One of the best things about being a newborn photographer in Michigan is the trust that new parents have in me. It is an honor that I do not take for granted. They trust me to be professional, they trust me to get their style right but most importantly , they trust me to handle their newborn babies with love. I had the pleasure of capturing a most remarkable newborn this weekend. Her mom is trusting me to tell her story but didn’t want me to share her name so I’m going to call her Grace for the purpose of this blog and you’ll soon understand why.
I’m calling her Grace because this little angel has had to endure more than most of us could handle in one lifetime and she’s only 4 months old. See, Grace was born with a heart ‘abnormality’ , a bad one. Who knows if she would have been able to pull through 10-15 years ago but with a strong mom, the power of modern surgery and an amazing children’s hospital (CS Mott Children’s Hospital | Michigan) Grace is alive and well. Because of everyone’s Grace, she is sure to live and amazing, long life. Look at her, her presence just screams strength. Quiet, peaceful strength.
I knew a little about her story but nothing prepared me for seeing the scars on her chest. She had to have open heart surgery before she was even 48 hours old. I immediately wanted to hold her close, to pick her up and love on her but she looked at me with these eyes that stopped me dead in my tracks. I knew right away that this was HER story, that she was starting her life THIS way but that it was sure to be a long & righteous one. Her eyes have a sense of peace that is captivating & stays with you.
Her mom told me her story as we carried on through her session. She told me how in the first few weeks she could only hold her for minutes at a time and only once a day. And by holding her she meant that they allowed her to put her hands under her while she was laying down. She told me how they had to freeze her and paralyze her in order to do her surgery, how she was hooked up to dozens of machines and tubes and how the whole experience just ‘breaks you’. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to see your NEWBORN in ICU for the first time and the strength a mom has to find to put on a brave heart and listen to all those beeping machines monitoring the life of your child. She explains it so matter of fact that you know she’s gone through some rough moments in order to say it in such a stable way. However, when you ask her how SHE is doing, she pauses before saying, “I’m fine”.
When I said , “if it’s anyone that could, you could” she stopped me mid sentence and said, “you do what you have to do to keep your baby alive”. As mom was holding her little baby Grace, all I could hear was… ‘I got you girl’… and it’s so clear that she does. This baby girl is strong because she came from a strong as hell mama and that mama is going to do whatever it takes.
Mom has a thing for butterflies, her whole room and home is elegantly decorated with subtle butterflies. So it’s only logical that we turn her little bebe into one.
she also has the cutest feet. The kind you just want to put up to your face and kiss over and over and over.
And don’t even get me talking about her little angel butt, those dimples…
Grace is going back into surgery in the next week so they can surgically implant a feeding tube for her meds. Mom doesn’t want her to go under again but like she said, ‘you do what you have to do’. Grace and mom are in this together, no doubt and she will continue to be more than fine, she will continue to thrive because her mama’s got her. One baby step at a time.
If you feel somehow touched by this, make a donation to the Ronald McDonald house, they help to keep parents close to their children during an important time.
Genevieve DeVries is an on-site, natural light photographer. Based in Plymouth, Michigan, I serve southeast Michigan and the greater Wayne County, Washtenaw County and Oakland County areas, including Plymouth, Canton, Livonia, Westland, Northville, Novi, Farmington/Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Belleville, Whitmore Lake, Saline, Dexter, Salem, South Lyon, Wayne, Garden City, New Hudson, Wixom, Walled Lake, Brighton, Milford, Southfield, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, and beyond.
If you’re interested in booking a session contact me and lets get something on the books.