What is Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep?
NILMDTS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization consisting of photographers volunteering their time and services to families that are experiencing the death of an infant. At the parent’s request, an affiliated photographer will meet with the family at a hospital or hospice location to help parents create beautiful heirloom memories of their child. Affiliated photographers are dedicated to making this photography session as loving, sensitive and private as possible. NILMDTS has provided for thousands of families, who have delivered babies who are stillborn or are at risk of dying as newborns, with free professional portraits with their baby.
While parents sometimes at first do not think about receiving images of their baby, they are always thankful they did. A number of parents who had losses prior to NILMDTS existing, wish they could have benefited from these services. You may feel uncomfortable about the thought of taking photographs of your baby during this time, however we recommend you seriously consider our services. You do not have to look at the photographs right away, but they will be there when and if you are ready. You cannot take this moment back.
Remembrance photography is a very important step in the healing process. Photographs are one of the most precious and tangible mementos that a parent can have, showing the love and bond that was given and shared with their baby. These portraits will last for generations, and will honor and remember a tiny life that is forever loved and cherished.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is committed to assisting parents and families experiencing early infant loss. NILMDTS connects families with volunteer photographers who donate the gift of infant remembrance photography.
Please go to http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/find-photographers/ to locate a photographer who can assist you. All efforts are made to find a photographer to fulfill requests, but our volunteers do not have guaranteed availability.
Who is eligible for the services of Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep?
The services of NILMDTS are available for all parents experiencing an infant loss. If a baby is under 25 weeks gestation, then we first consult with medical personnel to help our photographer determine if they can capture professional images of these tiny babies.
How much will the services of NILMDTS cost?
Our affiliated professional photographers graciously donate their time and talents to our families and we are proud to be able to offer our services at no cost. Families are given a CD of the images and a copyright release letter to allow them to print the images at a location of their choice at their own cost.
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 had to make the excruciating decision to take him off life support. But 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.
Those tender photographs documenting Maddux’s eternal connection with his parents inspired Cheryl Haggard and Sandy Puc’ to begin a 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.
Sandy and Cheryl founded the organization in April 2005 and called it Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS) after the children’s bedtime prayer.