All babies are tiny miracles. And sometimes a tiny baby is so many miracles combined that you can’t even get your head around it. I teared up a lot during this newborn session. You’ll have to read on to find out the many layers of miracles for this sweet baby boy.
I first met this amazing family when their older son turned one. (Not to steal the show from his tiny but mighty brother, the older brother is also a miracle with a severe congenital heart defect. He will be facing heart surgery in the coming months.) We met up over the years for photo sessions. I was so, so happy and excited for them when they hired me to photograph their second baby’s birth after three miscarriages.
Here are mom’s words to tell her family’s story:
After the third miscarriage, I went through every diagnostic procedure imaginable, but there was no clinical explanation why I continued to miscarry. If by all measures of science, we should be the pinnacle of fertility, why did I still feel so inherently broken? The emotional strain took its toll on me. I needed a break. We decided I should go back on birth control and focus on other things. But before I made it back to the doctor, we were staring at that little plus sign once again.
At the first ultrasound, we saw a beautiful, strong, 8-week heartbeat. We left with our congratulatory bag of samples, pregnancy pamphlets, and a photo of our baby resembling a race car that we dubbed Hot Wheels.
At 12 weeks, Hot Wheels looked great. Thanks to a simple blood test and modern science, the doctors told us that our risk of chromosome abnormalities was very low and that we were having another boy! Our excitement came spilling out. We had made it past the first trimester! Jameson was getting a little brother!!
At 19 weeks, the doctors told us Hot Wheels was measuring two weeks behind. The blood flow to the baby was absent and restricted. He was diagnosed with Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and given little to no chance of survival. We had two choices. To continue with the pregnancy and hope for the Hail Mary pass. Or to abort the pregnancy. We had only one option, because something told us Hot Wheels was a fighter.
The next three months were full of ups and downs. At the lowest point, around 24 weeks, his umbilical artery had reversed flow. At 260 grams, he was not big enough to be resuscitated. We went home, broken and preparing for a stillbirth. A few weeks later, after a first round of steroids, Sebastian was still fighting. We made it past Thanksgiving and got to spend Christmas at home. The morning after Christmas, I had a nervous feeling that something wasn’t right as I hadn’t felt him move all morning. So I went to the hospital, and his blood flow showed reversed flow again. I was admitted for monitoring and for my second round of steroids. By Friday, at 32 weeks+3 days, all three major arteries had reversed flow. We needed to deliver as soon as possible.
Sebastian was delivered via C-section on December 30, 2016, at 8:13pm, weighing only 440grams (15.5) ounces. The NICU staff stood by to support. I remember hearing him cry and thinking it was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. He suffered a brief cardiac arrest shortly after birth. It was agonizing listening to the doctors do chest compressions on our fragile baby as I lay helpless, not knowing if that brief moment was all we would see of our baby boy alive. Within a few minutes that seemed like a lifetime, he was stabilized and on his way to the NICU.
In true miracle form, Sebastian went home after 90 days in the NICU. With many ups and downs during that time, he now weighed close to 4 pounds and did not need any respiratory support. I loved meeting him at his newborn session and was so thrilled to see him home with his family. He is a true tiny miracle.
A few months after his newborn session, I was in tears again when Sebby was re-admitted to the hospital. You can read more here, but I am happy and relieved to tell you that he is back home and growing! Sebby is beyond lucky to be born into such a wonderful family. I absolutely love his parents and older brother and only hope that their roller coaster rides in life become fewer and less eventful!
Thank you for allowing me to take part in and to share your story! Much love to you.