volunteer

‘Doctor, is everything okay with my baby?’ He laughed. 4 months pregnant, I tested positive for malaria.’: Pregnant woman contracts malaria while traveling abroad, ‘Each day is a gift’

“My husband and I decided to fly to Kenya to help build orphanages. ‘Why go there?’ Despite negative reactions from others, we pressed on and purchased our tickets. Little did we know, I was pregnant! 4 months into my pregnancy, I became ill. I was rushed to the hospital. ‘How long have you had malaria?’ I was extremely frightened for the unborn child within my womb. I tested positive.”

‘How was your trip?’ It broke my heart. Their schoolhouse was an open room separated by wooden dividers. The roof leaked every time it rained.’: Woman’s trip to Liberia was ‘eye-opening’ and ‘enlightening’

“This was the tough part for me. Thinking back to how I grew up, and seeing how drastically different it was from them, broke my heart. As a kid, I remember asking for updated decor for my room or a new, more comfortable bed to sleep in, and my parents working their butts off to make it a reality for me. But these kids didn’t have that.”

‘Are you ready to hold your baby?’ She takes a deep breath, sits up as straight as she can. We’re very careful.’: Child loss photographer reminds grieving parents ‘this little life mattered’

“The room is still, almost silent. I meet their beautiful baby, I hold their baby, talk to their baby. All while taking a mental assessment of how much posing I can do. I ask who he got his beautiful wavy hair from, or his button nose or long toes. I talk, but not too much to overwhelm anyone. I work gently, efficiently. I capture every single detail. No one wants this. Their child existed. Their child was so loved, and so wanted.”

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