Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Cook Twins' NICU Grad Photo Shoot

Please enjoy Preemie Prints' families’ inspirational story & photos. 
Consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. We thank our supporters, Preemie Prints volunteers, and donors for allowing us to continue touching the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families.


We pray these special memories from Preemie Prints 
will help families heal and remember how strong 
they were in overcoming their NICU journey together.

A NICU STORY | THOUGHTS FROM MOM

“I will never forget when my husband and I found out we were pregnant or when we were told it was twins! What a scary and exciting time. I had a pretty boring pregnancy (no cravings, sickness, etc.) up until 30 weeks. I started swelling up really bad and having high blood pressure. At my 31 week appointment everything was great with the babies and I was measuring 41 weeks! Yikes! Doctor told me it was time to stop working and sent me to do my protein test. I was on my way out the door when she caught me and told me that I had a lot of protein in my urine and needed to stay in the hospital overnight for monitoring. After 24 hours they discovered my kidneys were not working due to severe preeclampsia. I was feeling fine (just tired) and never expected any of this. The doctor went back and forth for a couple days of whether to take the babies or let me ride it out as long as I could. I got steroid shots and still was determined to make it a couple more weeks. On the 13th of February they let me go home to be on bed rest in my own bed. Labs and blood pressure were not good, but were not getting worse. Doctor said I could ride it out until something spiked. The next morning, Friday, February 14th, I went in for labs and was told today had to be the day. I remember crying that it was too soon but everything happened quickly and I was not given an option. Unfortunately, I was so swollen that after 3 epidurals that did not work, they had to put me to sleep. At 11:55 and 11:56am my beautiful girls, Jonna and Jolie, were born at 3.5lbs each. I was so in love and it ended up being the best Valentine's ever! They were in the NICU for a month and it was really hard. I hated leaving them and all the ups and downs were draining. They were so tiny and needed help to do all the things other babies are born knowing. It broke my heart but the NICU staff at Scott and White in College Station were fabulous and I couldn't have asked for better nurses! If you have a little one in the NICU just know there is light at the end of the tunnel and to never stop praying! Jonna and Jolie are now thriving, beautiful, one year olds!!!”








Photos belong to our volunteer photographers, families, 
and organization please do not use for any purpose. 
____________________________________________

Preemie Prints is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization sharing hope with NICU families through a variety of support programs. One of those programs is the gift of NICU photography and preemie photography. NICU families from across the US can request a no-charge photography session by a Preemie Prints volunteer. The family request from can be found on the right side of our website. These sessions are free of charge and for any NICU family, regardless of time spent in the NICU. The NICU photo shoot can take place inside the NICU or after baby is discharged and at home until their 1st birthday. Facing time in a NICU with a premature or critically ill baby is an extremely difficult time for families. Preemie Prints has a mission to share hope by letting families know they are not alone. Preemie Prints currently has over 100 volunteers nationwide. We are always looking for more volunteers to share in our mission! If you are interested, please email sherri@preemieprints.org and visit our website at www.preemieprints.org. To date Preemie Prints and our volunteers have gifted over 400 NICU family sessions. 

This was a Preemie Prints NICU graduate photography session that took place near College Station, TX.

Ethan's NICU Grad Photo Shoot

Please enjoy Preemie Prints' families’ inspirational story & photos. 
Consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. We thank our supporters, Preemie Prints volunteers, and donors for allowing us to continue touching the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families.


We pray these special memories from Preemie Prints 
will help families heal and remember how strong 
they were in overcoming their NICU journey together.

A NICU STORY | THOUGHTS FROM MOM

“HI my name is Krystal I am 27 and had a few health problems, being a diabetic is one of them. This caused some problems for my pregnancy! I had my so Ethan November 15,2014. He is in the NICU still. The doctors have not given us a date he will be able to come home. He has had a spinal tap, meds, oxygen tube to help him breath. A feeding to due to he was to early to eat from a bottle, x-rays. Testing has also been done to check for any type of infections. He has shown the doctors the he is a strong little man and continues to show them every day. " MOMMY & DADDY LOVE YOU ETHAN "! The nurses have also helped me get through this hard time . And has insured me hi is in good hands. Thank y'all for all Y'all have done to help my son Ethan.”










