Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tristan's NICU Photo 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.

"Tristan is our fourth child and the history goes back well before he was born. In 2007 we were pregnant with our first child and he was due in January of 2008. Due to complications from pre-eclampsia, Denise was forced to deliver via c-section at 29 weeks gestation. Jackson was 2 pounds, 1 ounce at birth and needed lots of support throughout his early life. Just before the two week mark, Jackson needed surgery to remove a section of his bowel that had stopped working due to a condition called NEC which left him with a colostomy bag. This was a major setback for him but we had faith that he would improve and they would be able to reconnect the bowel at some time in the future and he would someday have a normal life. However, two weeks later, on his 30th day of life, we were informed that additional parts of his bowel were suffering from NEC, too much for them to do anything to save him. He passed away early in the morning of his 31st day. We were lost following these events, but eventually found the strength to get pregnant again. With a new doctor keeping a very close eye on Denise, we welcomed a beautiful baby boy (Joshua) into our lives in July of 2009, nearly two years after Jackson. To say this was a perfect pregnancy would be an understatement. It feels a little like the universe was apologizing for what happened to Jackson. We always knew we wanted to have more kids so in 2011 we welcomed our first girl (Teagan) to the family. She was a little trickster from the beginning, including an emergency room visit early in the pregnancy where we thought we were losing her. She also came early, but only by a week, and was happy and healthy from the start. For several years, we watched as Joshua and Teagan grew, celebrating Jackson's birthday and angel day each year to help them remember the brother then never got to meet. They still enjoy picking out a fun cake design for us to make as a family each year for Jackson's birthday. In 2015 and 2016, Denise and I started thinking about having one more baby. We both grew up with two siblings in the house so it felt natural to have one more at home. We happily found out we were pregnant in October of 2016, with a due date in June of 2017. The family was happy for the announcement at Christmas time and everyone anxiously awaited the sex of the baby. We had found out before the births for our other three kids, so we wanted this one to be a surprise. In March of 2017, Denise's doctor started picking up the signs of pre-eclampsia again and put her on bed rest. Even with the additional rest, Denise was admitted to the hospital in early April and Tristan joined us on April 9th, 2017. He was 2 pounds, 5.5 ounces and was doing very well in his first several hours. Early on the morning of April 11th, 2017, doctors and nurses began suctioning blood from Tristan's lungs and quickly found that he had a pulmonary embolism which was bleeding into his lungs and not allowing oxygen to reach the rest of his body. From 2:30 AM until around 10:00 AM the medical team worked to stabilize him with ventilators, pain medication, and even a paralytic medicine to force his body to relax. As we sat and watched our little boy laying near lifeless in the isolette, our minds thought back to 10 years ago when things happened in a very similar way. But Tristan was different. He did eventually stabilize. Oxygen returned to his blood flow and he was able to make incremental progress throughout the next week and month. Things were day by day for a while but doctors were continuously impressed with the progress he made. Today, Tristan is just over a month old and continuing to improve. He is feeding from a bottle and off of all the ventilators, pain meds, etc. We still have a long way to go, but are confident that we will be bringing Tristan home soon."

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

A Note From Jen:
"I loved meeting little Tristan, and his family's story touched my heart. He is so loved and treasured and it shows in the photos. I recently received word from Tristan's dad that he is now home with his family!"

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 500 NICU family sessions.
This was a Preemie Prints 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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