“Are you hoping for a boy or girl?” the answer “It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s healthy!” Usually follows. But to the parent of a child diagnosed and born with any multitude of health problems; to have a healthy child is a dream; to have a living child is all that matters.
I have had several conversations in very different circles lately that all kept pointing me back to writing this blog. And it may seem like a very random topic to discuss for a newborn photographer; but it’s not random, it’s more relevant than many of us want to imagine.
3 years ago, I went in for a routine ultrasound for our 4th child. My main goal was to find out if we were having another boy, or if this time around we were finally going to get a girl. The feeling in the room completely shifted as the tech excused herself, and said she needed to go get our midwife. I felt my heart sink as I knew something wasn’t right, and I braced myself for their return. She came in, took my hand and said “I’m so sorry, but something is wrong with your baby’s heart. Something is very wrong with his heart.” My body went numb as a million different scenarios played in my mind in just moments. But I knew down in my core that the God who created this child within me had allowed this to happen for a reason. Even if nothing else made sense in that moment.
Just a few weeks ago I had advertised for booking Fresh 48 sessions for 2019. These sessions are done within the first 48 hours of baby’s life before baby & family get to go home together. An expectant mom reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing & comfortable to possibly shoot in the NICU, as they knew their unborn child was going to be born with complications, not knowing to what extent, but they knew pictures would be important no matter the outcome.
I was taken back two and a half years when I was in her shoes. Knowing our son would be born with a heart condition (hypoplastic left heart syndrome with intact atrial septum), but we did not know to what extent his brain and other organs would be affected by the lack of oxygenated blood being able to flow through his body. To sum it up, he was born with half a heart, and what was there had created a block for blood to flow. He was safe inside of me, but all bets were off as soon as he took his first breath, if he could take a breath.