Jack's mom sent me an update on his progress! If you missed him on the blog, click below to see what he looked like shortly after he was born at 23 weeks. Then read below to see what his mom had to say about his progress.
Asher was born at 25 weeks and 6 days at just 2 pound 6.9 ounces. When we met, he was over 2 months old, and looking oh so healthy! He was working on learning how to take bottles and was able to go home to be with his parents and big brother, Jackson, in February right after his due date.
Kerri and Nate's story wasn't easy though. Jackson was conceived by IVF (in vitro fertilization) after a few years of infertility treatments and several rounds of IVF. Asher was conceived using a frozen embryo - Isn't that amazing!? Our medical advances are absolutely astonishing sometimes!
All went well during Asher's time inside the womb, until Kerri was diagnosed with preeclampsia. It eventually progressed and became so severe that Asher had to be delivered via emergency c-section. He was born on November 4th and experienced a few hiccups along the way that complicated his stay in the NICU. Today is he is looking stronger and stronger!
Sully is growing up! I can't believe this previous 28 weeker that I photographed last June is now 16 pounds! He was just 2 pounds 6 ounces at birth, and here he is now! He might just be my most handsome NICU baby! If you missed his NICU portrait session, check it out here or click the button below.
I got to see Sully this fall at an event Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital where I was able to photograph him once again. Pierce's Project hosted a Germ Free Santa Session for past NICU babies, and sweet little Sully showed up! Can you even handle how cute he is in his little elf outfit? His parents are going to have their work cut out for them when the girls start chasing him!
Lincoln was the first NICU portrait session that I did almost a year ago! I was so excited to share my gift of photography with a NICU family, and even more thrilled with the experience when I met his parents. They are the sweetest couple and they were so appreciative of my complimentary services. I love being able to incorporate my artistic craft with my love for the preemies and nursing career.
Here's an update from Lincoln's mom:
"Lincoln is 10 months (7 months adjusted) already. He's over 15 pounds. He's crawling around everywhere, sitting up on his own, and just recently pulling himself up to stand! It's so amazing to see him grow & develop. (He still receives PT once a week and speech once every other week.) He is just full of personality and I'm so grateful to be his mommy. ❤"
Rhett was born in July of 2016 at 28 weeks. He weighed 1 pound 9 ounces. I was lucky enough to photograph him during his stay in the NICU by offering his parents complimentary NICU portraits. Pierce's Project arranged for Rhett's mom to have her hair and makeup done for the session, and she looked stunning! (See Rhett's NICU session here.) . While I do follow many NICU patients on social media and could see that he is doing great, I caught up with Rhett's mom to request a personal update on Rhett's progress since going home.
It was in May of 2016 that I received an email from Liz. She requested NICU portraits of her micro-preemie, Rigdon. He was already 12 weeks old, and Liz was feeling mom guilt for not contacting me sooner. She received my information in a Pierce's Project welcome bag she received when Rigdon was first admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at just 24 weeks and 6 days. She never felt like it was the right time to have me come take his photos, but now she was upset that she missed so many opportunities to catch him at his tiniest. Would I still come and photograph her baby? Of course I would. We set up an appointment and I sent some additional information to Liz. And then, crickets.
I didn't hear from Liz. I was concerned, but knowing the roller coaster that is the NICU, I didn't want to pry. I gave her space and reached out to her the night before our scheduled appointment. Liz responded and told me that Rigdon had a rough week. He had to have eye surgery and was having a rough recovery. He was also scheduled to have a tracheostomy and feeding tube placed the next week, so it was just not a good time.
Four months later, I met Liz in the NICU while I was photographing the Queen City Quints. I immediately recognized her name and was surprised to see her still in the NICU. I got an email the next day asking if I could come and photograph sweet Rigdon.
I chose to photograph Rigdon on his discharge day, which I thought was the perfect day for NICU portraits. I knew there would be a lot of people in and out, but I underestimated just how many. Rigdon was one loved boy! I've posted his discharge day photos below.
