As a photographer, I will occasionally be asked to do a NICU Session. I have a few ways that I like to give back, and this is one of them. NICU sessions are very near and dear to my heart. Our youngest child, Avett, was in the NICU for nearly 7 weeks at birth. Once Avett got out of the NICU, I reached out to a non-profit organization called Preemie Prints. Preemie Prints provides either NICU sessions, or a session within the first year of life, to parents with a baby in the NICU. For me, when we were in the hospital, everything we were going through was part of Avett’s story. As a photographer, I needed to document what was happening. I’m sure it also helped take my mind off of things as well. Most NICU parents probably aren’t thinking about taking pictures of their babies. They’re busy surviving their new normal. I was more than happy to head to the hospital to photograph Abigail’s NICU session.
I asked Abigail’s mom to give me a description of why Abigail was in the NICU. Here is what she said.
“Abigail was born via emergency c-section at 27w5days (a little under 7 months). She weighed 1lb 15 oz and was 14 inches long. She was initially intubated and given the medicine surfactant.
Then she moved to a CPAP to assist her breathing. She was given dopamine and steroids to help normalize her blood pressure, which prevented her from being treated for her PDA.
Abigail had a cranial ultrasound at 7 days to check for bleeding in her brain. Initially they saw level 2 bleeds. A week later they downgraded their diagnoses to level 1. She started receiving breastmilk feeds through an OG tube. Once she started tolerating those, they increased the amount of feeds and began adding fortifiers to her breastmilk due to her low birth weight and early gestational age.
During her time in the NICU we also had 4 NEC scares. She has received 5 blood transfusions. Abigail has moved from CPAP to High Flow Cannula to Nasal Cannuala (and back and forth and back and forth between those last two). She now weighs 4 lbs and something (its going up and down because of the belly/feeding issues she keeps experiencing), and is on a High Flow Cannula at 2L pumping room level oxygen into her lungs. They treated her PDA with ibuprofen at 32 gestational weeks, and it was effective at shrinking the PDA and decreasing the pressure on her heart. ”
This was a while ago and I’m thrilled to report that Abigail has been home with her parents for a while and is doing great.
Here are the photos from her NICU session. You can see the Preemie Prints site here to find out more about their organization and how to apply for a NICU session if you or someone you know needs one.