Monday, August 25, 2014

Lovable Lyla's NICU 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.

"Lyla Rae was born May 2nd at 26 weeks gestation. Original due date was Aug 8th. Born a little on the small side..she weighed 1 pound 4 ounces, 11 and 3/4 inches long. She was born via emergency c-section due to placental abruption. Suffers from severe BPD (lung disorder) and has battled two bouts of pneumonia to date. 

Lyla loves doing kangaroo care. She is very feisty and expressive with her facial expressions. Likes to have her hands by her face and fighting her way out of being "swaddled".

After being on a conventional ventilator for 5 days...She was transferred from Grant Medical Center's NICU on May 7th to be put on a special ventilator called an oscillator at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The switch prevented me from holding her until she was 20 days old. 

Thanks to phenomenal nurses, I was able to hold her while she was still on the Oscillator. After being told no, because it had never been done before. They were impressed by how well things went. The following day I held her again and they took pictures and video to put on Nationwide Children's Hospital's website and share in conferences about kangaroo care. They are currently working to get her off the vent and onto c-pap. She really hates the breathing tube and has extubated herself several times. They have started her on steroids to help her premature lungs and they seem to be helping. 

I have started going to the parent support group for NICU parents. Doing so has allowed me to connect with other parents and develop several friendships. It is good to know that others are looking out for Lyla when I am not there. It also helps to know that it always could be worse and it is exciting to celebrate with parents who are taking their baby home. It gives me hope that my turn will come soon. 

It is easy to feel isolated during this roller coaster ride of being a NICU parent. 3 things I would tell other parents to remember are:

1. You are not alone, so don't isolate yourself. Reach out to others and also take advantage of hospital resources. Ask about a parent support group.

2. Your baby is not like every other baby. Every baby and every journey is unique. Remember that you are the parent and best advocate for our child. Don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions. Be involved in every way possible in your child's care. This creates many bonding opportunities that you may miss.

3. Take care of yourself. Don't be afraid to cry! Remember to laugh. Keeping it all inside is not good. Try to establish at least a minimal routine. Get sleep, eat, take a shower, go fo a walk, and find joy."

Preemie Prints Volunteer Photographer:
Beth Escudero, Beth Escudero Photography -  Columbus, OH

 A note from Beth:
I photographed baby girl Lyla at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, OH.  Lyla had a little bit of a rough time the week before I came.  They tried to move her from a ventilator to a c-pap, but she only lasted one hour and had to go back on the vent.  She was also on some medicine that made her a bit groggy.  

All that being said, Lyla is a sweet little girl and a fighter!  And her mother, Ally is beyond in love with her!  It was such a sweet time to watch Ally with Lyla.  Ally herself was a preemie and the blue dress Lyla is wearing in one of the photos was actually one of Ally's dresses!

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 and visit our website at 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 Columbus, OH.
We're thankful to the family for sharing their story & memories in support of other NICU families.

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