound was done and then the sad news - our baby had died.

Four days later, he came into this world. What a sad time. We were a little more prepared than the first time and knew some questions to ask and things to do. Our other children came to the hospital and spent some time with their brother. By this time, many tears were shed. We took turns holding him and were able to take pictures. Pictures were something that we didn’t think of the first time we went through this.

And that is why I cried this morning. The story in the paper was about a group of volunteer photographers who go to the hospital to take pictures of babies who have died or who are about to die. These are not snapshots like we took but photo memories done by professional photographers. As one mother said after viewing the photo presentation that was set to music: "Do you know what you've done? You've given me my son."

I know exactly what she meant. It's the difference between the memories I have of my twin boys who died and of our later son who died.

The organization is called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. They provide this service free of charge. They can use donations. I plan to send one.

Philip

Click here to read the story.

Click here for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.

Click here to read more about my son Nathaniel.

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