I remember driving to the hospital thinking there is a chance they both might not always be here. My sons were in renal failure and heart failure. It had only started to improve for a day or so but still had a long way to go. I wanted to cherish this time I had with them. I wanted to honor this part of their journey.
On my hour long plus drive to the hospital… it hit me … I wanted their newborn pictures.. just like I had for my daughters. I wanted this time captured as it is right now. I needed beautiful real photos .. of their tiny fingers wrapped around mine.. the masks and machines..the boxes keeping them alive.. the hole I put my hand through to touch them for the first time.. all of it. It may not be the staged posed creations that I have always loved.. but it’s my boys. It’s heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. I didn’t have on an ounce of makeup ..chipped nail polish .. black roots.. none of it mattered. I needed this to show my boys how we are in this moment.. how I am too. I need them to know when they grow up how far they have come. Every minute I have with them is a gift.
I messaged a dear friend and incredible doula Renee Pizzoto when we were about 30 min away from the hospital asking if she knew of anyone who might be able to help. A few photographer friends offered but said they were not familiar with the NICU and I was hoping to find someone who had experience in the hospital. She recommended Maegan Dougherty Photography. I messaged her, called her and sent a text. I expected this process to take a few days but was hoping and praying it could be today. I was scared to wait. I gave birth at 28.5 weeks. One of my twins is a little over a pound, Maurice, and my other Peter, is a little over 2. Today they are doing OK but everyone keeps reminding me we don’t know what could happen.
Maegan called me back within a few minutes. I told her I was on my way there and she offered to meet me. Within an hour she was there. When I met her, it felt as though I had known her for years. I told her our story .. she listened and comforted me like an old friend. I am in my rawest ( if that is even a word… ) I go from laughing to crying to smiling.. and sometimes I think I’m doing both at the same time. These were taken when the boys were about a week old and I still was in excruciating pain from my c section. I still was short of breath from my ICU ordeal and pulmonary edema a week before. I could barely stand by their little plastic boxes and have never fully seen their faces because of all the tubes and wires. The night before I spent my first night home away from them .. it was very bitter sweet and my emotions were on an even bigger rollercoaster. The nurse asked me to give Peter his first feeding. I had to hold up a tiny syringe that went into a tube directly into his stomach. I’m so thankful to have had Meagan there that day by my side.
As simple as it sounds, knowing I have these photos of my boys .. to see how far they have come ..it brings me such comfort and strength. She was so professional, had such a gentle demeanor and I felt safe to feel whatever it was that I was feeling in front of her. I cannot recommend her enough. I’m so thankful to the universe for bringing us all together. With all my heart I recommend Renee Joy Pizzuto and Maegan Dougherty photography and I am forever grateful to you both.