Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Zachary'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.


“Zachary came a little earlier than we had expected, we were to be induced just a week later at 37 weeks. The doctors wanted to deliver Zachary early because I am a Type 1 Diabetic and they were afraid of complications if we waited until the due date. I went in March 8th at 6 AM because I was feeling contractions they told me I was a little dehydrated, and that is what was causing the contractions. But I was progressing slowly, since my induction date was just a week away they went ahead and prepared me to have a baby. The nurses got me settled into my delivery room, around noon I had dilated to a 3. I then got my epidural and they started the pitocin, later that day around 9 pm I was dilated to a 8 so the doctor went ahead and broke my water. Little 5 pound 13 ounce Zachary arrived at 12:33 AM, he didn't cry or utter any sound and was very grey. The NICU nurses were standing by, because I was a high risk pregnancy, they got him and had to start rubbing him and giving him air. When they got his respirations up a little they let me hold him, then they whisked him off to the NICU. Once in the NICU they were able to take him off the machine helping push air in his lungs. His blood glucose was also being watched, the doctors were wanting to watch and make sure he blood glucose didn't drop. That first night was the hardest for me, all I wanted was to hold and kiss him, let him know I was there and not leaving. While we were waiting on his glucose levels to balance out the doctors also wanted to see him gain some weight back. It is pretty common for a newborn to lose weight after birth. Then the nurses noticed he was looking yellow so they billi flashed his eyes and belly, his levels were higher then his weight threshold so they placed him under the billi lights for 24 hours. After that 24 hours I was discharged from the hospital but he had a few more test to take, the hearing test and a carseat trial, for newborns born under 36 weeks the doctors like to test the newborn in the carseat to make sure their stats don't go haywire normally the newborn is able to bring their heart rate up fix whatever is wrong themselves. Zachary did great on his hearing test then came the looming car seat trial, with 2 minutes on the clock he had an apnec episode. It really was a miracle that he failed that trial, even though that night leaving the hospital was the hardest thing I had to do. I was secure and knew he was in great hands, but I just wanted to take my little baby home. That day we were able to check into the Ronald Mcdonald house, its a charitable organization that helps families with a child in the hospital. They give you a room to stay in and have an open kitchen and it was only $10 a night, they were a blessing and really helped since we are not really well off. Zachary had 2 more apnea episodes after the first car seat trial, but he had also started with a fever. The fever persisted so the doctors took a blood culture and a lumbar puncture to check for any viral or bacterial infections. Since he was being tested for infection the nurses placed a IV with antibiotic fluid into his forehead. They also took a RSV panel all of which came back negative, he just had an infection they couldn't test for is what we were told. While his cultures were out being tested they tested his billireuben levels and found that they were under the threshold but to close to comfort, so the doctors placed him back under the lights. The doctors wanted to wait 5 days after the last apnea episode to release Zachary from the hospital, and that is if the fever allowed it. By the fifth day the fever had faded and since being under the lights the second time he had to take his hearing test again then his second car seat trial, which he passed with flying colors! Around 10:30 AM on March 17th Zachary Thomas was discharged from the hospital. The main things that gave me strength was the support I got from my family with all of them visiting and showing their love and also the fact that I knew his doctors were trying their hardest to get him to 100% health. I am so thankful that every nurse and doctor we came into contact with was so helpful and compassionate, I know I went into that NICU a couple times a hot mess and they were still supportive and dealt with my questions with smiles and great explanations.”

Zachary’s photo session was taken and donated by Preemie Prints volunteer photographer, Lindsey Shelburne.
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 Evant, TX.

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

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