Sunday, February 25, 2007

Waiting for a little brother

Jadyn is a sweet little girl who I first met when she was still in her mommy's tummy. Now she's just about 18 months old and is soon going to be a big sister! She was so cute, showing me where her little brother is. Of course, being so young she may not realize what she's in for - but soon enough, she'll find out how lucky she is to have a little guy to share life with.

For right now, the little boy is "Anakin." So grandparents - you will just have to wait to find out who your newest grandson is!

Monday, February 19, 2007

I love a surprise!!!!

Yesterday was a first for me - I worked with a couple expecting their first child, and they did not know whether it was a boy or a girl! I've worked with many expectant couples, and this was the very first time that it was going to be a surprise on delivery day.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, we considered the possibility of being surprised. But I guess we just aren't patient enough to wait 9 months...I caved in and had the ultrasound technician make a little video for us, typing in "boy" or "girl" and then not watching the video until we could all watch as a family. We liked knowing ahead of time that it was a girl - but a surprise would also have been fun.

Medical science has advanced so much that I sometimes wonder how previous generations made it through pregnancy. There was no way to check for a heartbeat or make sure that all was well early in the pregnancy - you just had to wait and see. No way to know that your baby had all the important parts, or was developing and healthy - just wait 9 months and find out in the delivery room. Some surprises probably weren't for the best - if a baby has medical issues, it's better to be prepared ahead of time. But the surprise of "it's a boy!" or "it's a girl!" - those are great surprises.

If I had to guess, I would say this baby is going to be a girl. I don't have any insider information - I'm just basing this on the fact that I seem to get a whole bunch of boys in for maternity & newborn sessions, and then a whole bunch of girls. I have just ended my run of boys, and started a new run of girls. So that's my guess...but don't hold me to it! I'll have to be patient, and I will say that I am looking forward to meeting this new little one and being surprised myself.

Another little heartbreaker

This is Braylon. He is only 3 weeks old, but already you can see he's got his daddy wrapped around his little fingers!

Braylon's mom is almost done with her studies to be a neonatal nurse. I have several customers who work in the NICU, and I want to let everyone know what angels they are. I've dealt with them as a parent of preemies, and I've dealt with them as a photographer when I do my NILMDTS sessions. In all cases, I have been impressed by both their compassion and their professionalism.

The NICU is not a fun place. It is filled with babies who are sick, who are too little, but who are the center of their parents world. When your child is in the NICU, it is a very scary time. You have no idea what to expect - no matter how prepared you think you are ahead of time, the reality never hits you until your child is in the NICU fighting for his/her life. It is so easy to give up and think that you will never bring your child home. When you are trying to work through those feelings, the nurses will take care of your little one until you are able to do it yourself. Our nurses always tried to make us feel as much like mom and dad as possible, letting us do all of the diaper changes that we wanted to. They didn't mind when we just sat and talked to our babies for hours if that's what we needed to do.

I imagine that being a NICU nurse is sad sometimes because you always have to say good-bye in the end. It's a huge event when a baby is discharged after a long stay in the NICU. It's a victory and a happy ending - but for the nurse who has taken care of that baby, it is also good-bye. Some parents try to keep in touch, but many don't. And then the next baby comes in and the job starts again...

So to all the NICU nurses and staff out there, a great big THANK YOU. You guys are angels here on earth, helping the tiniest people and their families.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Welcome Julia!

This sweet little girl is named Julia. She's only a couple of weeks old, but already her family adores her. I'm happy to see a little girl, as my recent sessions have mostly been boys. But the tide is starting to turn...more maternity customers are expecting to see pink in their future rather than blue!

Julia is lucky enough to have a big brother and a big sister who help to take care of her. It's such a blessing to be able to watch the children who used to be the babies become the "big kids" with all of the pride and stubbornness that entails. Children who just a few months ago wanted you to do everything for them all of a sudden become more grown up when they are the "big brother" or "big sister." It's amazing to watch them grow, but it is always a little bit sad because it makes you remember when they were the brand new baby, falling asleep in your arms and giving you those contented smiles.