Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Sweet Samuel'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.

“Samuel Mark was born on September 18th, 2014 and weighted 7 pounds 7 ounces and was 20 inches long. Samuel was diagnosed with a double inlet single ventricle, a severe heart defect while we were still pregnant with him. His life is a beautiful miracle!

‘Something is very wrong with your baby's heart’- said the OB at our 28 weeks ultrasound. Both my husband and I just froze. We were enjoying looking at the blurry black and white images of our sweet boy on the ultrasound screen but all the sudden the joy was replaced by fear. We were afraid of the unknown, not knowing what his condition is and how serious it is. The next couple of weeks as we were waiting for the appointments with the specialists were extremely hard but we tried not to come up with different scenarios and just trust that we are in God's hands. We then found out that our son has a double inlet single ventricle with some aorta issues and would not be able to live unless he has an open-heart surgery soon after birth and at least two more heart surgeries later. We cried hard as we drove home. The diagnosis was terrifying, maybe even more so than not knowing. We cried and prayed. In a way it was devastating news. Yet, we felt an even deeper love for our ever moving, sweet unborn son and a peace that surpasses all understanding that only Jesus can give. While we were anxious and afraid of what the future would bring, the remaining weeks of the pregnancy were a special time for our little family and we chose to celebrate the life of our baby boy instead of constantly grieving his heart defect. We did not know how long we would have the privilege to enjoy him, so we did not want to waste any time. It was also so encouraging to have so many people pray for him and us.

Samuel Mark was born on September 18th, 2014 after 32 hours of long labor. I was told that I won't be able to see him as he will immediately be rushed out to the ICU, but it was such a special gift that I even got to hold him for a couple of seconds. Samuel has been a true miracle baby! He had his open-heart surgery when he was 4 days old. We were told that he would have to be in the hospital at least for a month but we were able to come home after 12 days. The days in the hospital blend together... It was extremely hard. I still weep when I think of our baby being pushed into the operating room, sucking on his pacifier after we swaddled him tight, prayed with him, and kissed him goodbye. He looked so tiny and helpless, yet so brave and peaceful. It was extremely hard not being able to hold him for so long, to watch him silently cry because he had no voice due to the tubes, to see him breath hard and be in so much pain. It was not easy to pump every three hours without being able to hold him and sit in the ICU all day while my body ached from giving birth. However, every day we experienced that God is there and He is taking care of us. It might have been hard, but it was also a special and joyful time. We are so thankful for the incredible medical staff of the Cleveland Clinic and the amazing care Samuel received. Samuel got the nicknames "The Miracle Baby" and "Little Champion" at the hospital- He is a miracle, indeed!”

A Note From Deneen:
“First I want t say thank you for this amazing opportunity. If I could do this everyday I would - reminds me of how I felt when I first started working as an RN years ago :). I had a fantastic experience.  What amazing parents Samuel has.  He is blessed, as are they by the wonderful gift of Samuel.  The session went well - very typical of a newborn session.  What a good baby.  He shared a few cries, some yawns, and a few smiles.  Samuel is truly loved and cared for by many.  He will stay in my thoughts and prayers.”

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 Mentor, OH.

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

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