Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SJ -- NICU Grad Session

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.

Our son was born at 34 weeks at Unity Hospital in Greece, NY. My water broke unexpectedly as my pregnancy was going perfectly normal. When he was born he did great and did not need any support breathing. He was in the nursery during his stay at Unity and they kept a close eye on him. The day we were supposed to be discharged ( we were going to leave in a couple hours after his car seat test) he had an apneic event and at that point we knew we would be staying longer. He ended up needing to be intubated and had to be transferred to the NICU at Strong Memorial Hospital. My husband and I were devastated, we had no idea what to expect. All we could do was cry. We met the ambulance at the hospital and were able to see him once they got him situated in his room. We walked into the room and my husband and I lost it, we just started bawling. He was hooked up to the ventilator and so much more. At this point the doctors told us that they didn't know what was going on but were going to run a lot of tests so it would just be a waiting game. It was so hard to see our son like this, we just felt so helpless and had no idea what to expect. We just talked to him and told him we loved him and knew he was a fighter and get through this. Several doctors came in and out and did tests and were telling us worse case scenario which was so hard for us. The first doctor told us he thought it may be brain damage and that was the hardest thing for us to hear, another doctor told us a seizure disorder, and another a metabolic disorder and many other things. We just tried to take it one day at a time and stay positive. All of the tests ended up coming back negative and they said he just needed more time to develop. They weaned him off of the ventilator, then he was on a nasal cannula and then eventually on room air. We were there for 11 days and the first 4 were the most stressful days of our lives. We literally felt like the world was ending and felt so helpless as we looked at him hooked up to everything. To other parents with babies in the NICU: try and take it one day at a time, it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel in the beginning but trust the nursing staff and things get a bit "easier" with each passing day. 

SJ's photo session was taken and donated by Preemie Prints volunteer photographer, Jennifer Sternal-Johnson.

A Note From Jen:
SJ was a little uncertain about the whole photography situation, but once he fell asleep, we got some great photos. Adorable little dude!

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 500 NICU family sessions.
This was a Preemie Prints NICU graduate photography session that took place near Rochester NY.
We're thankful to the family for sharing their story & memories in support of other NICU families.

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