Hi! I'm Holly Brimhall, a newborn photographer in Gilbert, AZ. I am the mother of 4 and a lover of ALL things baby. This blog is where I share the life of my family and favorite pictures of my newborn photography sessions.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Sharing in one of life's most tender moments....

On Saturday, April 9th, I was invited to share in a sweet families tender moment, and I'm quite certain I experienced something I'll never forget. Something that changed a part of me.

As I was enjoying my time with my baby sis in town, I took a few minutes to check my e-mail before heading out with her to do some house hunting. I was giddy with the thought of her and her little family moving back to paradise and excited about the thought of spending the day with my mom, aunt, and two sisters. My heart sunk as I read an e-mail from a blog reader, asking me if I might know of someone or be able to go to the hospital to take pictures of her sister's baby who had been born 17 weeks early. It was something I KNEW that I needed to do.

After we exchanged e-mails and I spoke on the phone with the sweet baby's grandmother, it was decided that I would head to the hospital on Saturday to take pictures for them. The hospital that their grandson had been air lifted to was pretty far from my home. The whole way there I prayed for strength and peace and to be able to control my emotions and to know the right words to say. How do you comfort someone you've never met before? What do you say when you just want to embrace the parents and tell them how sorry you are...that you cannot imagine their pain. How do you sit in a room with them, waiting to be let in the NICU and not feel guilty talking about your own children, when asked?

As we walked into the NICU, I was amazed at all of the critical, tiny babies there...hooked up to machines that were keeping them alive, helping them breathe, giving them nourishment. I saw big machines and nurses scurrying in all directions. As I scrubbed up I began to wonder if I'd be able to take pictures. The doubt began to creep in. I prayed again that I'd be able to focus. I told myself to just do what I could to capture something special for these parents to treasure for the rest of their lives. I was strong...


I truly felt blessed to be invited to share in such a tender moment. The parents were allowed to lift their sweet baby boy a few inches off his bed and "hold" him for the first time. It was their first chance to gently press their lips to his face....


He was so tiny, so perfect. He even had tiny little eyelashes. I was blown away at how perfectly he was formed, yet knew that the doctors had given the news that he would not survive, and my heart started to break...


I held it together pretty well, until he got the hiccups. He wasn't used to so much stimulation and his little body reacted to all of that touch. His sweet mother's hand flew to his chest and she quietly said, "I never got to feel what it was like for him to have the hiccups," as tears fell off her cheeks. It hit me all at once...and it hit me hard. I wanted to run from the room and find a bathroom stall to cry in. Instead, I turned away and tried to breathe.

How could I not feel this mother's pain? This mother who had such hopes and dreams for this first born child of hers. I remembered how quickly I fell in love with my first baby. As my pregnancy progressed, I woke up one morning to some bleeding that I thought was much too heavy to be normal. Instantly I wondered if MY dreams would be taken from me. Would I be able to see his first smile, hear his first giggle, watch his first step, play ball, send him to kindergarten with tears streaming down my cheeks? I found out later, it really wasn't that much bleeding and was fairly normal. In my case, everything was fine, I was able to carry him full-term and have lived those dreams. How can you NOT ask why? Why will this mother have to experience such heartache? Why was my heart spared that aching? And although I don't have the answers to those questions, I do know two things. One - That this sweet baby boy has an AMAZING spirit. You could just FEEL it! And two - That this family will be together forever. That someday they will be reunited and what a special day that will be!


As I left the hospital, after hugs and tears, I walked as quickly as I could to my car...anxious for the solitude of my car parked in a dark and heavy parking garage. I sat there for a long time. Sometimes crying. Sometimes praying. Sometimes just trying to breathe.

Almost a month has passed since I was invited to share in this tender moment. But every time I look at their pictures, the memories come flooding back. I think about this angel baby's mother almost every single day...and I pray for her....and her husband...and her sweet, angel baby.


kristal 3:14 PM  

Wow, I've been crying all day for crappy reasons, now I'm crying for this poor mother. What a beautiful sweet little baby.
Thanks for sharing. Especially today.

Ashley Madsen 4:15 PM  

What an incredible experience. You worded it so beautifully when sometimes there aren't quite words to express what is truly felt at something like that.

Praying for this sweet family. Thanks for sharing Holly.

Letia 4:21 PM  

What a hard thing to do, but you gave them an amazing gift that they will cherish forever.

The Adventures of Ella 5:23 PM  

sweet Holly,
So having someone do this for me and my baby at the hospital changed my life.
You gave them proof that that sweet little spirit will be theirs forever.
I go back and look at my own pictures and remember that for one tiny moment I got to feel her body on earth...
I'm so glad that you were able to do that for someone else.


