Children’s Miracle Network & Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep – Joplin, MO

We haven’t blogged in quite a while, wow. The busier we are, they less the blog is attended to. tonight I felt like I needed to share a few things that are you may not have heard before.

The NICU is near and dear to my heart.  When my oldest son, Ezekiel was born at almost full term he weighed in at only 4lb 13oz.  His low birth weight earned him the privilege of extra special NICU care.  Although only under their care for a week, the experience was traumatic to this first time mother. Since then, I have been in the NICU many, many times. So may times I can’t even count.  The NICU is a special place filled with special people. For several years I volunteered in the NICU.  Photographing babies once a week. In an immensely stressful time, I prayed that I was providing a ray of sunshine to NICU parents.  A NICU stay often feels like a really stressful dream.  Information coming at you, new mom hormones, recovery from birth and much more.  Documenting this journey is often the last thing on a parent’s mind (and hospitals are often dark, making photography difficult!).  You have more important things to consider.  Several years later I became aware of an organization named Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep provides photography services to families experiencing infant loss.  That was NOT something I though I was capable of. However, after multiple exposures to the organization and their work, I signed up to volunteer.  I believe that God used my time in the NICU to lead me & equip me to serve as a member of NILMDTS.  A while later I was joined in our area by Shyra Granthum.  Shyra came along just when I needed her.  I was worn out and she renewed my passion and dedication to the work. If you are interested in serving Southwest Missouri residents through NILMDTS, please let me know! We would certainly welcome you!

Now enters, Children’s Miracle Network. The Joplin area CMN has been supporting the work of NILMDTS in joplin for quite some time now.  CMN provides an album to each family for their prints. In my experience, our local CMN is the BEST!  I have seen the heart and dedication behind their work and I am blessed just observing their passion and sacrifice while serving southwest Missouri families. Because of my work in the hospital, I have been asked on several occasions to photograph NICU babies for CMN.  My absolute favorite shoot of the entire year is Santa’s yearly visit to the NICU.  It is magical.  Last week, I photographed this princess in the freeman NICU.  She is doing very well and is probably at home by now!  Check out the Angel Eye Camera System, provided by CMN, featured in the last image! “Angel eye” is a camera that allows the parents to check in on their baby when they are not able to be with them!  What a blessing!  The next time you are asked if you’d like to donate to CMN, say “yes”.  Funds donated here stay here. Our local CMN serves Southwest Missouri, Southeast Kansas & Northeast Oklahoma. SWMO, SEK, & NEO.

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