One look at this adorable family, sitting peacefully by the creek, may have you day-dreaming of your own family photos. I consider it a privilege to capture families in photos that fully show their love for one another. Isaac is so blessed to have parents Joshua and Jensine to love and care for them with their whole hearts!
What these photos do not capture is the chaotic process that happened in order for him to be here today. In some of these photos you will see a rainbow implemented. This is because Isaac is a rainbow baby, or in other words, Isaac is a baby that came after a previous loss. As described by The Bump, a “rainbow baby does not mean that your loss should be forgotten; such a devastating loss can never be forgotten. Rather, your rainbow baby will carry the torch of the love you will always have for the child you lost, and when you hold that precious baby in your arms, you will fully understand the meaning of the term.”
Not only is Isaac a rainbow baby, but he came much earlier than anticipated due to complications with Jensine’s pregnancy. We had actually originally planned maternity photos for Jensine, but Isaac had other plans! I asked Jensine to tell me more about this part of Isaac’s story.
Isaac’s coming into this world was not easy and very unique. I have always had high blood pressure and kidney issues so we were expecting the potential for pregnancy complications, but not like this.
We had just gotten back from our visit to Colorado and I had my 32 week appointment Monday, June 12th where everything was fine for me and the baby. Starting on Wednesday, June 14th, my blood pressure started to spike. We thought it was just my body adjusting from all of the travel but it was still really high on Thursday, June 15th, so I called my OB. They asked me to come in to check my vitals. My thought was they were going to increase my blood pressure medication. After running some tests, my OB proceeded to tell me they were going to admit me to the hospital for 24 hour monitoring. Needless to say, I was shocked and started to bawl my eyes out. I was scared, confused, and unsure of what was going to happen.
Once I got settled into my room and got a hold of Joshua to join me at the hospital, the hospital staff got me and Isaac hooked up for monitoring. At this point, we were optimistic with the results of the quick testing. We were either going to go on bed rest until delivery or everything was going to be fine and we could go home.
By the next day around 3 o’clock (Friday, June 16th), the doctors and nursing staff were very concerned that my blood pressure wasn’t decreasing no matter how much medication they were giving me. The options had changed at this point to either go on bed rest in the hospital for another week or deliver within 24 hours. One of Joshua’s co-workers and friend came to visit in the hospital to check to see if we were ok and another had come to bring us dinner. The results came back from the final test and the doctor came into our room with a concerned look. She stated based off the results from the test, we needed to deliver within 24 hours. Our hearts sank and stomachs started aching at the thought of our sweet boy coming so soon at only 33 weeks. Joshua left the room for a moment to say goodbye to his friends while we prepared ourselves for what was to come and another doctor rushed into our room. This doctor proceeded to tell us Isaac would need to be delivered within the hour. We lost it – our eyes filled with tears and our bodies froze. Joshua’s friends came back in the room to pray with us over the next hour.
Moments later, our room filled with doctors and nurses, preparing me for an emergency C-section and answering our abundance of questions to prepare us the best they could.
Over the last 24 hours up to this point, we had already been so blessed by so many amazing nurses. Michelle was definitely our favorite and decided to not leave, even though her shift was over, since she wanted to be with us through this delivery and Pam was the current nurse on staff helping me.
As they rolled me down the hall and to the delivery room, they told us Joshua needed to sit outside the room until they finished the spinal block.
By the time we were in the delivery room I couldn’t breathe through my nose from all of the crying. They were having me bend over while trying to get the spinal block in place. They kept trying and it wasn’t working on either side. This is when Pam stepped in front of me to take over calming me down. She rubbed my upper back to try to get me to arch my back more and started praying for me and encouraging me. They finally got it to work.
Joshua came into the room and sat by my side. The next few moments were mostly a blur until the doctor lifted our very purple little boy over the curtain twice to be sure I got to see him right away. Joshua left for a moment to take pictures of Isaac’s first moments in this world, getting checked, poked, & prodded to be sure he was okay. They brought Isaac over for a moment so I could see him again after he had come into his normal skin color, to say hello to my sweet baby boy, give him a kiss, and to take our very first family photo.
As soon as the pictures were taken, Joshua and Isaac made their way for the NICU to get Isaac settled into his bed & home for the next 3 & ½ weeks.
Back in the delivery room, I started to have a panic attack. They tried to give me an oxygen mask, but it kept collapsing on my face. They tried to give me a nasal cannula, but I still couldn’t breathe through my nose from crying so much before delivery… by now the attach was getting worse and it felt like there were straps pulling down hard on my shoulders. I started throwing my arms around trying to move even though I couldn’t move anything below my diaphragm.
