remember, it's hard to look at the IVs, breathing helps, hernias, procedures and sometimes it's even hard just to look at the babies... let's be honest- no one expects a 1lb 11oz baby... and finding a place for that in our minds can be troubling. but, trust me, once you get to know that little personality,
and you see and love that skinny old man looking face, you'll kick yourself for not getting the picture of the IV in their head. (as one mom said. :) it's all part of the journey.
there are a few ideas for a series of photos that i wish i would have done... one is a weekly photo. same position, with a cute little sign noting a change in weight or length. another is to take a picture at milestones. at certain weights or special times. (off the vent, first day breastfeeding etc.) try to position your little one in the same way for each photo in the series, and take it from the same camera angle... you'll be able to see, even in short times, how much they're growing.
there's a great service, that we used (but haven't gotten the photos back from), that offers free pictures while your little one is in the nicu. it's called pictures of hope. check it out... we had a GREAT experience with our local photographer, Lisa Hoang.
i've gathered some preemie models to give you some ideas... a big thanks to those who volunteered their tiny models for this post. :)
this is a "daddy's view" of stella, born at 29 weeks. here's her blog. i wish wish wish we would have had more documentary style photos of the very beginning. since i was under for the c-section, i missed so much. sick mommies are often the case with preemies, so family and friends should take lots of photos while mommy is recuperating.
this is baby lewis, born at 24 weeks as a dashing young lad already... i love the "mommy looking lovingly at baby" photos. notice she's holding while he's vented? some hospitals have different protocols on that.. but you should press the issue. most of the time it's just a matter of finding a nurse who's comfortable and willing to let you.
another photo while vented. this is baby stella from above. doesn't she look great all snuggled in with mommy? a good picture of kangaroo care is a must!
this is baby max...mr. 28 weeker...here's his mommy's blog. the creative isolette photos are great to have... rather than avoiding them, or letting them take over the picture, it's nice to use them as a frame for what's really going on. here's another popular photo:
this is robbie. here's robbie's story. this photo proves even cpap pictures can be cute.
here's another one of robbie.. i think putting regular sized baby items on preemies is super cute! it gives you a chance to show off how small they are, and get some use out of huge gifts that well meaning people sent before they realized your baby weighed like 2 lbs.(or before they knew you were having them obscenely early.) hats are an easy one.
check out baby jacob...on nasal cannula and holding his binky! binky shots are great for baby books! you can read about his journey here.
this is little andrew being contained by his loving daddy. andrew's story is here. the babies love it so much and it's such a comfort to them, i can't imagine not taking a picture of it. preemie parents know what i mean. containment is the first way you bond, the first way you hold, the only way to comfort.. it's an integral part of preemie parenting and a great picture to have.
andrew's mommy is a rockstar photographer.. this is one of the coolest pictures i've seen! i think he must have been under the bili lights... bili light pictures always lend themselves to being interesting if for no other reason than different color lighting.
don't forget smiling pictures!! :) the nicu is oftentimes depressing, and seemingly never ending... we need baby smiles! this is baby dawson... what a happy 24 weeker. you can read about him here.
and lastly, here are some from the wren hall of fame:
another one of those first few minutes of life photos.
holding daddy's hand...er...finger
wearing a bib. you'd think it was a dress... another "preemie's wearing regular sized items" picture.
sorry boys, CPAP bows are for girls only. get clever with the equipment- you don't have to leave it on there.. just capture an adorable picture and take it off.
cpap machine, binky, and blanket on the head... what a combination.. but holding gigi's finger is too great to miss.
wedding ring shots are realllllly cute. wren's hands and feet were practically 3 year old size when she was born, so we were never able to do the "rings on the wrist" picture... but you can do something like this with both your hands.. or even hang the rings on the toes, or put them in the little hand.. super cute.
nicu.. her first time outside the unit.