A Bittersweet Milestone
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than one’s fear” – Ambrose Redmoon.
The above quote was on the postcard that accompanied my silver pin badge you can see proudly added to my lanyard above. Sent by Remember My Baby (RMB) in recognition of the completion of 25 remembrance photography sessions for families.
Isn’t It Nice To Be Recognised?
Yes, it is lovely to be recognised and RMB is very good at providing support, training and care for their volunteers. But it also means 25 families who haven’t got to take their babies home and celebrate their own personal milestones. I think you can see why it weighs heavy on my heart.
Talking of hearts, every single one of those 25 babies has a place in my heart. From my very first session in 2019 to my last one just there in August. I will never forget them. Neither will I forget the brave parents and family members. I will never forget the simply awe-inspiring work the midwives and nurses do in these situations.
Why Do It?
My strong belief is that the well-off should take care of the not-so-well-off. When I was a Banker I was well paid and as a result able to give money to charities every month via Payroll Giving. When I quit that job after 20 years to pursue my passion for photography I had to give all that up. Suddenly I was short on money but very rich in time.
While watching an online training course given by an American newborn photographer she ended her course with a plea for volunteer photographers for the charity Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. It struck a chord with me and I wondered if there was a UK equivalent.
Fast forward a bit and I was at an SWPP roadshow where I came across the RMB stand in the tradeshow. After some soul-searching as to whether I was brave enough to do it. I applied, was assessed and joined.
Remembrance Photography Isn’t New
Death Photography (as it was known) was very common in Victorian times and you can read a fascinating article on it here. That was to be expected. Queen Victoria had made mourning fashionable and people had large families as they expected some level of infant mortality.
What is shocking is that despite huge leaps in modern medicine and technology we still need it today. You will have all seen the news articles about hospital malpractice but almost every day parents somewhere in the UK leave a hospital empty-handed and heartbroken.
How You Can Help
Thank you for reading my story if you’ve made it this far about my bittersweet achievement. If you would like to help Remember My Baby, there are many ways:
- Donating or Sponsoring
- Becoming a volunteer (we need all sorts of volunteers, not just photographers)
- Let other people know about us. I sincerely hope that you and anyone you know never need our services. But should someone need us. I would hate to think of them losing out on precious memories because they didn’t realise RMB was there.