Amazing nurse Pam stepped in again saving the day. She grabbed my hand and started running her fingers through my hair and started praying with me again, I instantly started to breathe better and calm down enough for the doctors to stitch me up and put me back together.
Now, as soon as the procedure was done, all I wanted was to go see our sweet little boy since we had already been through so much together and I hadn’t gotten to hold him yet.
Since I had severe pre-eclampsia, they had me on a magnesium drip. I wasn’t able or allowed to leave my room to go see my son for another 24 hours. I was devastated and terrified. I was so grateful for Joshua that he was able to be with Isaac and to take so many pictures and videos for us.
Joshua got to go out to the lobby to see his three friends/co-workers who came to support us during this crazy time. Then Joshua rang the lullaby bell that chimes through the whole hospital stating a baby had been born.
The next 3.5 weeks would not have been survivable without the AMAZING nursing staff and NICU staff that took care of Isaac and me.
We also wouldn’t have survived it without the support from our TN family, co-workers, friends, & small group since we do not have any family in town to help with this new adventure we were about to embark on.
I was discharged on June 20th and Isaac was discharged to come home on July 11th, 5 days short of a whole month at the hospital!
Joshua’s been such an amazing daddy to Isaac. I knew from before we were going to start having kids that this would be true. He has his childlike self in him that’s always been there and just comes out in a more beautiful way now that we have Isaac – every time he holds his son and every time he talks to him. Joshua just loves on him and does anything to make him smile!
Joshua has been such an amazing support to me as well as Isaac. This transition in our family from 4 to 5 (including Emma & Merlin, our fur babies) has been a very trying time in our lives, but also a beautiful and amazing one. When Isaac was in the NICU and Joshua had to go back to work, he still made sure he was there for all of the monumental moments for Isaac. Once we all came home, Joshua took the time off to help with this new little life we needed to care for and to keep alive (haha). Joshua’s support, love, and dad skills have always been there. Isaac just brought them out in an amazing, wonderful, and beautiful way.
Being Isaac’s mom has been the most trying on my emotions and one of my greatest blessings of my life. The time spent with him in the NICU taught me a whole new level of patience and appreciation for the little things. It showed me the value of enjoying and being present for every moment, even the ones that may seem so small! Each day I have getting to be home with Isaac is wonderful. Getting to see him grow, learn, experience every little thing for the first time – being a part of that and there for him is incredible.
Our dogs, Emma & Merlin, have had to adjust to this new little thing taking up a lot of our attention. Emma has been the protective one since Isaac came home. The moment he starts crying, Emma rushes over to his side to try to console Isaac with kisses. Merlin has been more of the jealous one. Not in a mean way by any means but more of a lack of interest in him. Merlin will come to Isaac, sniff him a bit, maybe give him a little kiss, and then walks away as if he doesn’t want to give attention to this being that is taking up so much of the attention he used to get. They both now love Isaac and come by his side often, out of curiosity, and care for him.
The challenge during this process was definitely not having family in town during this time of major transition and trials. All of our family lives in Colorado and didn’t make it out to TN until August. This made it a little more difficult keeping our heads above water not having the physical help and support of family. We would not have survived or did as well as we did managing things if it wasn’t for our TN family. This includes our small group, Joshua’s co-workers/friends, and my co-workers/friends. We are blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people with such giving hearts!
For the end of the Fitzmorris’s family session, we went back to their home and took some photos in Isaac’s nursery. I love getting to see how families decorate nurseries! Isaac’s has a cow theme, complete with the “cow jumped over the moon” and little stars all over the walls!
Isaac is such a sweet and chill baby boy. He is getting stronger and chubbier every day! My favorite thing about being a mom is watching this little person grow and learn and bring more joy to every day than I ever thought possible. Each day I look forward to feeding him because we get to be so close. I look forward to the many moments throughout the day he finds to be so funny or so joyful he can’t help but smile and laugh. I can’t wait for bath time since he is starting to enjoy it and beginning his love for water. I can’t wait for his nap time because he LOVES to cuddle and sometimes that’s the only way he will sleep… by laying across my stomach and chest. As far as the years to come, I CAN wait for all of it! I’m excited for the many years and adventures to come with Isaac but there’s nothing that I would say “I can’t wait for…” This is because I know each of these moments and each day of his life is short… and I want to be there and present for all of it! This is also one of the blessings of me being able to be a stay at home mom!
It’s amazing to me that through all that fear and pain, something so precious is brought into the world. Is there anything more precious than a little baby?! Well, maybe baby feet…
Please join me in congratulating this adorable family on their little rainbow of hope, Isaac Fitzmorris! I cannot wait to watch him as he grows under the love and protection of his amazing family.