So this is a very special blog for me to write, and not just because this little man is awesome. It’s also because he is my cousin’s little boy, and to me family is super important. Although I’m from a small-ish family, I have had the pleasure of photographing some of my family’s newborn sessions and last year I was due to photograph 2 new little babies coming into the family. However, both little ones made quite an early appearance! Finley was born earlier than planned and had breathing complication post-birth, which meant a lot of additional hospital trips. Unfortunately, as I don’t live that near, I missed out on Finley’s newborn pictures but we are hoping to fit in him for a cake smash session at some point this year!
Joshua, on the other hand, was born super super early at 28 weeks. His mum had Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR). IUGR is estimated to affect 3 in every 100 pregnancies and means a baby doesn’t grow as it should inside the womb. The result is the baby is smaller that it should be leading to health problems. Pregnancies such as these often result in early delivery. This is so the babies can be given the support they need to grow outside of the womb. Joshua was delivered by emergency c-section with severe IUGR and weighed just 620g (1lb 6oz). That is not even a bag of sugar.
Since birth, he has been in and out of 4 different hospitals for a total of 20 weeks. He has had over 10 blood transfusions, laser eye surgery, hernia surgery, chronic lung disease, been ventilated more than once, has anaemia, and has terrible acid reflux to mention a few!
That said, however, he is such a determined and strong little man for one born so small and so early. I spoke to his parents before Joshua was due to see if they would like me to take some newborn portraits. They were super excited to do it but his early arrival meant that everything was put on hold until he was back home again. It was 5 months before I was able to make the trip to see him. Of course my Samphire family were also super excited to meet him. So the bags were all packed and off we set. Joshua here we come!
I had spoken with TJ and Chelsey beforehand to let them know how much space I needed and to keep the house warm. Newborn babies struggle to regulate their body temperatures and since Joshua was born so early we needed to take special care to monitor his temperature. Once we had arrived and I was set up, it was time to get photographing. My family were sent upstairs to play with Indie the cat and I got to work. I knew that Joshua still had oxygen tubes in, but at that stage he was allowed “in Air” time. It was this time we used to photograph him without tubes. Joshua was an absolute superstar. For every pose we kept him warm and settled him into position with his tubes in. Then, only when everything was ready, we took them out for the pictures.
As you can see, not only is Joshua amazing but his gallery is too, and I know his Mum and Dad love them all xx
Well done Mum and Dad!
I can’t finish this blog without saying how amazing his Mum and Dad have been through all this. Having a newborn baby is stressful under normal conditions. So this is only far more so when you are also having to go through the added stress of delivering a newborn prematurely. Hats off to anyone who goes through this; the emotional stresses, the uncertainty, the prolonged hospital stays, enduring seeing your little one going through endless operations, not being able to take them home with you at the end of each day, spending so much of your maternity leave in hospital, having partners go back to work and leave you with many hours on your own in hospital – to name but a few. But at the end of it all, this is a new family which has been created and despite the ups and downs they are an incredibly strong one.
So photographing premature newborn babies? Absolutely there are extra things to for me to think about and consider when I am working. But I have photographed premie babies of all ages. From twins born at 28 weeks who were photographed at 3 months. To babies who have come in at just a few weeks after they were born but are still teeny tiny. If you ever have any concerns prior to your session, or end up with a prolonged stay in hospital due to your little one arriving early, just let me know and we can discuss your session. Don’t worry as I can capture great images at any stage.
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If you would like some more information with regards to newborn studio portraits then check out my newborn photography page which gives you a great insight into how the sessions run.
Would you like to book in for a newborn studio session with Samphire Photography? Then please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 07989 594236 to discuss. Alternatively you can contact me through my website. I look forward to hearing from you xx
photographing premature newborn babies