I met Baby Ry-Ry (the name his big sister calls him) and his family through my affiliation with Pictures of Hope, an organization that shares the gift of photography with families who have babies in neonatal care units. I never fail to be awed and humbled by people's willingness to allow me into a very vulnerable part of their history, to photographically document their time in NICU. A time that is filled with fears, hopes, pain, prayers, victories, set-backs, sacrifice, love, and lots of waiting. It's my desire to authentically capture this fragile time with its plethora of tiny details: the multiple tubes that deliver life-sustaining fluids, medicines, and oxygen. The amazing, caring nurses that the family will remember forever with gratitude in their hearts. The darkness. The quiet. The tiny cotton diaper wraps that Ry-Ry is big enough to finally fit into. The electronic data that continuously informs with immediate feedback. The tiny toes and fingers and bright, alert eyes. The darling weekly placards made by grandma, announcing Ry-Ry's new milestone age. The cuddles. The LOVE.
Thank you, A Family, for the honor of witnessing your love. I will be praying for Ry-Ry's continued growth, strength, and ever-improving lung function. No need to pray for any additional cuteness or preciousness - he has those qualities in spades!