Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another 4 Miracles!! A Very Merry Preemie Prints Quads Session!

Please enjoy our inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Our programs include an online support group, the gift of photography, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, volunteers, and donors for allowing us to touch the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 

 
We pray these special memories will help the parents to remember how strong they were in overcoming a crisis situation.

A note from mom:
"I have a set of 3 month old quadruplets, 3 boys and one little girl. We delivered 7/19/12, at 29 weeks and 4 days. The babies spent 30-35 days in the satelite NICU for Nationwide Children's Hospital at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Our NICU journey overall was a positive experience; however at first as expected there were signficant concerns about the babies general health. Our littlest guy, Luke, was 2lbs and 2oz and he had been struggling prior to delivery. Luke's first week in the NICU he had issues with digestion/nutrition; it was difficult as a parent to watch him struggle. After the first 2 weeks the babies "took off," and within a few short weeks we were all home as a family."

Volunteer Photographer:
Michelle True Preemie Prints volunteer Columbus, OH

A note from Michelle:
"Had a great time photographing these quads. They were precious. One of the couples' parents come over to feed all the babies at 2am. How awesome is that? The babies have no other siblings. Instant big family! The babies were very sweet and one of the boys, Ben, smiled most of the time I was there. They were feeding the babies, and he was so smiley, I thought he had just eaten, but he had not even been fed yet! They are truly blessed, and all the babies seem to be doing pretty well. So glad I was able to do these pictures for them!"

These images are property of Preemie Prints, our volunteer photographers, and our families who have allowed us to share them with you. Please do not use for any purpose.










Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lil' Baby Jacob's NICU Grad Sneak Peeks!

Please enjoy our inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Our programs include an online support group, the gift of photography, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, volunteers, and donors for allowing us to touch the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 

 
We pray these special memories will help the parents to remember how strong they were in overcoming a crisis situation.

A note from mom:
"My son Jacob was born in July at 26 weeks. He spent 9 weeks in the NICU, which is a lot shorter than we originally expected! I was put on bed rest at 19 weeks and admitted to the hospital at 23 weeks due to an incomeptant cervix. Needless to say it was not how I expected my first pregnancy to be. However, Jacob is worth all of it an more! Jacob's NICU stay was long, but overall good. He was born at 2lbs, 8oz and thriving! He spent only about 12 hours on a ventilator and was on vapo-therm for most of his 9 week stay. He was on and off of photo therapy for the first couple of weeks. Every day was a roller coaster ride. I was very emotional in the beginning and would cry every time I went in to see him. My mom would recite "two steps forward, one step back" to me, reminding me that he was progressing but would occasionally have a hiccup. I think I started to "settle in" to the NICU once Jacob came out of the isolette and into an open air crib, at 5 weeks. He took to nursing very quickly... and before I knew it 9 weeks had gone by and we were going home!"

Volunteer Photographer:
Jamie Roye Preemie Prints volunteer Tampa Bay Area, FL

A note from Jamie:
"When I walked through the door I was greeted with such welcome and warmth. Jacob and his family are wonderful down-to-earth people and Jacob was such a happy little boy! He loved to smile for the camera. He is a true miracle for his survival and strength and he definitely wasted no time gaining weight and becoming the happy, healthy boy he is today at 4 months old."

These images are property of Preemie Prints, our volunteer photographers, and our families who have allowed us to share them with you. Please do not use for any purpose.





Adding Harrisburg, PA and Camp Hill, PA to our service area!


Mary Trimmer
Trimmer Photography

1536 Main Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
717-385-9549

Service Area:
Harrisburg, PA and Camp Hill, PA

About Mary:
"My daughter is a NICU graduate so I relate to NICU families. I have been a photographer for 2 years and have taken a few courses on photography."


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Aliyah's NICU Grad Photos From Preemie Prints

Please enjoy our inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Our programs include an online support group, the gift of photography, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, volunteers, and donors for allowing us to touch the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 


We pray these special memories will help the parents to remember how strong they were in overcoming a crisis situation.

