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no small miracle {{ cincinnati dayton newborn prenatal maternity family session photography }}

meet big brother Hayden

aka hair model

aka shortest tool expert you’ll ever meet

i know right?!

he’s been alllll mine to photograph since he was born.  be jealous.  we’ve done some fun stuff.

 this particular day we went back to the grounds where his mama and papa got married.  how cool, huh?  to stand in the same spot where you said “i do”, thinking “i still would” and looking at your precious little boy, feeling more life growing inside you.  lucky lady, that Betsy.  she and Chris honestly still like each other…  alot actually, it seems, which makes them pretty fun to be around.  i digress.  there is a story to be told here.  so… this day we were recording more of their journey, celebrating little man turning two, and announcing that the baby to be added to their family was, A GIRL!   obvi, we had a blast.  Hayden impressed me with his advanced linguistics and stole another little piece of my heart with those darling eyelashes and lips full of contagious smile.  fast forward a few months and the story continues here, via Betsy.

The labor story is long enough by itself so the long and short is: I had a summer fever virus that put me into early labor and she was born via emergency c section. She was 36 weeks and seemingly healthy. 

We were sent home.

We were there for 3 days and something wasn’t right. She was so lethargic and not eating. Adeline was originally put in the NICU at Good Sam because she wasn’t eating enough and lost 13% of her body weight. We thought she would get a feeding tube and be done with it, which was devastating at the time. When we checked into Good Sam it became clear quickly that she was very sick and apparently had the horrible virus; she got it through my blood stream, it just took awhile for it to become active in her system. For adults, it causes a high fever, but with infants it either attacks the liver or the respiratory system. We learned that it attacked her liver and her plasma and affected her ability to clot blood.  Absolute nightmare!  Because of this, she suffered a level 3 brain bleed and liver damage.  Both were severe. She was at risk for serious motor and cognitive disability, including cerebral palsy. She was transported to Children’s that night around 10 to their infant intensive care.  


{{{{as a mother, i cannot imagine.  the last month of your pregnancy is supposed to be filled with excitement.  you go stir crazy, wanting to know what your baby will look like.  you busy yourself with nesting, cleaning, decorating, and folding teensy little onesies.  you spend extra time with your children at home, knowing they will have to share your attention and heart with someone new that will change their life forever.  you go on one last quiet date with your amazing husband.  you sleep soundly thru’ the night for the last time in a while.  this was supposed to be the picture for the Leonidas family.  instead, Betsy was sick, Adeline came early, and their whole world stopped as she spent 21 of her first 24 days of life in a hospital.  below is the letter written to Adeline at day 17, bravely shared so we can all have hope and appreciate miracles}}}}


Dear Adeline,
It’s your mother.  I’m sitting in Children’s Hospital NICU watching you sleep and your dad and I just received your brain MRI results.  Adeline, you are a miracle.  You’re going to be ok! I thought for sure that I was going to lose you just over a week ago.  Since then, you’ve fought to restore your liver and to stop your brain from bleeding worse than it already has.  You have suffered a level 3 of 4 brain bleed but somehow you’ve managed to fix your body… to stop the bleeding… and to get better.  The doctors have told us that you have close to 0% chance of motor and cognitive disability and that with therapy you should be just fine.  It’s almost too scary to write because it’s too good to be true.  We still have a long road ahead but we’ll get there.  I have no doubt.
There has been this amazing feeling that I’ve had since about day 2 in the hospital.  You were in liver failure and risk of bleeding to death but deep deep down I knew you were going to be okay.  I knew that you were a remarkable human being.  I knew you could do it. Your strength and our positivity are unstoppable.  
You should know that you have truly had people all over the world praying and hoping for you.  You’re 17 days old today and you have Ashrams dedicating nightly energy services to you and only you.  You have people telling me that they love you and haven’t met you yet, that you’re beautiful, that they cry for you, that you’re inspirational and that you bring peace….all by 17 days old.
This is one of the most truly magnificent moments for me right now.  My thoughts and prayers are coming true.  It looks like you’re going to be okay.  Hayden, Dad and I will do everything in our power to make sure of it.  You’re the toughest one in the family, though.  You’ll make sure it happens too.
Please know that family and friendship are the most precious things in the world.  We never would have made it through this without the power of thought and prayer and help and support provided by our network of family and friends.  It’s something that I’ll never be able to explain.  Every call or text or thought or prayer, I’ve felt.  I believe you’ve felt them too.  There is this amazing energy and strength that has come from it.
You’re amazing, my sweet baby girl.  My mom wrote me today that, “I have never taken you or David for granted.  I appreciate everyday we have.  This is the meaning of precious to me.”  This experience and those words make me understand just how precious life and family are.  We have to work hard every day to support each other like we have.
You are precious.  
I love you up to the sky, more than words, to the moon and back.  You are an inspiration.  I’ll never be the same, now that I’ve met you.  
I love you,

good luck mr. Hayden.  that little sister of yours is going to be a handful:)
****today’s update****

 She was supposed to be at Children’s for a month but she ended up making it out in 19 days.  She’s amazing.  We’ve been home a month so we’ve officially been home more than we’ve been in the hospital:)woohoo!

to the Leonidas family of four


and happily ever afters!!

xo, LOVE {BD}

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Nicole - 1.) that family is stunningly gorgeous
2.) that home is stunningly gorgeous
3.) maternity session with the fountain is stunningly gorgeous–where is that????

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