Ok, so it’s time to be candid. I strive to keep my business and personal life very separate. That’s hard to do when a business is *literally* your name and you run it from home, out of you house, and often working hours coincide with raising your children. Every work at home, small business owner parent does it differently. For me personally, there are places where I allow my personal life to intersect with business. Sometimes for me that means that personal shares take longer to transfer from my head to where they belong–in this case, a blog post! One place is when I share photos that my children actually allow me to take of them, a rare treat. Another space in which I share with you includes personal struggles I have worked hard to turn into something positive. You may remember when I shared that I have Alopecia Areata. Today I want to tell you a little more about my family’s preemie journey with my son, the community we have found among other parents of premature babies, and the healing we have found by giving back to the March of Dimes.
Our son Kamran was born at 35 weeks gestation. He was considered a late term preemie and was expected to spend a maximum of 2 weeks in the NICU. In actuality he was there for just over a month, mostly due to immature lung development. I went into labor with him at 23 weeks and was on hospitalized bed rest for 3 months. He had very little amniotic fluid which hindered his growth, and lung development.
Having a premature baby feels a bit isolating. In the early days of being a preemie parent, it was helpful to have friends in our community who could relate, and act as a sounding board. Having someone there who understands the frustration of hearing how tiny your little one is over and over is helpful. Societal norms can be tough for any parent to navigate, but daily reminders from others are draining. Every premature baby has their own unique set of struggles that parents work through relating to feeding, growing, breathing, and medical care.Some of the babies in our community need surgery or frequent doctor visits. It’s exhausting. Our community has babies who were born as angels. Always hard, never fair, and they love their babies fiercely. Their time cut too short.
The March of Dimes is an organization that brings us all together and provides an outlet for us to celebrate and remember our babies as well as give back every year. They aim to combat prematurity, and fund research to help all moms have healthy pregnancies. This is a cause important to my family and we have been fundraising for 6 years. We just finished our 7th walk this past May.
Our preemie journey has not been something I would call simple. I didn’t really know going into what was our toughest time in life, that we would come away with such a rich experience. In 6 years, my husband and I have had the opportunity to raise our son, as well as his 2 year old sister. We’ve walked the line of doctors, hospital visits, and specialists galore. Often this means more than one doctor appointment per week. It has always been our normal. Our community has family, friends, and luckily for me, also clients who provide incredible support. Some walk with us, some donate (some every year for 7 years) when their budget allows. I am thankful that I am able to give back through my photography.
I have also found an amazing colleague and friend in Blaire, of Second Ave Photography. She too is a preemie mom. We had only just met when we started talking about the potential to take our passion for the March of Dimes, love of Photography and use it to give back. We created the Hug a Preemie mini sessions so that we could provide an incredible value to our clients and in turn also fundraise more than we would by using personal efforts. Session fees for our fundraiser minis are paid directly to our individual fundraising pages. Together we exceeded our $2,000 fundraising goal. Be sure to check out Blaire’s photos from our mini sessions too!
To the clients and friends pictured below, thank you for supporting us, our businesses, and our cause. It means so very much.
Do you have a cause that you support? I would love to hear more about it!