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.
-- Alan Beck
She is half the inspiration for Towne and Reese jewelry as well as being one of my favorite little girls in the world. I've been blessed enough to photograph her all the way from newborn, to her first few months, random sweet family moments, and some really fun photos last year at this time. It's no secret that this girl holds a special place in my heart and as she grows up I'm just captivated by her spunk and charm. These images are such delicious snapshots of all the elements of miss Towne's personality... and yes, I can't help but fall in love with her all over again when I look at her sweet face.
And we finished out the session with a blue ring pop and she was quite enthralled with her treat!