Friday, October 31, 2014

Karyssa's Journey: A 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.

“My daughter's name is Karyssa Louise and was born at 27 weeks weighing 1 lb. She was in the NICU for 159 days and then in the rehab (to try to get her to feed orally) for 103 days.  She was then in PICU and meds after her g-tube surgery for 7 days.  She was born on December 28th of 2013 and finally came home on September 23, 2014 after 269 days. 

My daughter had a pulmonary bleed her first night after birth (less than 24 hours after birth). She got pneumonia at the age of 3 weeks. She got off the oscillator at the age of 4 weeks through use of steroids and then was extubated at 5 weeks. They put her on CPAP from Non-intrusive vent but she had to go back to CPAP.  Amazingly, she was doing much better on the non-intrusive vent at 4 months (just in time for her surgery).  She got extubated after surgery in six hours.  At four months, she had a surgery for inertia hernia and pyloric stenosis. She now has pyloric spasms, which is causing bad reflux (she used to have a small amount of reflux).  Around 8 3/4 months, she got a g-tube. We hoped it would help with the reflux (it did in the beginning).  She was extubated immediately after surgery.
We have never had a family photo done of all of us "officially" but as a photographer, I photographed Karyssa every day (except for a little time in the beginning as I was overwhelmed the first two months). I kept a journal with all of her medical information We only missed two days in my daughter's journey due to snow and flooding.  We were very fortunate to have the baby cameras in our NICU for the majority of her stay (it really helped my milk production and eased our minds. And I am still pumping after 9 months). My son is four years old (and he was a 35 weeker preemie in the NICU for only 6 hours).  He is amazing with her and it is so cool to see the bond between the two of them. We traveled every day to see our daughter who is 30 miles (one way from us) with our son.  After six months, we started taking him less to get some one on one time with him. Karyssa has a page of her own called "Dreams for Karyssa" where I update her journey as well as our feelings and emotions.

My daughter has taught me so much but the main things are that 1.  Don't ever lose faith.  2.  Trust your instincts (you may know even better than the doctors).  3.  No matter how small...the fight is not small in any way.  4.  Never think the roller coaster is over.”

The photos above were provided by the family. The photos below show just how far little Karyssa has come.  

A Note From Jennifer:

"I was so excited to meet Karyssa.  I was so taken by this tiny little girl.  She is so sweet... so laid back, and quite tolerant of me and my camera.  She's been on quite a journey.  One that continues even after almost a year after her birth.  How can so much strength exist is such a little body?  I am in awe of her..."

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

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