A note from mom:
"Aiyah was on cpap o2 and bili lights she had a stage 1 brain bleed and heart murmur. She was 31 weeks. I was in a car accident at 27 weeks that caused a small placental abruption. My water broke Dec 4th and I was placed on bed rest in the a until Dec 14th when I developed coreio amnitus and had to have an emergency c section. Aliyah Rose Kasteler was born Dec 14, 2011 at 31 weeks 3 lb. 6oz. She is an amazing 6 month old now. Starting do do things a "normal" 3-4 month old would do... YEAH... Now off o2 she is a wonderful girl."

Volunteer Photographer:
Lisa Barney Preemie Prints volunteer Salt Lake City Utah 

A note from Lisa:
"The shoot went amazing. She is such a beautiful little girl. So happy and easy going. Her sister came along for the ride and the two of them together was adorable. You can see the love they have for each other. Lora (mom) was so nice and easy to talk to. The shoot was fast and easy. I'd love to work with this family again!."

These images are property of Preemie Prints, our volunteer photographers, and our families who have allowed us to share them with you. Please do not use for any purpose.






Monday, December 3, 2012

Sophie & Aiden's NICU Grad Photos From Preemie Prints!

Please enjoy our inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Our programs include an online support group, the gift of photography, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, volunteers, and donors for allowing us to touch the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 


We pray these special memories will help the parents to remember how strong they were in overcoming a crisis situation.

A note from mom:
"Our NICU journey was at Clear Lake Regional Hospital. While Aiden did well and thrived, Sophie became ill and required surgery. After surgery she took a turn and had to be put on an oscillating ventilator. Her incision ruptured and a fistula formed that drained waste out her side. We were told she would require another surgery to repair the damage from the complications before she left the NICU. Miraculously her fistula healed on it's own and a second surgery was not required. We had such wonderful people surrounding our babies with love and support, from the volunteers at the NICU to the doctors, PA's, nurses, etc. This was a life-changing experience."

Volunteer Photographer:
Jennifer Elmore Dayton, Tx Preemie Prints volunteer

A note from Jennifer:
"I had a really fun time photographing Aiden and Sophie. The outfits for the shoot were made by their grandmother. I just love the vintage look to them. I really enjoyed this session."

These images are property of Preemie Prints, our volunteer photographers, and our families who have allowed us to share them with you. Please do not use for any purpose.







Friday, November 30, 2012

Surviving Lockdown

For many preemie families, November means the start of RSV season; Synagis shots, lots of hand washing, and lockdown- nobody comes in to see baby, and baby doesn't go out. It can be rough to be stuck at home all winter long!

Our daughter was born at 27 weeks in July 2011, came home in September, and wasn't allowed out of the house until June 2012. Praise the Lord, our little girl stayed super healthy, and at 16 months still hasn't had her first cold. Lockdown, hard as it was, definitely payed off!

After nine months of being cooped up, I've learned a few secrets of surviving lockdown. If you find yourself tapped indoors this winter for your little one's best interests, I hope that you find these tips to be helpful!

Photo Credit
Teamwork. There is no way those nine months would have gone so smoothly if it wasn't for my supportive husband! He worked with me to make sure that I got to get out of the house frequently- whether it was just for alone time at a coffee shop, or to meet up with girl friends. I tried to do the same for him. Even though he was gone at work all day, it was important for him to get out and have fun too. We also tag teamed going to church services, I went in the morning, he went at night.

If you are a single parent, or if your spouse doesn't feel comfortable being left alone with your special needs child, find a competent and trustworthy friend or relative who can help relieve some of the pressure. We had several NICU nurses volunteer to babysit for us- who could ask for a better sitter? If they aren't offering, it never hurts to ask a nurse you are close with. Oftentimes they would love to see how their tiny patients fare outside of the NICU, and they would be more than happy to enjoy some snuggle time with your peanut.

