Thursday, January 8, 2015

Obie's Ready For His Close-Up

The things we're most thankful to have now, are pictures of Obie.  Obie's been on our phone wallpaper for weeks already.

 Oberon, king of phone backgrounds.

We want pictures everywhere, all over the house.  We're working on it, but it's taking some time as we have to buy frames, print pictures, hang them... and everything takes more energy than it used to.  Even so, we are making progress.

 Pictures of Obie in the nursery.

And in the rest of the house.

Some things are already up and around, which we love, and more are on their way up.

Working on it.

Our little bug is very photogenic.  All parents probably say that, but we don't care because it's true.  We still have a few days of photos to sort through, but our current count is 5,594 photos and 47 videos.  Thank goodness for camera phones!  And collage makers.  Elizabeth has been having fun with that.

One photography related thing we promised to share more about was our experience with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep.  After we learned of Obie's full diagnosis, we were obviously emotional.  We weren't in the mood to talk to social workers, especially one we didn't know, as our regular one wasn't in the office.  The back-up social worker asked if there was anything she could do and we, of course, said no because we didn't have any idea what that might be.  Luckily, she mentioned that Kaiser works with a service that does photography for families like ours - and we jumped on it.  Elizabeth had already reached out to a number of newborn photographers, but with the early delivery, the holidays, and now Obie's issues, it was a big jumbled mess of logistics.  The social worker said she would get back to us soon.

Within a couple hours, she gave us Abby's name and number.  We texted Abby and she confirmed her availability for the very next afternoon.  We were thrilled and told the family to wear solid colors tomorrow, because it was family picture day (one of the many things we never thought we'd get to do).

Around the same time, Dr. S. had suggested trying to take Obie outside.  She mentioned this as simply an outing to make memories with our son, but we decided it would be fantastic to combine the two.  Nurse K helped Elizabeth scout field trip locations around the Kaiser campus so we'd have a plan.  The hospital had a lot of courtyards that were nice, and we picked one that was near the back of the hospital with one open side (as opposed to enclosed on all four sides).  Being the planner that Elizabeth is, she enlisted the help of a friend to be a "back-up photographer" - in case either an issue happened with the logistics of the professional, or if the pro only took a few pictures.

Picture day was exciting from the beginning, but scary too.  Obie had to be switched to a smaller, portable respirator, and moved to a mobile isolette.  Because we were in the process of removing Obie from intensive care, the doctors and nurses had to ask us what we wanted done if something happened during transit or while we were outside.  As much as we wanted the memories and pictures, we also didn't want Obie to suffer.  We made the decision and warned our families that if Obie extubated himself (or any other catastrophic thing happened), the medical team would take only comfort measures.

Obie, the morning of picture day, 12/7/2014

Very first outfit, courtesy of Miss Stina.

All packed up and ready to go.

Obie was escorted out of the NICU by his nurse and a respiratory therapist.  Besides watching out for his tubes, we had to make sure to keep him warm.  Even in California, it gets a little chilly in December (for a newborn), so we were armed with lots of blankets.

We needn't have worried about Abby making it to the hospital on time, or the amount of pictures she took.  She was very flexible and was patient through many family photo configurations.

All of Oberon's family who were in town.

Closeup of our smiley bear.

Dad's side.  I'm sure that blanket is not lost on some of you.

Loving hands: Auntie Megan, Grandma T, Dad, Mom, and Obie.

Mom's side.  Blanket move and fancier hat.

 Our precious family.

Even so, we are thrilled to have the extra candids taken by family and our "back-up" photographer, Meredith.

Obie's paparazzi.

Checking on Oberon before we take him out of the isolette.

Making faces.

Some immediate family time (plus the medical team).

Abby was amazing through the whole picture day and after.  She came with us back to Obie's bed in the NICU and turned around edited photos at an unbelievable pace, which we were extremely thankful for since we used them in our holiday cards.

 Close-ups back in the NICU, where it was warm enough to see little hands and feet.

Picture we sent with holiday cards this year.

Abby went above and beyond, coming to take more pictures the day after we took Obie home.  These are some of our absolute favorite images of Oberon and our family.  We can never thank Abby or Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep enough for this gift.  We'll treasure the images for the rest of our lives.



  1. I have no words! Plenty of tears, though. You guys are so beautiful. Love!

  2. These pictures are beautiful, thank you for sharing them.

  3. Your holiday card photo is fantastic!