Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quinn'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
“Our little girl Quinn was born on February 12, 2014. She was 2 1/2 months early. She weighed 3 lbs. 3.5oz. After an emergency C-section she was taken straight to the NICU where the nurses and doctors assessed her and gave her the medical attention she needed. It was a very scary time for us; little did we know that the next 3 1/2 months would be a complete roller coaster ride.

Quinn had very immature sick lungs when she was born- her right lung collapsed hours after birth. Watching our sweet little girl fight so hard to breathe was awful to watch, we couldn't do anything for her, we couldn't even hold her until she was a week old. We sat with her, talked to her, prayed with her. We changed her diaper and took her temperature, whatever we were allowed to do we did! The first couple of days in the NICU were tough, I was familiar with the NICU since I work at the hospital I delivered at and had been up there before taking X-rays of these sick little baby's. It's completely different when you are a parent of one of these sick little babies though. Quinn worked so hard and kept fighting, she was taken off the ventilator and put on CPap because her breathing was doing so great- this was all great exciting news! We loved holding her and talking to her- doing kangaroo care with her! We knew she would still have a long road but the progress she was making was unbelievable! When she was 3 weeks old we got a phone call early in the morning, the morning of my baby shower actually, informing us that our little girl has spiked a fever. We were so upset and, of course, rushed right to the hospital - she looked awful, the doctors and nurses weren't sure why she had the fever and thought maybe she had a stomach bug. The next 24 hours were such a blur to us, basically she progressively got worse and the doctors did a lumbar puncture and the results showed that she had meningitis, a very very bad infection. We sat with her and just watched the nurses and doctors give her fluids, meds, blood transfusions, platelets etc. It was awful, so scary to see our little baby girl fighting for her life. After a few days with IV antibiotics she started looking a little better and her labs were showing some improvements. She was on her 4th week of antibiotics when the neonatologist said he wanted to repeat the lumbar puncture to make sure the infection was gone before she stops antibiotics. We were not prepared for what came next...
The labs showed that her white blood cells in the fluid were extremely high, indicating an infection. They did an ultrasound of her brain and it showed that she might have a brain abscess. At this point things are now complicated and we thought it the best idea to have her transferred to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), after all it is the best hospital in the country and its only a 20 minute drive from us. Having Quinn transferred was very scary, we loved the hospital we were at, we loved all the staff in the NICU and had really developed relationships with them but we knew that we needed to do this for Quinn. So we arrived at CHOP and were greeted by friendly faces. They were going to do their own tests on Quinn and give us a plan, we were hoping that the plan would be the same one that she was doing, antibiotics for 6 weeks! Well were we wrong- Quinn had an MRI late on a Tuesday night and first thing Wednesday morning we were told she needed to go to the operating room for emergency brain surgery for an abscess. We were in shock. She was only 7weeks old, she should be sleeping snuggling with mommy and daddy, not going in for surgery! Her neurosurgeon had to go over everything with us- the good, the bad, and the scary! He had us wait with our family while he went and saved our little girl. I will never forget the moment he came down after he finished her surgery, he had a smile on his face; we instantly felt relief! He said she did so well and that it wasn't as bad as once thought. He said we had to watch her closely over the next few days but she did amazing! She is just unbelievable, so strong. Much stronger than anyone I know. The next couple days we just held her and loved her, letting her relax. Three weeks later she had to go in for her second surgery, this one was planned. She had developed hydrocephalus and needed a shunt placed. The same doctor operated on her and we felt very comfortable knowing she was in his hands; he is our hero! Quinn recovered like a champ after this surgery too! Now that the infection was gone we could focus on her normal preemie things such as maintaining her body temp, taking her first bottle and trying to come off of oxygen. She had really bad reflux and it was affecting her breathing so a few weeks later Quinn had her third surgery to stop the reflux and surgically place a feeding tube. After this surgery Quinn was able to come off of oxygen!! She is such a fighter and was really doing great, the nurses and doctors were actually talking about discharging her sometime in the near future! How exciting! On May 29,2014, after 3 1/2 months in the NICU, we were finally taking Quinn home!! It was the best day of our lives; it was the first time that it was just the 3 of us! Since being home Quinn is just doing great! We have lots of doctors’ appointments and she is still working very hard, but we are home and she is healthy enough to be home so we are happy!! She didn't have to come home on oxygen or a monitor!! She is now 7 months old and weighs about 18lbs; hard to believe she was only 3lbs when she was born! But the NICU stay is definitely a roller coaster ride and we couldn't wait to get off the ride and bring her home, but we always said if she could fight so can we!