Routine. Having an established order to my day, goals I hoped to accomplish, and a plan of action to keep me busy really helped the days to fly by. Human beings crave structure, and the sooner you can develop a structure for your unorthodox new normal, the better. Plan to get up at a certain time, and shower and dress as soon as you possibly can. While sweats are nice for the first few weeks after your baby comes home, months in pajamas can make you feel way more depressed about the slow pace of your new life. Clothes that make you feel good can really improve your outlook! A "to do" list all checked off will also give you a great sense of accomplishment.

Photo Credit
Take advantage of this season. When in your life are you ever again going to have such a free schedule and quiet pace to your days?!? Probably never! Take advantage of it- catch up on your reading list, tackle major organizational or DIY projects around the house, maybe even start a new hobby or home business. Your days will feel less wasted when you invest them wisely. Remember- this is just a season. It won't last forever! Soak up these quiet baby days, use the time well to the best of your ability, and reap the rewards.

Look on the bright side. Who really wants to schlep around a newborn, diaper bag, oxygen tank, and apnea monitor anyway? That is a whole lot of crazy! Remind yourself that going out nowadays would be a lot trickier anyway, and enjoy the freedom and ease of just staying home. Think of how good it is that you can keep your baby safe at home and away from germs. Enjoy the extra time you get just getting to know the newest addition to your family. Relish these days- they go by too fast!

Photo Credit
Get some fresh air. Just because you can't take your baby out in public doesn't mean you can't go outside! Go for a quiet walk in your neighborhood. Step out into the back yard. Just be sure to avoid parks and crowds! 

Treat yourself. Every once in awhile, allow yourself to do something fun and out of the ordinary to break up the monotony (guilt-free!). Watch a movie in the middle of a week day. Take a long nap when baby sleeps. Order in a special meal. Enjoy a bubble bath. Catch up on your favorite shows. Little perks go a long way towards a happier outlook. An indulgence here and there will help you to actually enjoy your house arrest ;). Who knew?

Looking back, those nine months really flew by. I was so afraid of going stir-crazy... but I must admit, there were only one or two days that I really felt lonely or caged. Don't worry preemie parent- this too shall pass!

If you've been through a preemie lockdown before, what tricks helped you to get through it? Please share in the comments!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NICU Graduate Photos For Sweet Baby Davis!

Please enjoy our inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Our programs include an online support group, the gift of photography, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, volunteers, and donors for allowing us to touch the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 


We pray these special memories will help the parents to remember how strong they were in overcoming a crisis situation.

A note from mom:
"I had to be hospitalized at 34 weeks pregnant due to preeclampsia that became bad very quickly. I was on hospital bedrest for 9 days until Davis was born. He was in great health for being so small, but it took him several weeks to learn how to eat on his own. I was very blessed to be in New Braunfels with him so I could stay around the clock for the weeks he was hospitalized in the special care nursery. Every day was a new challenge to get him to eat on his own. As a mother you feel so helpless when you can't even feed your tiny baby and fulfill his most basic needs. When Davis came home he weighed 5 lbs. but was doing so well. He's still tiny but growing bigger everyday! I have two other children, who were full term pregnancies. I was not prepared for the emotional roller coaster a NICU stay entails. I have a new empathy and understanding for moms of preemies now."

Volunteer Photographer:
Lindsey Adams New Braunfels, Tx Preemie Prints volunteer

A note from Lindsey:
"Sweet little Davis had the most beautiful blue eyes and the cutest smile when I could sneak it out of him!! We went to a local park for his session and he LOVED being outdoors, checking out the river and the cypress trees. I prepared his mom in advance that she would likely be in some of the photographs too, and I just love how the mommy and me photographs turned out! He was such a little sweet heart to photograph, and I'm thankful I was asked to do so."