Today, Rigdon would have been 1 year old. I wish I could tell you that his journey after being discharged was an easy one, but he spent much of his time in the pediatric intensive care unit. Liz and Alan are spending today celebrating Rigdon's life and remembering the special times they had with him while he was here. They're even spending today visiting the hospitals where Rigdon spent most of his life, bringing gifts to those who cared for him. Their generosity during this devastating time is certainly inspiring!
Just a few days before Rigdon passed away, Liz and Alan received the news that they are expecting another baby boy. I was elated when I heard the news, but also knew that they must be feeling such mixed emotions, celebrating new life while grieving the loss of another. Just in the short time I've known Liz, I've seen her strength and I know that she is more than capable to face the challenge. I think this new baby is God's way of helping Liz and Alan prepare for their next stage in life. Liz's motto throughout Rigdon's journey was "We can do hard things." While I don't know where that comes from, I certainly hope this is the hardest thing they have to endure.
Enjoy Rigdon's sweet cheeks as you look at his discharge day photos! He's one precious little nicu graduate! Click here to donate to Rigdon's family.
Aiden wasn't supposed to be one of my preemies that I usually photograph in the NICU. His mom called me well in advance of her due date, but unfortunately Aiden came a little earlier than expected. He was born at 34 weeks and did spend some time in the NICU, but today is healthy and at home!
I photographed him in his home and he did so great! He slept throughout his entire session, and didn't make a peep. I loved hanging out with his mom during his session too. She's so easy going and is thankful to have her boy home with her. Enjoy Aiden's newborn images!
Remember Sebastian? He was born at just 22 weeks and 4 days and spent a significant amount of time in the NICU. I photographed him when he was exactly one month old and 26 weeks 4 days, corrected. He recently got discharged from the hospital and is now home hanging out with his mom. I asked Sebastian's mom for an update and here is what she had to say:
I had the pleasure of meeting Sebastian when he was exactly one month old, He only spent 22 weeks and 4 days in his mom's womb before he decided to come out and see what's outside of her belly. He actually decided to start making his way out as early as 18 weeks. At his ultrasound, his mom was happy to find out that he was a boy. Moments later, she was told that she was already dilated 1 centimeter. She knew she was in for a difficult time!
On September 26, a "small, sweet, and perfect" boy was born. Sebastian is loved by so many, including his grandmother seen in the photos below. His mom wanted him to have these photos to be reminded of how strong he is. She says, "I want to show him these pictures to remind him that he can accomplish anything. He is my saving grace and my reason to continue fighting my own issues."
I'm excited to say that Sebastian (a 22 week preemie!) has been discharged home from the hospital! He went home last week and is oh so handsome! I'm excited to see how this preemie proves just how strong he is. He has come such a long way, and I know his mother is so proud to have him as her own. Big things are ahead for Sebastian!
Jeannie is a sweet friend I met at the hospital - she works in a neighboring unit. When I met with her for her consultation, we hit it off from the start. I mentioned that l hadn't been floated to work in her unit in quite some time. In fact, we had never officially met in person until the consultation. We had never crossed paths at work. To my surprise, the very next day, I was floated to her unit! I even gave report to her that night at the end of my shift, transferring the care of my babies to her. By the end of her shift, she was into labor.
Will was a few weeks early and spent some time in the NICU for respiratory issues, but was able to make it home in time for his newborn session, which was 2 days before his due date.
Will's session went great and his parents were so warm and welcoming. They even offered me some coffee! I don't always get to drink it because I'm busy working with the babies, but I certainly appreciate the gesture! I absolutely loved working with this family and their sweet boy!
Courtney and her husband tried for some time to have a baby. When they found out they were pregnant, they "were over the moon excited!" Courtney felt great throughout the pregnancy. She eventually started having issues with elevated blood pressure, that evolved into severe preeclampsia. On Sunday, July 17th, Courtney experienced a placental abruption and sweet little Rhett was delivered by c-section on July 20th. He weighed just 1 pound 6 ounces.
Here is the rest of Rhett's story, as told by his mom:
"We were so relieved to hear him cry when he was born. The whole experience was so surreal. The doctors and nurses took Rhett into the NICU right after delivery before I could even see him. Once he was stable and I was out of recovery, my husband and I went to the NICU where I finally got to see my newborn.
