Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Zoey's 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.


“I had the easiest pregnancy or at least I thought it was as it was my first pregnancy.  No issues at all besides the typical morning sickness in the 1st trimester.  Skip some time and I was 26 weeks 2 days and I was a bit swollen but nothing crazy. I didn't feel any different but I had a mother”s intuition! I was at work and I just thought to randomly check my blood pressure as we had a nurse on duty at my job.  I went to her and she had the automatic cuff so I did and it was high. We didn't think too much of it as it was the automatic one so she did it manually and it was still high, so she suggested I call the doctor.  Called them, they told me to come in, they took my BP 3 times and it was very high. I had protein in my urine.  Doc came in, told me I was experiencing pre-eclampsia and I was going to the hospital to get checked out.  I felt completely fine! Long story short they admitted me on a Wednesday, gave me the steroid shots for her lungs and by Sunday they could not control my BP with the meds so they took me in for a C-section. The emotions didn't hit me yet; I wasn't allowed to see her for 24 hours as I was on strict bed rest.  My husband went to see her and took pictures. Finally, the next day I was able to see her.  Between the physical pain from the C-section and finally seeing her and seeing how little my girl was, the emotions flooded in.  I went back to my room and cried for what seemed like forever with my husband.  I knew she was in great hands as our NICU was one of the best in the region. Those days still seem like forever and every day was a new journey. Of trying to understand the medical terminology and figuring out what the heck was hooked up to my baby.  The nurses were absolutely fantastic! Some of them are still my best friends and keep in contact with us. The NICU journey sure is a rollercoaster and don't ever let anyone say how you should feel because no one understands everyone’s story, but know you’re never alone and have an amazing support system because you will need it.  Visit your baby as much as you possibly can and spend those moments with them. They sure know who their parents are.  ALWAYS have FAITH because it does finally come to an end and you will finally bring your baby home! It may take a week or it may take a year, but it will happen!

Our little girl Zoey was in the Crouse NICU in Central New York for 114 days. It was the longest days of our lives. She was on the vent for 5 days and then switched to CPAP after that she was on regular oxygen up until about a month before she came home. She was born with a grade 4 brain bleed on the left side of her brain, had a couple of blood transfusions and the "typical" NICU stuff. She was in for so long because she couldn't grasp the concept of taking her whole bottle. She understood the suck, swallow, and breathe but she just didn't have the strength or stamina to finish the bottle. About a week before she came home she had surgery to put in a g-tube. It was the best decision we had made for her as she came home less then a week later! She came home 3 days before Christmas and we couldn't have been blessed with a better Christmas present. She is now doing wonderful and thriving. As she still has her feeding issues but it doesn't stop her from having a crazy outspoken personality!”

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

A Note From Jen:
"Zoey was a 27 week preemie, but you'd never know it! She loved a game of peek-a-boo and her little personality shines in these photos."

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 form 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 1000 NICU family sessions.
This was a Preemie Prints NICU graduate or NICU 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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