Photographer remembers children

   When co-founder Cheryl Haggard lost her son in February of 2005, she knew that her family’s healing was going to come by remembering details about Maddux, not by forgetting that he existed.
   Her husband contacted photographer and eventual co-founder Sandy Puc’ and requested her services in helping to memorialize young Maddux. Over time, memories fade, but these cherished photographs will last for generations and help show the love that was shared between this young boy and his family, no matter how brief his stay on Earth was.
   From these beginnings, the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation was born. Currently there are approximately 7,000 professional photographers in 25 countries who volunteer their professional photography services to the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Foundation.
   April Spaulding of Choteau has been chosen as one of these special photographers. She will travel to area hospitals within a 100 mile radius for this special service.
    “As a volunteer member of the organization, I would like to share with you how we are helping families in this community,” Spaulding said. When nurses or social workers at local hospitals call me on behalf of a family, I will pack up my gear and head to the hospital. I first offer the family my condolences on their loss or impending loss, and then I get to work, knowing that the images I capture will be one of their only connections to that child once they have said goodbye.”
   Some of these babies pass away at or near birth due to genetic defects, pregnancy trauma or stillbirth. In other cases, doctors have tried everything they can to help find a cure for whatever ailment the child suffers from, but the hospital calls the photographer when all efforts have been exhausted and the family will soon be disconnecting life support. The Foundation photographer comes at the family’s request. In some cases, the photographer is able to capture the last images of this child’s time here on Earth; in other cases, the parents are more interested in seeing their child memorialized eternally at peace, meaning once the child has passed and no cords or IV’s are connected.
   The Foundation believes the images of these precious children serve as an important step in the healing process and that this opportunity should be available to all in need regardless of socio-economic status. To this end, their entire network of professional photographers donates their time and talents to this noble service.
   The main focus are the photo sessions for infants from 25 weeks until after birth who have been or will be lost to critical illness or stillbirth.
   At the family’s request, one of the Foundation’s volunteer photographers comes to the healthcare facility and performs an onsite photo shoot.    The photos are then professionally retouched and presented to the family in a DVD slideshow format with music as well as a CD of high resolution images.
   To offer a supportive place for parents to grieve, the Foundation administers a Family Forum on its Web site, www.nowisleep.com.        
   Please direct any additional inquiries to April Spaulding Photography & Design at 406-750-8666, www.aprilspaulding.com or the Headquarters office, at 720-283-3339, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.nilmdts.org.