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    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep ...

    Life has been as crazy as ever, and blog posts have been very scarce of late. That does not mean I have not written them in my head! Oh no! Usually I get great ideas for things to share, pontificate upon, etc., but because school and the hospitals keep me away from computers, the words never make it from my mind to my blog.

    For two months before Christmas, I was on my Pediatrics rotation. Working with children was very rewarding, but one of the hardest parts of being in the hospital was that truly sick child -- the one that for whatever reason, was not going home.

    Working with adults, when someone finally succumbs to their disease, you can chalk it up to their previous bad habits (like smoking, eating fatty food, not exercising, etc), but with children, it's either dumb luck (infection) or other people's problems (abuse).

    The most depressing is probably seeing the newborns pass away. My newborn experience while on pediatrics was confined to the well baby nursery, and it was enjoyable to see happy parents with their new children. I also remember when my son was born, and the extreme joy -- no, spiritual experience -- that I had when holding him in my hands for the first time.

    The dichotomy to all that joy must be the hurt when a baby dies, and historically physicians have encouraged parents who know their baby will be born with a fatal condition to terminate the pregnancy early and not grow attached to the fetus. A couple that attends church with us recently had a son with anencephaly -- a fatal condition where the child is born basically without a brain -- and chose to do the opposite of the physician's wishes. She bore him to term, they named him, held him until he passed, and buried him. It helped them gain closure to the experience -- especially given their belief that they can be together as a family in the hereafter.

    Now there is a non-profit organization that helps parents that choose to gain closure like our church friends. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a network of professional photographers throughout the United States that are on call 24/7 to take photos of families, parents, and the newborn during the short time the child is on this earth. Then they put the photos on an archival DVD for keepsake.

    Wonderful. I wish nobody had to go through the death of a child, but if it happens, it's nice to know there are organizations and people like this to help. This year -- barring something monumental -- I will play in the second annual TBE March Madness Pool for them.

    1 comment:

    Sara said...

    Wow...what an amazing organization. What special people those photographers must be to be so compassionate and understanding of that time. Thank you for sharing.