Remembering Lost Infants Through Photography

By  | 

One in every 115 births results in an infant death. It can happen to anyone, and when it does, the family doesn't get much time to spend with the baby's body.

There's a program that can help families capture those fleeting moments.

Jamie Council introduces us to a mother who first used the program in Minot and the photographer who is making it possible.

Two years ago, Amber Finch had to say goodbye to someone she had just met -- her newborn child, Grace.

"She was beautiful. She was alive and well and then an hour and a half later when we were getting ready to fly out she coded and was coded for quite some time, and then we decided there was nothing more that could be done," said Finch.

Families of infant loss have less than a day to spend with their child, so remembering that time is important. And that's the motivation behind why a Minot photographer donates her time and services to do it.

"It's always hard to walk into that room. It's the hardest to open, but it's always worth it in the end to preserve what otherwise wouldn't have been preserved," Erica McCauley, NILMDTS photographer..

McCauley has never lost a child, but grew up in a household with infant loss and understands what it means to not only lose a child, but how important that memory is.

"My mom saw had seen I was doing and she cried several times and said, 'I wish I had something like this. I wish that I had some way to remember that day -- snapshots running through the room, Pictures to hang on the wall,'" said McCauley.

McCauley is part of the organization "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" that provides remembrance photography. So far, she has captured images with about 30 families and has expanded the program to Williston.

"She's always a part of us now and they won't forget her. She's there. It's not just a gravesite, it's her. It's a piece we will never get back, but what we are given now for free is a God send. The whole program is just a complete blessing," said Finch.

Since losing Grace, Amber has added 11-week-old James to her family now of six.

Amber is a CNA at Trinity and advocates for the Now As I Lay Me Down to Sleep services.

To learn how to help locally, visit youcaring.com and search Families of Loss Minot. This weekend, Jamie Council will explain what cuddle cots are and why they are so important in this process.