Monday, February 15, 2010

Zayden's Promise

Zayden's promise is a program that I started that offers free infant bereavement portraits to those who have lost their child as well as portraits for terminally ill children. The reason I started Zayden's promise: I was pregnant with my second daughter, and a friend of mine was pregnant with a son at the same time. She was due a few months after me and so we would compare pregnancy symptoms and stories. She ended up going into early labor and had Zayden 3 months early. At the time I was so naive, that I didn't realize how critical he would be and I remember being jealous that her pregnancy was over. Now I'm ashamed to admit it, but I was thinking "lucky girl, she's done being pregnant and already has her baby." I didn't realize just how grateful I should be to be carrying my baby to term.
Pretty soon after he was born, he was airlifted to Spokane, and then I realized it was serious. And that she just may lose her son. We prayed and prayed- my 3 year old daughter praying for baby Zayden all hours of the day. It felt so close to home for us since I was pregnant at the same time. Like she and I were on the journey together, and somehow she had fallen off the path and in a way I felt guilty. Guilty that it had happened to her, and not to me.
After about a week, it looked like he might not be able to make it. And I really wanted to offer to come take some portraits of him so they would have good pictures to keep to remind them of their beautiful little son who was here all too briefly. But I didn't have the guts. I was scared that I would be asking something too personal, or somehow saying some kind of faux paus. And then he was gone. And I was heart broken.

Two days after he passed away, my baby daughter was born. I felt awful about that timing. I didn't know if I could face my friend, newborn in hand. If I could tell her how sorry I was. I was worried about that barrier between us. Me, with my newborn daughter, and her son gone. So I sent her a card, a cd with music to help heal the heart, my thoughts and prayers. I kept my distance for a while, and she kept hers. I'm sure now looking back that if she even looked at me with my baby in my arms she may have broken down right then. A stronger woman could do no more.

And time passed. About 6 months later, we started to talk in person again. Awkwardly at first. Because what we talked about before Zayden was gone was our pregnancies. Our babies. And that common ground had been rocked. It was hard to have a conversation at first, because there was so much left unsaid.
Eventually, we did get around to talking about the real things. What happened with Zayden. And I told her how I felt like I had wanted to offer pictures to her, but was afraid. And she said that yes, they would've been so grateful for that had I asked. I asked her to forgive me for not being brave. And she did. Because she's amazing like that and serves an amazing God that has forgiven her and so she can't help but pass on that love and forgiveness.
And after that conversation, I knew I had to start Zayden's Promise. And name it after Zayden. For my friend, and her courage. And now, if someone is in that situation again, where their baby is either critical and his time is short, or has given birth to a stillborn, I want to bless them. I want to love them by giving them this gift of their child's face, hands, feet, for them to keep always.  If you ever know of someone in that situation, please give them information about Zayden's Promise. Here's some more information on the program:

~Ange Movius Photography
Lewiston - Clarkston Photographer

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