I have heard that it is difficult to fully appreciate the selflessness of your own mother's love until you have a child and become a mother yourself... and now, yes, I wholeheartedly agree.
It's been such a treat to have my mom around, and appreciate her in a new way, but to also watch her take such great joy in our little boy. I thought it was worthy of some special photos of them.
For everything, thank you mom.
There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs. ~Ansel Adams
I've been sorting through my baby and childhood photos with my mom recently, and looking at old photos makes me realize the richness of the investment that I am making every time I snap a shot. I love how these images from my past help me to recall pieces and parts of my story.
My brothers. I adored them then, and I adore them now.
"Happiness comes in small moments while you are pursuing the big stuff. And after awhile you realize that the small moments become the point. " - Marcia Menter
"Never put happiness at center stage. It is the by-product of a life of service, never the chief end of life. Happiness is not a right to be grasped, but a serendipity to be enjoyed." - Richard Foster
The single most given piece of advice that we have received with a new baby is to cherish EVERY moment. The common message we keep hearing is that this is a season of life that truly passes in the blink of an eye.... these new babes only stay this tiny, precious and perfectly snuggly for such a short time. So, we are cherishing every hour, truly.
Here are what the hours of our days are filled with since coming home from the hospital:
Sweet, sweet sleep.
Just hanging out:
And even a couple stroller rides before all this crazy snow:
And more sleep:
Three days before we welcomed our little boy into the world, I was able to photograph another very special little boy and his amazing mama. I met up with them in the NICU and was blessed to capture these images that stir my heart because there is just so much love in her gaze upon him. She already has 2 sweet twin boys at home (who I photographed here and here), but her heart has expanded once again with crazy, true and deep love for this tiny little man... who most certainly has the heart of a fighter. When I visited with them, he had been in the hospital for 6 weeks and is progressing really well. Here is the full story in the words of his mom, Settle.
We have so much to celebrate and so much praise and thanksgiving to give. Duncan was born on November 18, 2010 at 7:16 in the morning. He started out tipping the scales at 2 pounds, 12.5 ounces. He has a head full of beautiful, dark hair. We are quickly learning than any update we give is merely a snapshot of Duncan's overall condition. The early life of a preemie is so fluid that what is true in the morning may change by the afternoon.
Duncan started out breathing using a ventilator. He soon graduated to a nasal canula, which essentially provided a flow of air to support his breathing. As of Monday, November 22, Duncan has been breathing room air on his own! This is truly a miracle and an answer to our prayers for God's protection of Duncan's lungs. The head doctor of the NICU described Duncan's breathing as "luck". We know that it is nothing short of miraculous.
He receives my breast milk through a feeding tube. The nurses gradually increase the amount of milk that he receives. So far he has been digesting the milk well. We also received word from the doctor on Wednesday that his head ultrasounds show no signs of bleeding in the brain. This is huge because brain bleeds are very common for preemies and have varying degrees of effects on babies.
I have been able to hold Duncan twice and change his diaper several times. Kangaroo care (time for skin to skin contact) is by far my favorite part of visiting Duncan. Holding my son who I have prayed for and thought about incessantly since my water broke on September 20 is pure bliss.
Duncan still has a long road ahead of him. Before the doctors will consider allowing
him to come home, he must gain substantial weight and learn how to eat from the
bottle and breast. He must be able
to maintain stable breathing and a stable heart rate as well as maintain an
appropriate body temperature. They
tell us to plan on bringing him home around my due date, January 28, if all
goes well. Please continue to pray
Thank you for letting me into this beautiful, intimate place. Settle, my friend, I hope that you treasure these images and know that your prayers will cling to sweet Duncan.