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Baby Pictures

March 4, 2010

(written by Melanie – Josh’s Mom)

Sometimes things randomly come up that remind me of Josh’s extreme prematurity.

For example, one Friday Josh’s school backpack came home with a note requesting a baby picture be sent into school on Monday.  Most moms probably didn’t think twice about sending in a baby photo.  Maybe they stopped to make a decision about which picture shows their baby’s sweetest smile, biggest cheeks, cutest outfit?  But to a preemie mom like me, we have baby pictures of Josh and then we have “baby pictures.”  In other words, the photos of him in his first months of life don’t really look anything like a baby should look like.  Josh’s First photos are of him in his isolette in the NICU, hidden behind a maze of tubes and wires, covered in tape and needles, scrawny and wearing a diaper three times his size. 

A flood of memories rushed in and I was sad that a First Grade assignment seven years later caused me such anxiety and emotion.  I’m surprised I sent in a photo of those First Weeks anyways as well as one seven months later.  The First Weeks one was of Josh against my chest, he was about three weeks old, still with the ventilator tube in his mouth, and hair all over his body.  I didn’t think it was that bad – thought maybe Mrs. Veve could make a special point to compare the two photos and teach the kids about the progress Josh made.  But the picture was sent home that same day.  His teachers were shocked and had no idea how little and fragile Josh was.   

It’s okay.  When I saw the bulletin board full of adorable baby photos, there was my Josh looking just like the baby pictures of his peers.  No one needed to know it was taken many months later.  But that’s why we’re working so hard to try to help stop prematurity.  So other mothers don’t have to go through such a traumatic experience of leaving their baby in the hospital to get healthy…and that all of their baby pictures from birth on show plump and good healthy starts.

First photo - a few weeks after Josh was born

The One for the bulletin board - Josh - seven months old

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Rick Gallo permalink
    March 5, 2010 7:23 pm

    Melanie,

    I’m with you in that I think the teachers missed an opportunity here. Thanks for sharing your feelings with us…..now get some rest and enjoy the weekend!!

    Rick

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