Meet Nathaniel – Austin, TX Lifestyle Newborn Photographer

Oh, I’ve been a bad blogger. Sorry, folks! Lots of photography goodness happening, just not much time to blog about it. I keep my facebook page very active, you know. So if you haven’t liked it yet, VISIT ME and do so now!

I can’t think of a better comeback post than this one. Nathaniel’s mama contacted me early in her pregnancy to book a newborn session for him. Here is the rest of the story, in Holly’s words:

“At 38 weeks I noticed a change in baby’s movements. Even though he was still passing kick counts I knew something was amiss. So I told my midwife about it, she did a NST and found baby’s heart rate had no variability. I was rushed to Brackenridge for an emergency c-section. Less than an hour later Nathaniel was born with an apgar score of 1. We had suffered a fetal-maternal hemorrhage. A condition that will typically result in fetal demise. Nathaniel lost over 12% of his blood. He was rushed to Dell Children’s where he was put into a medical coma so they could begin a cooling treatment to help preserve his brain from the oxygen deprivation. Nate was born with bleeding in his brain, an enlarged heart and lungs that didn’t work. We had no idea if our baby would even survive. And if he did what kind of life he would have.
Nate was on full life support for the first 3 weeks and then a ventilator for over 5 weeks, but by the wonderful healing hand of God our son went on to astound the doctors and nurses of Dell. Not only is Nate a miracle for being alive but so far he shows all signs of going on to be a normal baby boy. His brain scans and MRI show little remaining damage and the neurologist is confident that Nate’s brain will reroute to accommodate the spots in his brain that were damaged. His kidneys still have some healing to do as well as his gallbladder and his heart is still a little enlarged but all the doctors think these conditions just need the “tincture of time” and he will be good as new.”

Holly and I decided that we would photograph Nathaniel whenever he was home and doing well. I finally got to meet this little warrior and his mama this week. We had a lovely session! We photographed Nate snuggling with mom and dad, in a basket that had been gifted to Holly and Dave, and then with his mama in an herbal bath. Holly had hoped for a water birth. So I brought some steeped herbs and she and Nathaniel had a soothing herbal bath together, during which time Nathaniel breastfed the best he ever had. Holly has pumped breast milk for Nathaniel religiously since he was born, but Nathaniel’s time at the breast had been severely limited due to the medically induced coma, loads of medications, and the effort of coordinating swallowing and breathing. He’s gotten his breastmilk almost exclusively via a tube. Holly said at the session that he hadn’t latched on in 5 days, but that she wanted to try breastfeeding in the tub, because she would really like to have a picture to preserve that small but fleeting and very precious moment. Well, we got more than 1 picture of this special occasion, as Nathaniel stayed latched on for about 5 minutes! Perhaps it was the herbs, perhaps it was a tiny miracle, but it definitely was an awesome experience for mama (and I had to fight the tears as I furiously captured the moment from as many angles as possible – even standing over them on the edges of the tub)!

Holly sent me this sweet note later in the day:

“Leilani,

This morning was wonderful. I don’t even have words to express my gratitude for the herbal bath. I wanted a water birth so bad and having that bath today was like a dream come true. I can’t wait to see the pics, especially of him nursing!”

THIS, my friends, is why I love my job. Sums it up right there. I love capturing precious, important moments, like meeting your baby for the first time, or successfully breastfeeding when you’d just about given up. I am so grateful for my clients and for them sharing these joyous moments with me! I don’t think they realize how fulfilled I am by them and their beautiful stories!

Here are just a few of my favorite images from my session with the great Nathaniel, Holly and Dave. Note the cape Nate is wearing in the last shot. That symbol was designed by a family friend when news got out about Nathaniel’s condition. It quickly spread across facebook becoming everyone’s profile picture, and then Holly’s stepmom sewed the little cape with the same symbol on it.

Are you crying yet?

4 Comments

  1. by Skye on October 23, 2013  8:11 pm Reply

    Oh, I have tears in my eyes! What a gift you were able to give this sweet family.

  2. by Megan on October 24, 2013  9:26 am Reply

    Oh man what a story. WHAT A SUPER HERO! Beautiful story, beautiful baby boy and amazing family. I love it.

  3. by Sadia on October 24, 2013  8:27 pm Reply

    Oh yeah, I'm crying. I too had an emergency C-section. My babies weren't nearly as sick, but they were also tube fed and breastfeeding opportunities were essentially nil until they were released from the hospital. What a gift!

  4. by Leanda on October 26, 2013  12:01 am Reply

    Absolutely beautiful! xoxo

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