Photos belong to our volunteer photographers, families, 
and organization please do not use for any purpose. 
____________________________________________

Preemie Prints is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization sharing hope with NICU families through a variety of support programs. One of those programs is the gift of NICU photography and preemie photography. NICU families from across the US can request a no-charge photography session by a Preemie Prints volunteer. The family request from can be found on the right side of our website. These sessions are free of charge and for any NICU family, regardless of time spent in the NICU. The NICU photo shoot can take place inside the NICU or after baby is discharged and at home until their 1st birthday. Facing time in a NICU with a premature or critically ill baby is an extremely difficult time for families. Preemie Prints has a mission to share hope by letting families know they are not alone. Preemie Prints currently has over 100 volunteers nationwide. We are always looking for more volunteers to share in our mission! If you are interested, please email sherri@preemieprints.org and visit our website at www.preemieprints.org. To date Preemie Prints and our volunteers have gifted over 400 NICU family sessions. 

This was a Preemie Prints NICU graduate photography session that took place near College Station, TX.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Springtime Bonding with Baby: The Power of a Mother’s Voice and Touch



Image copyright Preemie Prints and our volunteer photographer. 

Springtime Bonding with Baby: The Power of a Mother’s Voice and Touch 

It’s hard to believe it’s already March!! Spring’s just around the corner but if you have a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU, you may still be feeling the winter blues or just trying to figure out your next steps. Even though your baby may be in the NICU, please know there are still many opportunities for you to bond with your child and to effectively parent in the midst of all the medical decision making and what often seems like an organized circus of lights, labs, sounds and monitors!.

There are a couple of new and exciting therapies being pioneered in the NICU not only to empower parents but ultimately to empower babies. One such therapy is sound therapy. A recent journal article noted that there is very preliminary evidence to support the positive biological effects of the mother’s voice and heartbeat on the premature brain. 40 preemies were continuously exposed to the sound of their mother’s voice reading “Good Night Moon and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” through a semi womblike environment for 3 hours a day for 30 days while other infants received standard care. Preliminary evidence showed that those infants exposed to their mother’s voice and heart beat had larger auditory regions of the brain than those who did not.

This study is particularly important because preterm infants are more likely to have problems with hearing and problems with delayed speech. If the parts of the brain that controls these areas is larger in those infants systematically continually exposed to their mother’s voice and heart beat postnatalyl, it is possible that those infant’s may have better outcomes developmentally. Of course this remains to be seen but it is exciting to think about something I am sure we can all agree upon Mom’s voice is the best kind of comfort both in the womb and out of the womb no matter how old you are.




Another practice that is becoming more common in NICU’s is the practice of infant massage. Infant massage is a wonderful way for both mother’s and father’s to bond with the baby during that waiting period that many NICU parents know so well. Waiting to get bigger, waiting to get off the ventilator, waiting to take the first bottle. Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what to do but if your baby is stable enough for kangaroo care or skin to skin contact consider learning a few basic techniques of infant massage. Many neonatal intensive care units have occupational therapist trained in infant massage and are happy to teach parents some of the basic techniques. Basic infant massage generally flows from the head to the toes, beginning with the head, forehead, crown, around the eyes, nose and mouth, to the jaws, chest, stomach, arms, and legs and fingers. Generally the back of an infant should not be massaged but gentle placement of hands on the back while massaging shoulders is soothing for many infants.

The overall touch should be soft and gentle. Many parents use this time to speak or sing softly to the baby as well as recite their favorite prayers or verses. As your baby gets older this time will become more and more special and you can find yourself using basic massage techniques during routine care of infant including bathing, dressing or changing a diaper. Older infants may also benefit from the use of essential oil such as lavender. However these oils are generally not recommended for extremely preterm infants. It is important to consult a reputable source before placing oils on any infant, as some oils can be toxic for infants and must be diluted or be used with a carrier oil or not at all. Some massage techniques and essential oils have been shown to be associated with decreased colic symptoms and decreased allergy symptoms in older infants.

I hope you enjoy your Springtime with your baby! It may be still cold outside but the warmth of a baby no matter how big or small, premature or term, sick or well always brings everything into perspective. I pray you get to read and sing to your baby daily and especially that you get to pass on the gift of human touch daily. We know that babies love that…and guess what you will too! Happy March!

Article Contributed By: 
Dr. Terri Major-Kincade 
Visit her blog on website: DrTerriMD.com

















Other Related Blog Posts From Preemie Prints



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Welcome New Photography Volunteer, Brooke!

Please help us welcome volunteer photographer, Brooke! She will be helping give the gift of NICU photography to preemie and NICU families in Florida!


