Monday, May 2, 2011


When I was home in February for work, I was at my sister's house. She had shown me Holly Brimhall, this photographer in Mesa that took ah-mazing newborn pictures. I fell in love. Because she was so talented and amazing, she was also out of my "we're broke" budget. But I looked at her site regularly, followed her blog, and dreamed of the shots I would take with my little baby.

Fast forward to the present - our nurses had talked to us about the organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and while I couldn't think of setting something like that up because it broke my heart, my mom and sister took matters into their own hands. My sister contacted Holly and without hesitation Holly offered to come and take pictures for us. That Saturday, she drove more than an hour to take pictures of us with our little boy.

Saturday was a big day. 

In the morning, I followed the same routine - wake up, throw my hair back, put on my flip flops and head into Freddie to say good morning and sit for a little bit before being kicked out at shift change.

I hated that we were doing pictures because I knew what it meant in the long run. However, these pictures are now something we'll treasure for the rest of our lives.

In Freddie's journal I wrote:
Today we did a photoshoot with you. You did a great job. I couldn't stop holding your hand all morning so you were a little sick of us trying to hold your hand for pictures. The nurses were so great with helping us. They opened your bed and we got to pick you up. This was the first time we got to hold you in any way. Because you're on a special ventilator, we could only lift you about 3 inches but those 3 inches meant the world. You're so tiny that you can fit in your daddy's hand. Our favorite part about about doing pictures was that we were able to kiss you. After 4 long days, we finally got to kiss your sweet little head. You are so sweet baby boy. Even the photographer could tell you were a special spirit and cried.

We know you are one of the very best of God's children and we are so lucky you chose us to spend your earthly time with.

Tonight you were quite the popular boy. So many of our friends came by to meet you. So many people love you. 

Tonight your daddy also gave you a blessing and named you for our Church. He gave you the most beautiful blessing - He loves you so much.

Both of your grandpas and your uncle Matt stood in the circle to bless you. I know that if you are to be whole, you will be. But if your mortal journey is done then that's okay too.

Toward the end of the photoshoot, Freddie got the hiccups. Something I never got to feel while he was inside of me. I just sat there crying with my hand on his chest amazed that something so tiny could have something as normal as the hiccups and that something so normal could be something I wanted to hold onto forever.
Three generations of Freds

After Freddie's blessing, we had to say goodbye to Fred's family who had to make the 19-hour trek back to Arkansas. It was probably one of the hardest goodbyes. As I sat watching everyone say goodbye to Freddie I couldn't help but sob. Our nurses were great and kept his bed open so that everyone could touch and kiss him. I didn't want to accept that this would be the last time they got to see him in this life. I didn't want to face that when his parents came back in 2 weeks for graduation that we wouldn't still be there. fighting. But I knew we wouldn't be. 


Amanda said...

I'm SO glad you got photos! I love the one of his little feet, they are so perfect, and so tiny. And three generations of Freds is a beautiful thing.

Chelsie and Trace said...

Those pictures are so special. His tiny little feet are so cute! I love generation pictures they are my favorite. I can only imagine what it was like to finally kiss him and hold him.

Breanne said...

The pictures really are priceless. He is a perfect little boy. I'm so glad I could see these pictures.

FeliciaK said...

Your three generations of Freds brought tears to my eyes. That is such a special picture to have. Your sweet boy is amazing and so beautiful.

Kristina Curtis said...

Beautiful images Chana! I am so glad you did these. You will treasure those forever. You are such an amazing person.

Rachelle said...

I have been following Holly Brimhall's blog for awhile and was so happy to see you were able to get these beautiful pictures taken by her. They are breathtaking. Freddie is so special. I hope and pray you are feeling comforted. Thank you for sharing about this journey.

Jared and Davian said...

Beautiful pictures Chana! A picture really can speak a thousand words. What keep going through my mind when I see pictures of him is, such a big miracle, in such a tiny boy! Your photographer did an amazing job at capturing the feeling of warmth, love and support surrounding you, Fred and tiny Freddie. He is so tiny and perfect! I love the picture of you and your parents with Freddie and the one of Fred, Freddie and the grandpas.

You amaze me Chana! Thanks for sharing once again an incredibly touching part of your life.

kate said...

Beautiful photos Chana.