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 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.
|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.