It was a moment in time that I will never forget:
Going through the often tedious yet somewhat comforting routine of getting buzzed in to the NICU, scrubbing up, putting on a gown, rubbing in that 90% alcohol hand sanitizer that instantly zaps the moisture (and germs) out of your hands, and making my way through the maze of hallways to where my baby lay in her “bassinet”. A 10×10 foot square of an open room which was the only home my baby had known, a space that had become like a home away from home for the past few days. Familiar dings of alarms, puffing noises coming from the oxygen machines, the busy nurses station with its ringing phones and talking doctors. The sights and sounds and smells of a NICU live with you for years afterward, no matter how long or short your stay is there.
But the commonplace was broken up on this day.
On this day I walked in to see my baby in real clothes.
A semi-fugly hand-me-down one piece sleeper with an embroidered bunny in the corner – something I would normally have never picked out for her myself. But our nurse had dug through the bins of donations and found something that would fit her long scrawny body, and had realized that we needed SOMETHING to hold on to – some glimmer of hope that things were IMPROVING, that she would someday be a “real” baby in our “real” home who needed to wear “real” clothes. And from that moment on, our hearts were focused on nothing else but getting her home. It was such a small gesture – but it made such an impact on me, on my momma’s heart. I saw my baby not as the tangle of wires and the numbers on the monitor – but as my BABY GIRL, as the fighter and survivor that she was (and is!)
Today my sister and I were honored to be a small part of the NICU journey of some amazing little warriors, named Elly and Emerson. Born at 23 weeks, these little girls have fought AMAZING odds. To try to sum up their story in one blog post would be a feat that I am incapable of. But let me assure you – these girls are miracles! Mom showed us a picture of one of the girls shortly after birth –
and to see this adorable teeny package of baby before me today – I could hardly believe it. They are tiny but they are mighty!
And you will see Noelle’s pictures and you will think “oh how precious!!!”
But you don’t even KNOW! These babies, in spite of all the tubes and wires and monitors hooked up to them, have this FIGHT in them, this drive to thrive and survive and LIVE!
They have unique little personalities
and amazing parents and amazing nurses and doctors who are all rooting for these beautiful little girls!
I wish I had taken a few “behind the scenes” shots to show you just how much work was required for each and every shot. How it took two nurses and two parents and LOTS of tube repositioning and lots of “take a deep breath elly!” and “don’t pull out that OG tube ems!” to get these shots! But oh….the results are so worth it!
Noelle and I left this session and we both looked at each other and said ” THAT was awesome”. THIS is why we do what we do. All newborn sessions are fun and amazing and breathtaking and we love them all! But seeing these girls, and knowing that what we were doing was capturing a slice of time, documenting a part of these girls’ amazing journey, gave this session, indeed gave our HEARTS, a boost of purpose and encouragement.
Dad was sharing with us that he used to struggle with seeing the healthy babies having their photos taken by the hospital photographers – all he could think was “when will it be MY babies turn?”.
Well, Dad, today was their turn. It was all of your turn. You did it. You made it. They made it.
They rocked it.
And you will all continue to rock it, because you are an amazing family.
Thank you for allowing us to be a small part of your lives.
We hope you enjoy this sneak peek at the beautiful shots of these beautiful girls.