These images are property of Preemie Prints, our volunteer photographers, and our families who have allowed us to share them with you. Please do not use for any purpose.





Sunday, November 25, 2012

Miracle Baby K ~ A NICU Graduate Photo Shoot

Please enjoy our inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Our programs include an online support group, the gift of photography, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, volunteers, and donors for allowing us to touch the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. 


We pray these special memories will help the parents to remember how strong they were in overcoming a crisis situation.

A note from mom:
"In May of 2012, I went to the l&d triage to get checked out for pressure, I was 25 weeks pregnant. The hospital sent me home told me I had a uti and to take some antibiotics and come back for a follow up later that week. 5 hours later my water broke and half my placenta fell out, leaving me in shock and utter confusion. We rushed to the hospital to be told your baby has no heartbeat and left to wait for a dr to deliver a stillborn. At delivery shocked,I delivered a 1 lb 12 Ozs baby girl. This was the start of our nicu journey.scared, frightened and in shock stiller saw our little girl. I cried for days. At 4 weeks 4 days of life, Katherine went for a PDA ligation.what a scary day! She developed styrdor from a too soon extabation and still has it. She has a grade 1 brain bleed , stage 1 rop in the left eye,and horrible acid reflux but she's so strong. After 99 days In the nicu,we came home 8/25! We are so blessed she's as healthy as she is!"

Volunteer Photographers:
Anna Caryn - Jacksonville, NC

These images are property of Preemie Prints, our volunteer photographers, and our families who have allowed us to share them with you. Please do not use for any purpose.






Help us spread the word about Preemie Prints and our mission, so together we can reach more
NICU families. 

www.preemieprints.org

Monday, November 12, 2012

Welcome New Photographers In TN, UT, NY, and MN!


Preemie Prints Volunteer Katie Bohannon
Katie Bohannon Photography

Service Areas: Knoxville and Oak Ridge, TN

About Katie:
"I have 3 former preemies of my own. I know the struggles and want to help and give back however I can, be it donating blankets, preemies clothes, hats, my time, or my talents. I'm currently enrolled in a photography program and will receive my certificate soon. I have been photographing professionally over a year now."


Preemie Prints Volunteer Elizabeth M Photography

Service Area: Buffalo, NY

About Liz:
"Being a volunteer for Preemie Prints, for me, is a way of giving back. My nephew was born 4 weeks early in August, the love and care he received was awesome."



Preemie Prints Volunteer Lisa Barney
Lisa B Photography

Service Area: Salt Lake City, UT

About Lisa:
I'd like the opportunity to be apart of this great cause. I started into photography a couple years ago. I mostly photograph my kids, nieces and nephews. I love everything about photography.



Preemie Prints Volunteer Lindsey Hawkinson
LH Photography

Service Area: Glenwood, MN

About Lindsey:
"I have been a hobby photography since I was 15 and a professional for 2 years. I love capturing all the beautiful moments in life and look forward to bringing hope to others one picture at a time."

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Brazos Valley Bazaar



Place: 764 North F.M. 2818 - Bryan , Texas 77805

Preemie Prints would like to inform you that we are honored to be hosting the 2012 Brazos Valley Bazaar, Saturday, November 3rd from 9am to 6pm. This event will be held at the VFW Post # 4692, located at 764 N. FM 2818 (Harvey Mitchell Pkwy), Bryan, TX 77805.
We are very privileged to bring the community a list of great vendors from the area specializing in gifts, baby items, health and wellness, jewelry, and much more. This will be a wonderful time to get holiday shopping done and see the best of what the Brazos Valley offers!

Admission to this event is only $2. There will be also a raffle, rummage sale, and refreshments on hand for sale and consumption. All proceeds from entry, refreshments, and raffle will go to Preemie Prints; a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, benefiting preemie, NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), and angel families.

For more information email amber@preemieprints.org OR call: (979) 635-0825. Hope to see you there!

