Friday, April 24, 2015

Eli and Sam'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
“I have twin boys, Eli and Sam who were born at 35 weeks. We had just had a big snowstorm the day before but I managed to trudge my very pregnant self on the bus to a non-stress test. It turns out that I suddenly developed preeclampsia and was sent a couple blocks over for additional monitoring. The doctors quickly informed me that I would not be leaving and my boys would be born that day. It was quite a whirlwind (10 months later I can use that term- at this time is was really stressful) but at 5:02pm Eli was born and weighed 5 lbs 8oz. Sam was born at 5:03pm and weighed 3 lbs 11 oz.

The boys were in the NICU for 12 days (left on the same day). It was difficult and the best thing that happened to us at the same time. It was such a roller coaster of emotions because we were first time parents, didn't know the "rules"/culture of the NICU, and obviously concerned about our little guys. However, we learned so much from the nurses and were much more comfortable with our babies by the time we left. Due to my preeclampsia, I was on magnesium for 24 hours and didn't get to see the boys after the OR which was really difficult. However, I felt like they were in the best hands that were not mine. Over the nearly 2 weeks that they were there, I was able to heal from surgery and was physically prepared to take on the challenges of 2 tiny infants.”




A Note From Sarah:

“It was such a pleasure to finally meet this special NICU family. Twin boys are near and dear to my heart since my own boys are twins. These little guys were just the cutest. Eli was full of smiles for the entire session and while it took Sam just a bit longer to warm up, he was also giving us toothy grins by the end. We could not have asked for a more perfect spring day to shoot our session! To make our session a bit more special, we shot the boys' One Year NICU Graduate images the grounds of the hospital where they were born. They were born at the first hospital founded in the nation, which was founded in part by Benjamin Franklin, in the heart of the historic Old City section of Philadelphia. I must say, between the history, the perfect weather, and the heart-melting smiles, I am simply in love with the images we captured for this gorgeous 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 Philadelphia, PA.


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


Thursday, April 23, 2015

McKenzie'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
“At 13 weeks pregnant we went in for an ultrasound and the doctors had told us that they suspected a partial molar pregnancy. (It turned out to be blood clots in the placenta.) We were told that there was no chance of having a normal healthy baby and continuing with the pregnancy would put my life at risk. They recommended for us to terminate the pregnancy immediately. This came as a shock to us since minutes before we had been watching our little one wiggle around on the ultrasound machine and listened to a nice strong heartbeat. We told them that was not an option. As long as our baby fought, so would I. We went in for scans every 3 weeks and watched our perfect baby girl grow. At 35 weeks we discovered that she had stopped growing around 32 weeks (IUGR) and it was time for her to come out. I ended up with an emergency C-section. McKenzie was born on 4/5/14. She was perfect in every way. She was 4 Lb 1 oz and 17.5 in long. She was small, but mighty. I had to be put under for the surgery so I didn't get to meet her until several hours later when they wheeled me to the NICU.

While in the NICU, McKenzie had trouble maintaining her blood sugar and body heat. She was also jaundice. We also struggled with getting McKenzie to eat so she could gain weight and come home. After 1 week in the NICU we were excited that McKenzie was doing great. She had been moved to a new room and was in a regular bed. The day before we were supposed to come home she had a sleeping Brady, which extended our stay. She had a few more feeding Bradys over the next few days. At 10 days old we were finally able to bring home our perfectly healthy baby girl.
I had read in an IUGR support group that these babies are fighters. They are small, but mighty. McKenzie was our 4lb 1oz little fighter. She was our miracle baby that doctors told us didn't have a chance.”





A Note From Patty:

“I had the pleasure to meet the waters family and specially their beautiful baby daughter, she is so cute, healthy and full of energy. They are a super sweet family and it was a great honor to meet them and photograph beautiful Kenzie.”




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 Brentwood, CA.


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




Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sweet Little Avalynn's Preemie Prints 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
“Avalynn was born February 25, 2015, she arrived in this world after 38 hours of labor and an emergency c section. Avalynn has a lethal form of skeletal dysplasia. This condition has left her with several abnormalities, in her skeleton. She has fused bones in her hands, spine, and rib cage. She is missing the lower half of her spine, as it never grew. She has a clubfoot on the left side, and twisted foot bones on the right side. Her hip bones are smaller than they should be. Her rib cage is also too small in diameter and length, which prevented her lungs from developing. She is basically trying to support her body with half a lung. She is also incontinent due to the lower spine missing, and may become a paraplegic as she grows and her spinal chord gets cut off. Her heart is also trying to help compensate, but its pressure is high, the atriums aren't doing their job properly to keep the flow right, and it is slowly enlarging.

As she continues to grow her lungs will grow also, but because of the small, abnormal ribs, her lungs will ultimately be constricted. As they continue to constrict she won't be able to support her growing body. As the doctors said, "It's trying to support an infant body with newborn lungs, it just doesn't work."

Avalynn has one chance at survival. It's the Vertical Expander Prosthetic Titanium Rib Surgery, or VEPTR. It will act like reverse braces on her ribs, allowing them to grow as she does, and thus giving her lungs room to grow as well. She needs to be at least a year and a half to get this surgery. Once she has it, she will need surgical adjustments ever 4-6 months until she reaches 21, or her skeleton stops growing. Each surgery means a 6-week hospital stay. Only 9 hospitals in the USA perform this surgery, as it is rare, and was only developed in 2005. They can perform it in San Antonio, Texas. Avalynn lives in Houston. So there will be many travel expenses, unless Cody and I are able to find employment and move there.

We hope that Avalynn will be able to survive long enough to receive this life saving surgery. However even after that surgery is performed she will have many obstacles to overcome. As of now she would not be able to walk, or even crawl, she will be in a wheelchair, in a diaper and on oxygen and pressure and a feeding tube her entire life.

Cody and I were completely shocked at the difficulties Avalynn was born with. I had normal prenatal care, including ultrasounds and numerous doctor's appointments. No-one ever suspected a problem. Even after Avalynn was born my OBGYN, went and looked over the ultrasounds, and knowing Avalynn's difficulties, still saw no signs of it. Unfortunately this frequently happens with skeletal dysplasia babies.

Avalynn has been living in the NICU at the hospital since her birth. Cody and I have started hospice and end of life care, and so should be able to take her home soon, and give her the same medical care there. She will continue both her concurrent and hospice care and therapies, meaning we are treating her for life and death.
Signing her DNR was the hardest thing I've ever done.

I've never felt grief or love so deep before her. Taking each day at a time, relying on friends, family, God, doctors and other NICU parents helps. So does thinking about Avalynn being smart with me as a teenager. Something so normal compared to now.

God speed.”

UPDATE FROM MOM: 
Avalynn is starting her home concurrent therapies, occupational, physical and speech. She has started having build up of secretions & the doctor's say this is the beginning of decline to death with her restrictive lung syndrome. Other than that, she wore her first swimsuit and hung out with the family at grandma's pool, is starting to hold her head up and is sucking on blankets. She sleeps all but a few hours of each day, but when she's awake, she is usually all smiles and curious about  the world around  her. Cody and I are planning a trip to the zoo or anything aquarium, kind of a baby bucket list, before the medical equipment for her life support is too extensive to transport her.”






A Note From Karina:
“Avalynn was such a joy to photograph. She looked lovely and was a good sport with all the moving around we did. She slept through it all! The photos show how much she is loved, her mommy and daddy couldn't stop kissing their sleeping beauty! :)
Their love brings courage and hope!”



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 Spring, TX.


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