A Note From Sarah:
"It was clear from the start of our session that this little girl is someone special. She and her family have been through so much, yet they are such a warm and genuinely happy family. You can feel the love they have for one another as soon as you enter their home. Quinn is truly blessed. I know she will continue to thrive with the fantastic group of family and friends she is surrounded by!"




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


Happy Birthday Cassie!!

 
 
 
My daughter Cassandra "Cassie" was born on Dec 18th 2012 at 26weeks 1day. She was born weighing just 1lb 6.5oz (640 grams) and 11 inches long. She was born early due to preeclampsia. When she was born the thought that her eyes may be fused shut still however as soon as her daddy came over and said "Hi Cassie", she opened her eyes to look at him!

Due to me being ill I wasn't able to see her for 36 hours after she was born. She was on an oscillator for a month and we weren't able to hold her until she was on a traditional vent. She was the tiniest baby in the NICU and though she was tiny she made sure her presence was known. She was nicknamed "Queen of the NICU " due to her ability to desat or Brady anytime another baby was getting attention. She did not like to share the spotlight. Like every NICU stay it was a roller coaster. But second by second turned into minute by minute and before long we were taking it week by week.
 
After 94 days she came home to us on oxygen and a heart apnea monitor. She weighed 6lbs 2oz! The first year we were busy with doctors appointments (3-4 a week) and therapist visits. She has grown into the most beautiful little girl. She is still tiny but amazingly strong. She is now 2 yrs old and weighs 19lbs 10oz and is 31 inches long.
 
She is funny and kind and loves giving hugs and kisses. She loves her puppy Arya the most and tells everyone she can! She can say over 20 words and runs around like crazy! She is truly our Angel and she was the best Christmas present. Having a preemie was a challenge but I can honestly say that they are right. Those 3 months in the hospital seem so far away now! And now Cassie is going to be a big sister in June!


Happy Birthday my angel you really are my hero!




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reagan'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
“Reagan Alexis was born on 9/24/14 at 34 weeks and 5 days. She weighed 5lbs 10oz and was 17in long. Reagan was born about 6 weeks early and spent almost a week in the NICU. It was very stressful as I had never had a baby in the NICU before and it was very hard not being able to have her in the room with me all the time. The nurses we had were great and made the whole experience that much easier. I was even able to sleep right there with her after I was released from the hospital. She was a trooper, though. She was never on any oxygen and when taken out of the warmer she never had to be put back in, because she was able to keep her temperature up and was always a good eater. I did feel like we would never go home; each day they were going to release us, something else seemed to come up. First it was her weight. She went down to 5lbs, so she lost 12% of her body weight where only 10% is allowed. Then she got jaundice and had to be put under the special lights, but she just seemed to keep fighting until she was finally allowed to go home. She weighed 5lbs 2oz when released.”




A Note From Brenda:

“Photographing a newborn is a great way to capture the essence of love. And this baby is so greatly loved! Congratulations to her wonderful family on such an incredible blessing!”




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 Louisville, KY.

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

Christmas In The NICU By Dr. Terri Major-Kincade

This blog post has been contributed by Dr. Terri Major-Kindcade from her blog, "Lessons I Learned From The Little People"





From Preemie Prints!

Christmas in the NICU
By Dr. Terri Major-Kincade

What do you say to a family who is spending the holidays in the hospital? It’s already tough enough to be in the hospital for the holidays but to be in the hospital when your baby is sick..well that adds an entire other layer to bah humbug.

In the past 15 years of my career I have spent many holidays in the hospital and countless hours away from my family, but I do understand that it’s part of the job. Yes I signed up for this gig..and I did it willingly. But what of the families in the neonatal intensive care unit? Most families who experience a NICU stay will tell you that it was an amazing experience…but it’s amazing in a way that you don’t want it to be. It’s a strange place to be in the midst of humans so tiny they can fit in your hands, surrounded by both mechanical and human giants. A world of lights, wires, noises and fear…lots of fear. You can only appreciate it…I mean truly appreciate it if you had to spend time there..and let’s face it no one would CHOOSE to be there. Not the teenie preemies who come 3mos early, not the big preemies who come 3 weeks early or the term babies who need surgery. It’s not that parents don’t recognize they are in the best place they do…but then again isn’t the best place for a child with their parent? Therein lies the paradox of a holiday in the NICU.