Thank you to the following Vendors that plan on being a part of our event!!!

Here's a list of some of our vendors! 

■It Works!
■KC's Crafts
■Thirty-One Gifts
■Reconstructed by Charlie Anastazja
■Grace Adele
■Crafty Sippers
■Lil' Shop In The Valley
■Pink Zebra
■Punk Trunk
■Isabella's Whimsy
■Crazy Crafty Creators
■B's Boutique
■Gold Canyon Candle Company
■Tastefully Simple
■Yum Yum Sweets & More
■J-La7 Designs
■Scentsy
■Velata
■Shaklee
■Advocare
■House of D's Cafe - Organo Gold
■K's Kupcakes
■Wee Little Me - Lactation Consulting and Boutique

Please help to spread the word!!!!

Special thanks to Little Guys Movers Bryan College Station for sponsoring this event! They have donated their time to help our vendors "move in & out" and will be cooking up some delicious hot dogs to help raise money for local BV NICU, preemie, & angel families. Thank you to Copy Corner for helping with our printing needs and supporting local NICU families!

We'd also like to thank Alpha Phi Omega, Texas A&M communications students, and all of our vendors for supporting the 1st BV Bazaar! This is a new shopping experience we are excited to bring to this community and plan to make it happen on a regular basis! A huge thank you to the Preemie Prints volunteers who have made this day possible... Mellissa Roy, Jen Wells, & Elizabeth Morales! Thank you so much to everyone for all of your help!!

Baby Josiah's NICU Grad Shoot!

Please enjoy our inspirational photos and consider supporting our mission to share hope with families who have a baby born prematurely or critically ill. Our programs include an online support group, the gift of photography, group events and meetings, information, and email support. Our mission is to connect parents and let them know they are not alone. We thank our supporters, volunteers, and donors for allowing us to touch the lives of NICU, preemie, and angel families. We pray these special memories will help the parents to remember how strong they are while overcoming an extremely difficult time! 

A note from mom:
"Our precious baby boy is named Josiah Nathan. He was born June 18, 2012 at 30 weeks and 6 days. He weighed 1 pound 15 ounces when he was born. Josiah means "God has healed" and Nathan means "gift from God". Both of these names and meanings are special and significant to his life. My husband left for a mission trip to Uganda June 10. The next day, my doctor called and told me that I needed to go to a hospital in Temple (about an hour and a half from where we live) immediately. She told me that our baby was not growing in the womb and I would have to deliver him any day. Thankfully, my husband was able to get back before I had to deliver. I stayed in the hospital a week before I gave birth to Josiah by c-section. We lived in Temple for the summer while he was in the NICU, and we were so blessed to have a house to stay in for free. He was there for 6 1/2 weeks, but spent most of the time just growing. We are thankful that he did not have any "major" problems and that he progressed really quickly to meet his goals and be discharged about three weeks before his due date. Though it was a difficult experience, we were blessed in many ways by friends and family coming to visit and bringing us meals. God answered so many of our prayers and filled us with joy in such a hard season. The nurses were fabulous and took such great care of our baby boy. We were blessed beyond belief through the whole process and couldn't have asked for a better experience, given what it was."

Volunteer Photographers:
Lindsey Louise - College Station, Tx

A note from photography volunteer Lindsey
"Meeting Josiah and his parents was such a blessing! Josiah is 4 months old and is such a sweet little boy. He was asleep when the session started and then woke up once he started getting moved around. He was never upset though, he never cried. I noticed right then that he has an incredibly sweet and quiet spirit. What a joy he is! His parents were so sweet also, braving the mosquitoes and doing every pose with their little boy! They have an unwavering faith and although I know their time in the NICU was hard, they leaned on our Father in Heaven and became such a great testimony for the strength that comes out of the NICU. I hope that the joy in all of their photos reflect the love of our Father. How sweet his love for us is!"