Brooke Ramsey
Brook Ramsey Photography
www.brookeramseyphoto.com
brooke.m.ramsey@gmail.com

Service Area: Winter Haven

Hospitals: Winter Haven Hospital, Lakeland Regional, Bartow Regional


About Brooke:

“As a mother, I truly believe that children are a blessing from the Lord! These first days and months of new life are so special, and they go by so quickly, so I think they are some of the most important memories to capture. I have been in the photography business since 2008, and children are my favorite subject to photograph!”


www.preemieprints.org
Preemie Prints is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization sharing hope with NICU families through a variety of support programs. One of those programs is the gift of NICU photography and preemie photography. NICU families from across the US can request a no-charge photography session by a Preemie Prints volunteer. The family request from can be found on the right side of our website. These sessions are free of charge and for any NICU family, regardless of time spent in the NICU. The NICU photo shoot can take place inside the NICU or after baby is discharged and at home until their 1st birthday. Facing time in a NICU with a premature or critically ill baby is an extremely difficult time for families. Preemie Prints has a mission to share hope by letting families know they are not alone. Preemie Prints currently has over 100 volunteers nationwide. We are always looking for more volunteers to share in our mission! If you are interested, please email sherri@preemieprints.org and visit our website at www.preemieprints.org. To date Preemie Prints and our volunteers have gifted over 500 NICU family sessions.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Super Noah! A Preemie Prints Grad Photo Shoot

Please enjoy Preemie Prints' families’ inspirational story & photos. 
Consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. We thank our supporters, Preemie Prints volunteers, and donors for allowing us to continue touching the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families.


We pray these special memories from Preemie Prints 
will help families heal and remember how strong 
they were in overcoming their NICU journey together.

A NICU STORY | THOUGHTS FROM MOM
“My youngest son Noah was born May 9th, 2014 at 33weeks 5days. He weighed 5lb 1oz. He was diagnosed in utero with Spina Bifida. While we do live in Florida, we temporarily relocated our then family of 4 to the north east so Noah could have a fetal repair done at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. His back repair was done at 25weeks 1 day, and he was tucked back inside to keep growing for another few months. Babies that undergo fetal surgery are scheduled for CSection at 37 weeks, but Noah had other ideas and came earlier than that.

In the fetal surgery for spina bifida community, we are often told our child was born twice. Once being taken out to repair their back (often referred to as their "butt day" because that is the only part of the baby taken out during surgery, and then their actual birthday. It is pretty common to celebrate both days, and we would love to get pictures taken of Noah on his fetal surgery birthday, March 10th

Noah spent 52 days in NICU. While we always knew that Noah would spend some time in the NICU after he was born, we never could have imagined it would be almost two months.


During those weeks we learned to take each day, one at a time. To never listen to discharge date promises, because babies do things on their own times. But most importantly we learned to cherish every moment with him. Noah is now 8 months old, and there are times that I miss the quiet, peacefulness of just him and I curled up in a rocking chair.’




A Note From Cassandra:
"Noah's mom drove over an hour to come see me with him. He met me with the cutest smirk and brightest blue eyes! He was so excited to come meet me he decided to stay awake the whole car ride so was very guarded with his smiles, but when he did (of course mostly off-camera) his whole face lit up! Noah's family endured quite a bit while anticipating his arrival such as traveling to another state for a life changing surgery as well as being without mommy for several months (I am sure that Noah's older brothers can forgive him though, well at least until he comes after their toys). Without that surgery he would surely have been paralyzed whereas now he has mobility and a great future ahead for he and his family!"



Photos belong to our volunteer photographers, families, 
and organization please do not use for any purpose. 
____________________________________________

Preemie Prints is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization sharing hope with NICU families through a variety of support programs. One of those programs is the gift of NICU photography and preemie photography. NICU families from across the US can request a no-charge photography session by a Preemie Prints volunteer. The family request from can be found on the right side of our website. These sessions are free of charge and for any NICU family, regardless of time spent in the NICU. The NICU photo shoot can take place inside the NICU or after baby is discharged and at home until their 1st birthday. Facing time in a NICU with a premature or critically ill baby is an extremely difficult time for families. Preemie Prints has a mission to share hope by letting families know they are not alone. Preemie Prints currently has over 100 volunteers nationwide. We are always looking for more volunteers to share in our mission! If you are interested, please email sherri@preemieprints.org and visit our website at www.preemieprints.org. To date Preemie Prints and our volunteers have gifted over 400 NICU family sessions. 

This was a Preemie Prints NICU graduate photography session that took place near Orlando, FL.


We're thankful to the family for sharing their story & memories in support of other NICU families.