Only sleeping


Little baby Arthur lived a very short life over 100 years ago – just a little over three months.  In a blink of an eye, he was here and gone.   

One day, during my Christmas break from work, I drove up to the cemetery to take some photos.  It was a frigid day so I didn’t spend much time up there, but while I was there noticed that there were an awful lot of tombstones for infants that dated back to the early 1900’s.  It must have been such a difficult time, back in the day.  The area was just being settled.  I’m sure doctors were scarce and medicine (and knowledge) lacking. 

Sometimes I wonder how much has really changed, at least in the knowledge department.  A young family in town recently lost their young daughter, who was a little older than Arthur, to SIDS.   Despite years of research, its cause remains unpredictable.  There are risk factors of which one needs to be aware — two of them were in play in this situation.  Incidence of SIDS increases in cold weather, strikes boys more often than girls, affects African-Americans and Native Americans at a higher rate of two and three times respectively than caucasian infants.  Other risk factors include:

  • smoking, drinking, or drug use during pregnancy
  • poor prenatal care
  • prematurity or low birth-weight
  • mothers younger than 20
  • tobacco smoke exposure following birth
  • overheating from excessive sleepwear and bedding
  • stomach sleeping 

    Education is key.  If you have a young infant or know someone who does or who is expecting, make sure they are aware of the SIDS risk factors.  Simple changes can make a world of difference.  To read more, click here.



    Filed under Lensbaby, photography

    10 responses to “Only sleeping

    1. don

      I like the use of the lensbaby to show this sad historic document of a young life. Your comment is excellent and I would hope these ideas would get wide circulation among those who are related to or friends of parents with new born youngsters.

    2. It is heart breaking isn’t it. I can’t even imagine what the pioneers lives were like. Especially if I think about the cold snowy winters like the one we are having this year. I am an avid cemetary visitor too. I think about the family’s who buried their loved ones …its so interesting to see how some graves are carefully maintained and others have fallen into disrepair. Great photo!

    3. Very sad to see this photo and read about your friend who lost a baby so young 😦

    4. An excellent post, Toni in both image and words. I too do a little shooting in cemetaries and am fascinated by the details on the stones, and the historical significance.

      You raise some interesting points regarding SIDS

    5. Your image reminds me of the cinematography in that “Jesse James Assassination” (not real name) movie. I love the cinematography in that film, it was so dark and dreamy, but soothing……much like this photo. I like taking pictures in cemeteries, too. This is really great.

      p.s. send me your email and I will forward you some links to some nice textures that are waaaay better than the PS defaults.

    6. Elizabeth

      the colors in that photo are beautiful!

      such sad news about the couple and their baby.

    7. very nice photo, but the sad story about the baby really touches people’s hearts…

    8. BoB

      sad shot. I like the lensbaby effect here

    9. SO glad you’re posting today for the inauguration.

      And thank you for this post—my brother died of SIDS, 40 years ago this December, and I lay my hand on my infant daughter’s chest nightly before I go to sleep, just to be sure…

    10. Lenbaby did a great job on this sad subject matter. Thought provoking shot.