These images are property of Preemie Prints, our volunteer photographers, and our families who have allowed us to share them with you. Please do not use for any purpose.







Thursday, October 25, 2012

Praying Scriptures for Your NICU Baby


Photo by Ryk Neethling
Before I ever was the mother of a micropreemie, I was a born again follower of Christ Jesus. The only thing that kept me going through the difficulties of our two month NICU stay was knowing that a loving and sovereign God had planned this ordeal for His glory and our good. There was a purpose in our pain, and a loving Guide to lead us through it.

The Lord used time spent with Him in His Word and prayer to truly encourage me and steady my heart during our daughter's roller coaster ride beginning. While I love just speaking my heart before the Lord, I've also found praying specific Scripture passages to be a great blessing.

Think about it.

The Bible is God's Word. When you pray His Word, you can know that you are praying words that are honoring to Him- after all, He wrote them!

The Bible reveals God's character. As I read, study, and pray the Bible, I am growing in my understanding of who God is. Because He is good, this is encouraging!

The Bible is chock full of God's promises. He always keeps His Word. As I read, memorize, and pray over these promises, I experience assurance that He will deliver on them.



If you are interested in trying this exercise for yourself, here are a few Scripture passages that I found particularly helpful during our daughter's hospitalization:

Psalm 139:13-18. Praise God for the way He has intricately woven your baby together, first in your womb, and now outside of it. Thank Him for the opportunity to watch His hand at work. Thank Him for forming all of your child's days in His book, long before they took their first breath! Be comforted that He has a plan for them and is in control.

Psalm 71:6. Acknowledge that God brought your baby out of your womb. Thank Him that His timing is perfect, even in preterm delivery. Ask for grace to praise Him continually, even though life is painful right now.

Psalm 71:20. Even though this situation is all consuming and awful, thank God that is is only for a season. Ask Him to revive you again and bring you through!

Psalm 90:16. Ask Him to help you see Him at work. Plead that His glorious power would be displayed in your baby's miraculous life.

Psalm 119:50. Thank Him that He has provided comfort in your affliction. Thank Him for the promise of life to all who believe.

Romans 8:18-30. Praise God that the sufferings of this life don't even compare to the glory of eternity in heaven with Christ! Thank Him for the hope you have in Christ. Praise God that the Spirit intercedes and prays for us when we don't know how to pray. Thank Him that all things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8: 31-39. Thank God that He didn't spare His own Son but gave Him up for us. Thank Him that He graciously gives us all things. Remind yourself that you are more than a conqueror through Him who loved you. Thank God that nothing can separate us from His love in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philippians 4:4-8. Ask God for help to rejoice in Him always. Ask Him to protect your from anxiety and to guard your heart with His peace. One by one name the things that are making you anxious (an infection, pending surgery, oxygen and apnea issues, whatever!) and make your specific requests for His help. Thank Him for hearing. Ask Him to guard your mind and to help you think only what is true and beneficial.

James 1:2-8. Ask God to help you count this trial as joy. Thank Him that the testing of your faith produces patience and maturity as a Christian. Ask Him to give you wisdom as you seek to care for your baby and make important medical decisions. Thank Him for giving generously and without reproach. Ask Him for faith to believe and not doubt.




These are just a few to get you started. As you read portions of Scripture each day, pray through the passages you're reading. There is great comfort in knowing the God of the Bible. May He guard your heart, guide you through, and grant you peace!

_________________________________________________________________

In addition to prayer support Preemie Prints gives the gift of no-charge NICU or NICU Graduate Photography (up to 1 year of age) please see our program location map to see if we have a volunteer in your area. With over 75 volunteers nationwide we might. We would love to give this gift to you and your family! Visit www.preemieprints.org to learn about all of our programs.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Last night we had a beautiful candle lighting and balloon release ceremony following our family potluck dinner to honor our angels. Here is a beautiful slideshow put together by a Preemie Prints volunteer.