I found out I was pregnant in late 2014. I was so excited. I was on the brink of giving up on the thought of having children naturally. But there it was, this beautiful and unexpected plus sign on the pregnancy test.
My pregnancy quickly became complicated and high risk after week twenty. Consequently my water broke at 24 weeks and 2 days. I was terrified. I was rushed to the hospital and from that hospital to another to a facility that could handle a premature baby. I was told I would most likely deliver in 24 hours. Thankfully they were wrong and my little girl hung on until week 29.
My daughter was born via c-section. She was 2 lbs 5 oz. My husband's wedding band fit her wrist like a bracelet. She was tiny but she was a fighter. At one week old she acquired a nearly fatal infection of her intestines. Somehow that tiny little being beat it and she won but not without scars. She lost all of her large intestine and a bit of her small. She walked a fine line between life and death. She endured two surgeries, blood transfusions, multiple blood draws, xrays, heart echograms, MRI's and 61 days in the Intensive Care Unit. It was one hell of a ride.
No parent is ready for the NICU. I thought since I was a nurse & educated medically I could handle it with grace. I was very wrong. No mother or father is prepared to watch their child fight for their lives. Parents aren't expected to leave the hospital without their child night after night after night. No parent is ready to hear the words, "She's circling the drain," or, "You should be with her, she may not make it through the night." No one is ready for that.
I thought after my daughter stabilized and grew older I would jump back into nursing and hopefully end up on the NICU floor. Obviously that time hasn't come for me yet but I give back in a different way. Every other month I find (or they find me) a NICU family and I offer them a free photography session. This can be done at the hospital or once they come home. It's my way of lessening one burden. I know what they have just endured.
If you know a NICU family who may be interested in a free session in the hospital or at home, please contact me. I ask that the family has had at least a 2 month stay.
Below are photos from my most recent session. This mama endured so much to bring two beautiful babies into this world.