Love, happiness, joy and everything wonderful in my life
On January the 3rd 2003, we were 16 weeks pregnant with our first child when we received the news that the baby I was carrying had passed. We were beside ourselves with grief. I remember making an excuse to go to the bathroom, where I stood staring at my slightly bulging pregnant belly in the mirror and saying goodbye to the baby I would never meet. The child I was planning to show the world too. Tears. So many tears. And so much confusion. Doctors told us that our baby had actually passed several weeks earlier and that I would need an operation to remove the baby, clinically discussing the routine procedure and scheduling me in for the following day. Wait!!! What!?!! I instantly panicked. Tomorrow was our first wedding anniversary. All I could think was no, not tomorrow, tomorrow was about love, happiness, joy and everything wonderful in my life. Not this. I felt my life come to a complete stop. I couldn’t breath. Only hours earlier my life was perfect and now … now there were no words.
That night at a few minutes past 12am I awoke in my hospital bed, in pain and covered in blood. It appears that our baby had decided to come all on it’s own. I remember being so scared, I was all by myself in a hospital room, unprepared for what what happening and I so desperately didn’t want to let go. I had so many dreams of a life that would never be lived and it was literally being ripped out from underneath me and there was nothing I could do.
Our first wedding anniversary was spent in a cold, sterile hospital room, shared by 3 elderly people in the the Orthopaedics ward, (where the hospital had placed me in to keep me away from the maternity ward) with my grieving husband, Brendon by my side. Due to complications we would never met our baby, see what it looked like or even find out if it was a boy or a girl. And I don’t know if it was due to the post pregnancy hormones racing though my body or because I was a grieving mother who refused to let go but it was at this moment that I had a sudden realisation ... Our precious miracle chose this moment; this day. He held on for several weeks to give us the only gift he had to give … himself. Our baby arrived just after midnight on the 4th of January 2003. He may not of been able to stay with us but he wanted to be remembered, on a day about love, happiness, joy and everything wonderful in our life.
I’ve photographed babies just days before they have passed and sat with parents grieving over lives not lived and it’s moments like these that remind me
every day how precious our babies are. Loss gives us a deeper understanding of life and how incredibly precious and fragile it is and that is a gift my first child gave to me. A gift I am grateful for.
This is where my passion for newborn safety comes from. It is my purpose. It’s what drives me to want to change the way we learn, the way create and the way we evolve our art with newborns. I don’t believe training or testing of props or lighting should be conducted with real newborns, they are someones little blessing, their miracle and the a coming together of everything wonderful in their lives; not our test subjects and we need to respect that.
Henry Ford once famously said “Vision without execution is just hallucination”. It takes people to stand up and make a difference. To say, this goes against my values and I don’t want to just sit around watching other photographers, complaining that they are doing it wrong and waiting for something bad to happen. I want to stand up. I want do something about it. I want to be the change. And this is what StandInBaby is to me.
Baby Eden, Born Sleeping 5th October 2014
Our thoughts and prayers are with Eden's family. Video is a little graphic (some nudity)
Join the conversation!
As photographers we aren't necessarily experts on newborns health, but working with newborns means that we should always have access to the latest information.
So in an effort to keep our littlest clients safe we have created a Photorum (Photography Forum) that connects Health Care Professionals directly with Newborn Photographers.