As some of you may know, I volunteer my services to Mercy Hospital‘s Heartprints program, photographing babies’ time with their families when they are sent to earth for only a short time. In fact, this volunteer work I do is one of the things that pushed me towards photography, and continually pushes me to be the best I can be. I know all too well how important these photos are to the families who receive them, because I once was a recipient of such photos. Our Madelyn was born on August 28, 2009, after a very difficult pregnancy full of uncertainty. We were blessed to be able to spend some time with her before she passed from this world to the next, and I am so thankful that Mercy, which is also where I delivered, called in a photographer for us. Those photos mean the world to me. And I know if I was meant to do anything in life, it is to offer that same gift to other families. It is the least I can do for the daughter who will always hold a place in my heart and in our family.
Usually I get a call after a baby has been born, but this time, I was so glad this family decided to have maternity photos done, too. As this sweet mama and I started talking, I realized how similar our stories are. In those moments, I feel like this mama and I became friends for life.
Sweet Kaitlyn’s kidneys did not form, so she did not have amniotic fluid. Madelyn also did not have amniotic fluid, at least not enough to serve its purpose of lung development, and we found out later only 1 of her kidneys had formed, and it was very small.
On August 6, 2015, little Kaitlyn was born. I wish I could say I had been there, but I had just had a d&c (which is a story for another day), and I was recovering, so I was unable to be there. Thankfully, Mercy has an entire team of photographers who do this volunteer work for them. I saw the photos that were captured for this family, and they are beautiful. I’m so glad someone else was able to step in when I couldn’t. I’m not sure which photographer it was, but whoever you are, thank you.
Though I couldn’t be there to meet Kaitlyn, I was thankful to be able to attend the memorial service. Kaitlyn’s family did a beautiful butterfly release for her at the cemetery. It’s such an amazing idea, and I’m glad her mama thought to do it.
Here are some photos from their maternity session, and one photo of the butterfly release.