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ask anyone. they’ll tell you. i have a very low pain threshold. pain could easily be one of my greatest fears. as a perfect illustration to how afraid i am of it, i got both epidurals i have ever had at 1.5 centimeters. and that’s the truth. basically, i’m a wuss. however, i can honestly say that as scared as i was to birth my children their “birth” days were the the two best days of my life. i would live them over and over again if it meant i could feel the incredible joy i felt on those days.

i can’t imagine the pain that would come with the worry if a baby was born too early.

way too early.

i got an email a few weeks ago from a very brave mother.

“I need your help. Our second daughter entered this world prematurely ( almost 4 months too soon). After 107 days in the hospital, we just brought her home 3 weeks ago. Her immune system is very compromised so we have to stay home. Is there anyway you can come out to our house very soon and take some pics. I was not going to do anything too big but she is a true miracle and I want to capture her in every way possible. Although she is 4 months old, she is technically only 3 weeks old but growing sooo fast.”

107 days in the hospital with a baby the size of a dinner roll sounds painful to me, on every level possible. baby natalie was so little when she was born her tiny hand fit through her daddy’s wedding ring. the doctors gave baby a 30% chance of survival. how do you interpret that as a parent? how does that in any way translate to the language of your heart?

compliments of the family’s memories, a few snapshots from the hospital:

this little family took it a day at a time. they relied on the knowledge of their nurses and doctors,family and friends, and a power much greater than themselves. the spirit inside that tiny body was much stronger than her delicate frame. she’s got the heart of a lion. 30% change swiftly and before long she grew, developed, and was, with much celebration released from the hospital and allowed to go home! the road ahead is still a bit precarious, but the most significant fear is behind them.

natalie is home. safe and sound. healthy and adorably happy.

i have been thinking about this little family since i closed the door and walked away from their session. natalie is a breathing miracle. she, they, will never consider life and its gift the same way again.

so glad you are a part of this world natalie; happy you will be here for a long long time!!!

nobody, NOBODY, loves you like your mom. a mother’s heart, it just feels so much.

natalie was also welcomed by a big sister who won’t remember much of this time, but will always know her sister is a special gift to their family. just as she is!

both children are so loved:

i don’t think there will ever be a moment when atia and karl hold their newest baby and don’t consider everything they endured for those 107 days. i don’t think there will ever be a moment when they don’t feel a profound sense of gratitude for her life.

thank you for sharing this time in your life with me. i was humbled and inspired by the fighting spirit in ALL of you!!! thank you for reminding me to consider life, differently. much love to you all!!! i’m excited to watch your most recent miracle grow and grow!!