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An Inspirational NICU Cake Smash Session – From NICU to 1st Birthday

Doing this cake smash session and hearing this family’s birth story was inspirational. This family was hit hard by COVID and it could have resulted in a very tragic end for both mother and baby. Spoiler alert – it didn’t due to a strong mom, amazing doctors, modern technology, a dad that made impossible choices, and prayer.

Here is what happened from the baby’s mom’s point of view:

On May 3, 2021 I was dropped off at the ER in Kokomo to take a COVID test. After that point I do not remember anything. I woke up a few times in the ambulance while they were transferring me to IU North where I was put in ICU after a night there.

I was taken to IU Methodist then on May 5, 2021 my fiancé was made power of attorney over me and had to make the decision in a matter of minutes via phone.

The decision was to give mom and baby a 50/50 chance; to deliver the baby and take him back to IU North Riley, put me in a coma on a vent and ECMO (ECMO was the last resort to keep me alive).

I gave birth in a coma. I didn’t know I had given birth. My fiancé couldn’t be in the operating room with me as he was at home with COVID and being quarantined with our older kids. Baby Calum was born at 29 weeks.

I spent 12 days on the vent and ECMO and when I woke up two days later, I was released from the hospital. Then I had to wait 21 days to see baby Calum. Dad was able to see Calum at 14 days since he also had COVID.

I will forever be grateful for the critical care team at Methodist and the 17 doctors who saved our lives. My OB, Dr. Linton at  IU North, went above and beyond. He had to fight to get me transferred to IU North from Kokomo and his decision to send me to Methodist to get us more help and all that IU North Riley NICU staff were just amazing. No words can describe how thankful we are for all the doctors, nurses and staff.

We faced many struggles during the whole ordeal. For dad, the hardest part was having to make decisions to save two people he loves – mom and baby.

The struggle mom faced and the hardest part for her was not being able to see her baby until 21 days after she was released from the hospital. In the cake smash session you may notice a few images of mom Face Timing baby in the background. This is because this was how she was able to see baby for 21 days.

Watching Calum fight for his life for 66 days was hard for everyone. Something that many don’t talk about when it comes to the NICU is the overwhelming financial hardship we faced, picking and choosing what bills we pay vs keeping food on the table. There were so many hard parts about the whole ordeal, but these were just a few.

While there were struggles, there were also inspirational moments. The most inspirational moment was seeing how strong Calum was and the fact that he fought so hard to be here after being born at 29 weeks. He was a fighter every step of the way!

We chose to do the cake smash session to celebrate Calum’s fight! We see this birth as a good thing and we want to embrace the fact that he was a preemie and spent all that time in the NICU- it gives people hope.

Our family has all mostly recovered. Calum still faces many challenges from being born early but always has a smile on his face. I have long-term effects from Covid but am living a normal life and enjoying time with my son and all our other children. All the other children love him like crazy! Matt is relieved that his fast made decisions were all the right ones and sleepless nights proved to all be worth it since everyone is at home now!

1st birthday pictures of little boyNICU photo backdrop to celebrate baby's 1st birthday after long hospital staybaby eating cake    NIUC themed 1st birthday cake smash session  face plant into birthday cake NICU cake smash session - 1st birthday photography messy baby birthday boybehind the scenes of 1st birthday cake smash

I love when clients choose themes that have meaning to them. These clients couldn’t have chosen anything more meaningful. They were a true inspiration to have in the studio.

If you are looking for a away to remember your little one’s 1st birthday I would love to be your Indianapolis cake smash photographer. Let’s set a date for your little one’s cake smash session.

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