So how do you spend your time celebrating your holiday on the roller-coaster that is the NICU? In the midst of the what if’s, how longs, will he or she be okay? Will we be okay? One way is one stop at a time.

Stop 1: First journal your time in the NICU
This time though it may seem long now…it will  pass. Your baby will hopefully eventually get better and be home before you know it. Choose to make your own Christmas story with your baby being the star. How big are they becoming? How much food are they getting? What milestones are they passing? Off the respirator? Off intravenous fluids? Trying to take a bottle? Doing well after an infection? Needing less oxygen? Recent new test results? Celebrate each and every victory..it’s like your own personal Christmas present…because it is. You get to unwrap one daily with each update. Sometimes it’s what you wanted..other times it’s not. Journal it all..you will want to have it for later.

Stop 2 : Memory making..this is a great time to select your first family ornament in honor of your baby.
What will it be? A mold of print of their feet and hands? A plaque with the meaning of their name? A prayer stone that is blessed and at the bedside? Their first mini-stocking? A set of jingle bells? Their first Christmas photo? Can you record your voice reading your favorite Christmas story or your favorite verses or just telling your baby you love them? There are lots of voice boxes at craft stores, and at build a bear that you can personalize. Or you can read or sing to your baby while you visit and have a loved one record it. This will be a cherished memory..you might even want to update it monthly if your child is in the NICU for an extended stay.

Stop 3: A Gift for yourself : How can you commemorate this time as Mom and Dad? 
One of the challenges with having a baby in the NICU is sometimes friends and family don’t know what to say. More often than not though what they do say is not congratulations…it’s more like I am so sorry your baby is in the NICU. Whenever I meet a family in the NICU whether the baby is 1 lb or 10 lbs, I try to take a moment to say congratulations. Because no matter the size of the baby or the seriousness of the illness…something truly magical happened today. Someone became a Mom or a Dad or a Grandmother or a Grandfather and we got to witness the miracle of life once again. That fact doesn’t change because a baby is sick or even if a baby passes. Take a moment to acknowledge your gift. It may be a shirt that says mother or father of a miracle. It may be a charm bracelet that you add too each year. It may be a special frame that holds the only picture you have. It may be time to yourself. Time for each other. But whatever ever it is…take some time for you in the midst of the Holiday Bustle and breathe and process this journey..your journey.

Stop 4: Finally consider making a wish list.
Just once get it all out on paper? What are your biggest fears for your baby? Of course we’d all like to go back and never have been in the NICU but now that you’re here what are your biggest fears for today? Is there a test you don’t understand? Is there a diagnosis that has not been explained to you? What are your fears about tomorrow? What are you hoping for now? What is the one thing that you would like that you haven’t been able to do? Is it to hold your baby? Is it to have a better picture? Is it for the sibling to see the child? Write it all down then share you hopes, your fears your wishes with your medical team.

One of the best gifts you can give yourself during your holiday in the NICU is to make sure you understand everything that is going on with your child. And before you get off the rollercoaster…make sure you ask for the one thing on your list you thought you couldn’t have. Maybe you can hold your baby. Maybe the sibling can see the baby. Maybe just maybe your dreams will come true sooner than you think. But in the meantime cherish every moment. For aftaterall, in the end that’s really what our Holidays are about. …even Holidays in the NICU. Wishing you and your family the best this Holiday Season! And especially to your present in the NICU.


Newsletter Contributor:
Terri L. Major-Kincade MD MPH
Pediatrix Medical Group, North Dallas
Chair Neonatal Palliative Care Teams THR Dallas and THR Plano
www.drterrimajorkincade.com

_____________________________________________________________________

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, December 10, 2014

Taryn's Preemie Prints 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
“Our baby girl’s name is Taryn Elaine. She was born on July 30, 2014 at 26 weeks and 2 days. She weighed 1 lb. and 11 oz. Momma developed HELLP syndrome requiring that she be delivered early by emergency C-section.

Taryn was a healthy baby girl given her size and gestational age. We spent a little over 2 months in the NICU and came home on October 13 at 37 weeks gestational and 4 lb. and 8 oz. She has been thriving and growing the past 2 weeks! The NICU journey was a humbling experience and we used it to grow in our faith. We found out how many people were behind us and how prayers really worked for our baby girl. We are beyond blessed!”



A Note From Christina:
I just finished up taking pictures of Taryn today!  She was an absolute joy!  Her mom was very excited about the photos and had a bunch of props to use, which made the pictures even better.  About halfway through the shoot, Taryn fell asleep which was absolutely adorable and let to some great pictures." 




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