Ally 5:24 PM  

umm, that last comment came in under my daughter's blog. ;)
Gotta love it.
Ally Randle

Ken & Dorothy 7:15 PM  

Dearest Holly,
From those of us who have already had "Heavenly Babies"... those whose little bodies didn't need to live on this earth, I thank you for giving this Mom something so special words cannot describe. I love you beautiful heart and love for all of us.

Ladd 7:31 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah Carlston 7:32 PM  

Wow. What an amazing experience. My sister lost her baby at 38 weeks pregnant and I am so grateful for an organization of professional photographers that come in and take pictures for families who have lost babies. The pictures are so beautiful and a priceless gift, something that my sister and her husband will treasure forever. How sweet and kind of you to do this for this couple so they can have these pictures to treasure forever. Thank you for sharing.

Cami D. 8:59 PM  

Wow, amazing pictures, amazing YOU. Your kind loving spirit, your love, your talents, your heart. What a treasure you were to them - those pictures are to that sweet mom. You Miss Holly....you!

Melissa Fullmer 9:06 PM  

thank you so much for sharing that, such a tender thing for you to capture and share. i truly feel blessed tonight.

Nettie 10:54 PM  

Unspeakable feelings and tears after viewing these. Love you.

Brandon, Rachelle and Samantha 11:52 PM  

I have enjoyed reading your blog for awhile. Your family and your beautiful pictures uplift and inspire me. The mother of this angel baby happens to be a friend of ours from high school. I had seen on her blog that you were kind enough to take pictures for her and I was so happy. What a blessing they will forever treasure. Thank you for your good example in so many ways.

Amanda 9:07 AM  

I also am a friend of the parents of little Freddie. Thanks so much for taking the time to go to the hospital and take those photos. I am so glad that you were able to do that for them and I know that they will be treasured.

Karamie 9:27 AM  

I also, am a friend of the parents, and I'm so glad you took these precious pictures for them...how kind you are...I'm glad that you blogged about your experience too. They will be with their precious boy again, and I'm so grateful that they have this knowledge and that I have been blessed to hear their story.

Heidi 11:44 AM  

You don't know me, but I enjoy reading your blog, and this post meant so much to me. I will forever be grateful to the photographer who donated her time and talents and came down to the hospital late at night to take pictures of my angel baby. I'm sure it means more to that family than you will ever know.

Who knows what he will say next 3:03 PM  

This post touched my heart so close. It made me think of Ethan and Dylan. I am so grateful for the pictures that were so lovingly taken of them for Deke and I to cherish. They were 1lb 5 oz and 1 lb 6 oz and looked about the same size as this sweet baby. What a wonderful thing to do for them. Even though I don't know them my heart is overwhelmed with love, pain, and understanding of the depth of what they are going through. They will be in my prayers as well. MeKell

beene31 7:44 AM  

Note to self, do not read blog posts that are about babies when you are 14 weeks pregnant with your first child and sitting at work. I cannot stop crying! My heart breaks for this mother, but it so hard to not imagine what if that happens to my husband and I.

Heather 8:31 PM  

Its so hard to try to remember that he got what he came for, his body and to be blessed with the kind of love that one gets from their earthly parents. The physical, abounding, and ETERNAL love of your parents, especially your mother.

I am not sure I could have held up during that shoot but those pictures are wonderful and I am sure his parents treasure them. You captured a few of those sweet moments that all of us parents hope to have, those wonderful 'love' moments.

Lamchops 10:33 PM  

I just got through watching a news story about a sweet family who actually lost a 10 week old to Pertusses. Eyes still trying to recover I sat at my computor to see what this post had to say. I am amazed at the strength that so many mothers posses. I had a pre-term 9 weeks early baby & was able to take him home-healthy(now 9 yrs. old). My heart aches in ways I cannot express for the parents of this special little child. I saw Ally's comment & had to know more. (Boy, I am in for a rough night). Blessings be with all of the families struggling to keep there hearts afloat. When pain & anguish hit you in your core it is amazing how we can be lifted to be able to endure.

Joneel 1:26 PM  

wow, great pictures of a precious little boy. I too had a baby 3 months early. The pictures that the hospital took for us are priceless. our baby weighed 1 lb. 9 ozs. 12 inches long. seemed very similar in size as this little guy. She too was our first baby. It was sad, very sad, but I'm so thankful to know that I will get her in the eternities.

Derek and Bre 9:57 PM  

I am also a friend of the family, this was so incredible for you to do this for them. I can't imagine the strength it took but know it meant the world to them.

Laura Lofgreen 12:33 AM  

Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos and story. I'm in tears. What you do blesses so many people. I look at my infant photos every day. I will be praying for your friend.

Jennifer 6:15 PM  

What you did for that family is an absolutely wonderful thing! You are an amazing person! :-)

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