The NICU is a place most parents don’t anticipate visiting, rather for a short or longer period of time. It was certainly a surprise my first time around! As a proud NICU mom of two little warriors, it brings me great joy to be able to bless families with NICU Photography at no expense to them.
Documenting families in the NICU and capturing their stories is an honor! We are learning all about sweet Baby Robin! Her mom, Jennifer is an absolute joy. Walking into their NICU room, I felt the love in the room from the beautiful drawings/art from her proud older sibling, milestone updates everywhere, flowers, stuffed animals, and the smiles radiating off everyone’s faces. This was a special day, as I photographed baby Robin on her DUE DATE! She’s been in the NICU for 15 weeks prior as she was 1lb 2.9oz born at 25 weeks!
Words from Jennifer:
My body was finally growing my rainbow baby. After our second baby died, and my medical complications resolved, maternal fetal medicine expected me to have a “normal” pregnancy. I had hopeful positive feelings in spite of grief and anxiety thanks to a lot of high quality mental health services. One morning I woke up and felt, wrong. I tapped deeply into my intuition and brought myself to triage. After much deliberation I was admitted and promptly received magnesium, steroids and counseling on medical decision making. Then after some reassuring monitoring I was going to be discharged! But my baby’s heart rate dropped to 40 and in 9 minutes she was out, wrapped in plastic, being resuscitated by neonatologists. Robin was 1 lb 2.9 ounces at 25 weeks. She had a 50-80% chance of surviving that birth. Her lungs were completely collapsed, needing a high frequency jet ventilator for a harrowing week before transitioning to other mechanical ventilation for 50 days. My sweet helpless baby sedated and drugged to calm her wildly sensitive nervous system! We sat beside her- held her little hand, whispered softly as she repeatedly stopped breathing and survived all of these diagnoses and procedures- pulmonary edema, interstitial emphysema, patent ductus arteriosis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, seizures, bradycardias, arrhythmias, spinal taps, daily diagnostic imaging, endless iv’s and heel pokes. We watched her monitor like a hawk, startled with every alarm, and hung on every word each provider spoke. From my notes:“I better hold her while I can since I doubt she will make it out of here.”
The grief and trauma made it difficult to cope and function. But after a successful extubation and a long process of respiratory support weaning, after 100,000mL of breast milk pumped, too many stressors for my beautiful 4 year old Rorie, and a thousand labors of love bedside and beyond, Robin clover is healing and thriving. Capturing her on the original due date, 15 weeks after her birth, over 100 days into our admission, was the most magical, uplifting service provided to us. We know she’s coming home. We know our family will feel whole.
Everybody says the NICU is a rollercoaster and that it all becomes such a blur. Having photos clearly and honestly depicting our NICU life is a gift that I will cherish and share. We all deserve to have our stories witnessed with respect and compassion- thank you for this Tiana! Thank you for the skills, creativity, professionalism, and bonding over our NICU experiences.
This is why I volunteer. This is why I donate my time serving families that were in my shoes. I have felt all the feels, and also being gifted NICU photography by my good friend made the healing process a bit easier. Do you know someone in the NICU at U of M Children’s Mott Hospital? We’d love to help them embrace their journey through portraiture.
Giving back will always be a fulfilling purpose in my businesses! Apply today or refer a friend for their complimentary NICU Photography session!