On a Facebook group that I am a member of, I noticed a posting for someone looking for a photographer for a stillbirth that was taking place that evening. The photographer couldn’t make it and she was looking for a backup. As a bereavement doula, I anxiously observed as many photographers stepped up to the plate and offered help. When I noticed it was my friend and photographer that took pictures of Timmy at six days old, I knew I needed to contact her.
She had never done anything like this before and I wanted her to know as much as I did about what to expect. The baby was suspected to be 20 weeks gestation and many people do not know what a baby this early looks like. I immediately referred her to stillbirthday.com. They have pages with babies at different gestational ages and the page is really helpful because if you haven’t seen a baby that early before, you might be very shocked.
We seemed to chat for hours as she prepared for this difficult journey. She seemed much more prepared then I had anticipated. I was amazed by her strength and her passion to assist this family with documenting the life of their baby. We know that it doesn’t matter how early the baby dies, the loss is devastating.
I told my friend that I would be here for her no matter what time of day. If she needed to reach me, she could call or text at any time of the night (it was fast approaching). I also told her to pass my information on to the mother. I wanted this mother to have someone to reach out to at any time. She eventually DID reach out to me and it has been wonderful. While I will never fully know the fruits of my labor, it doesn’t matter. Being there for someone else in their darkest hour is so rewarding. I feel so blessed to be a part of their lives.
I never expected my bereavement training would take me to this place; the place of supporting another birth professional through assisting someone through loss. I am glad it did. If you are a birth professional or photographer and are assisting someone through a loss, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions. To read about this amazing photographers journey photographing and supporting her first stillbirth, click here. She blogged about her experience. Blogging is so healing. I am honored to pass on her story.
– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage
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