He was perfect and beautiful, but so tiny. I was terrified. The beeps of the machines, all the wires and lights... It was so scary.
He has been making steady progress and is already 8 weeks old. He is breathing mostly on his own and weights 3 and a half pounds already. He's growing stronger everyday!
If I could go back in time, I'd tell myself its all going to be ok, he will grow fast and even though it doesn't seem like it, this wont last forever."
Sully's story is a beautiful one! His mom was told years ago that she was unable to have children. Well that changed last winter. Sully's parents found out they were expecting on the night before Christmas Eve. As his dad said, "What a wonderful Christmas Miracle!"
Sully surprised his mom and dad with an early entrance into this big world. He decided to come earthside early in May at just 28 weeks and 2 pounds 6 ounces. He's not the smallest baby I've seen, but to most - that is so so tiny! He has spent the majority of his time on CPAP, which you'll see in the images below. He's working on feeding and getting out of the NICU. His parents cannot wait to have him back home with them! Here is a glimpse into the neonatal intensive care unit and all that comes with it...
I'm so excited that my friends Davis and Megan are expecting a second baby! I photographed her firstborn just a few years ago, and now she's expecting another boy! Baby #2 is sure to be just as handsome as his big brother Colton. Here are images from Colton's birth and delivery, and then some when everyone made it home with their new little bundle. Cannot wait to meet their next little guy! (Check out Callan's newborn session, here!)
His name was a mystery throughout Megan's pregnancy, so he became known as "Baby C". One cool October day, the mystery was no more. Davis rounded the corner as he made his way to the nursery with a brand new baby boy. His [very excited] family rushed down the hall to meet him. Davis had the honor of introducing them to his very first baby. He tearfully stated his name for the first time. Colton. His name is Colton. His family stood in awe of the tiny miracle, squeezed Davis, and then watched through the nursery window as he got his first shot and held his dad's hand for the first time. iPhones were out, pictures were taken, tears were falling. A healthy baby boy is here at last.
In April, I had the pleasure of meeting Evan for the first time. Jenna is a friend of mine from work, so when she asked if I could take her newborn photos, I was more than thrilled. Here are a few of my favorites from Evan’s session. Just wait until you see this beautiful little family of three!
When I first walked in the family room at Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital, I knew Lincoln is very very loved. His mom and dad were just beaming with excitement for me to meet him. Despite his early delivery, he is doing well and growing. His parents are so thankful for my donation of NICU portraits, but I'm so thankful to have met such sweet parents like them. They are so kind and gracious, and both full of joy for their new baby boy! I cannot wait to see how big and handsome their sweet boy gets!
Make sure to check out the gift Lincoln's mom received from her best friend! She received it while on bedrest after her water broke at just 21 weeks. The necklace is called the "giving key" and given to someone who needs it. Once they meet someone who needs the key more than they do, they pass it along to that person to help them through their journey. What a beautiful gift! I might have shed a tear when she told me the story! One of Lincoln's photos was even published on the cover of a journal. Click here to see it!
Here are some images of Lincoln's first ever portrait session...
Logan was born in March weighing only 3 pounds and 3 ounces. He spent some time on CPAP, was jaundiced, and had some trouble regulating his blood sugar. He is now three weeks old and made it to four pounds the day I went to visit him. He also took his first bottle instead of using his feeding tube! What a trooper!
Logan's mom is very familiar with the NICU environment, which is why she contacted me. She has spent a lot of time in NICUs in the Charlotte area - She is also a mom of twins! I took care of her 25 week twins in the NICU and they are now enjoying life at home with their older brother, who was born at 36 weeks. Logan hopes to join these three at home someday soon!
- Click here to request free NICU portraits -
- Click here to request a NICU session -
And you thought Sully was a cute newborn! He has turned out to be quite a handsome little guy - who happens to look great in blue! We had fun at Sully's 6 Month session. He is a sweet sweet baby, surrounded by such a large and loving family. He's quite a lucky little fellow!