NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)
Hello, my name is Teresa DiGirolamo. If there are two things I am passionate about it is: photography and affording parents, with infants in the NICU, the opportunity to create and cherish their own special moments like regular delivery parents. New parents eagerly look forward to bringing their baby home, so it can be frightening if your newborn needs to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit or NICU. Babies can be admitted to an intensive care nursery for a hosts of reasons. Regardless of “why,” parents will want to know “how” and “when” can I bond with my child?
My mission at Yours Forever Photography is to capture those first interactions, between parent and child, and forever cement them in your family's life.
My husband and I set out on our quest to become parents six years ago. Last year, our miracle baby finally arrived after twenty-six hours of intense labor. When we found out she would need to be admitted to the NICU, I was terrified. I kept thinking, “after all we've been through please, God, don't let anything happen to our baby!” I spent days bouncing back and forth from the maternity ward to the NICU. I couldn't sleep knowing my little girl was all alone: was she scared, was she sleeping, crying, is she okay? Although, she was in good hands professionally, she wasn't in her mommy's hands.
I never did get to experience my daughter at my bedside following delivery. I did not get to hold her and have immediate skin-to-skin contact crucial for a mother and child's bond. My husband did not get to cut the umbilical cord, and our families could not visit, take photos, and celebrate the joyous occasion altogether as we had anticipated. Yet, there is a silver lining to my story. My husband and I were blessed to leave the hospital on Thanksgiving Thursday as a Family, not just a couple.
Not all stories end the same and everyone's NICU experience is unique. No matter the situation, Yours Forever Photography promises to be there and capture the moments you, and your family, hold dear to your hearts.
I know how vitally important it is doing sessions in the NICU: to understand NICU culture, to understand what the babies are going through, and to have the utmost respect for parents and staff.
Here are some very important things to know about these sessions, please read all the way through.
I am not affiliated with any charity organization nor any hospital. I arrive at the hospital as a guest of the family.
Please, do not wait until the day before your baby is discharged to schedule your session. The more scheduling options to choose from, the better.
These photographs are “lifestyle” sessions. This means life, "as is." Cuddling, feeding, tubes, monitors, nothing shall be excluded (unless requested). Parents are welcome to provide a blanket, hat, or outfit but it is not required.
I do not handle babies. I may move a hand or foot while they are being held, but positioning them is left entirely to a parent or nurse. This is strictly a liability issue since they are attached to so many crucial cords and monitors which I am not professionally trained. I do not use flash photography in the NICU. This is to protect the newborns eyes. Therefore, having as much available light as possible is wonderful for me.
Sessions last around 30-45 minutes; twins may take longer. It will take about 2-3 weeks to receive your images. I select the best images to edit, share, and they will be available via digital download or CD.
Parents must sign a model release allowing me to photograph their child and themselves. Often times, I share a sneak peak on Facebook for viewing within 48 hours. I may also share the work I do for other NICU families. Baby details such as: first name, size, and how early they delivered may be shared. HOWEVER, family last names, parent's names, and hospital location are NEVER shared. Individuals may tag and share photos at their discretion.
I am able to provide Lifestyle sessions for the following NICUs: NKC Hospital, Saint Luke’s North, Liberty, and Saint Luke’s on the Plaza.
This is one way I can pay it forward and Thank God for the blessings he has given me!
Please, know I make every effort to fill requests for NICU sessions however, I can not guarantee I will always be available. Contact me as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org. Especially, if your baby is VERY early. Do not wait until they are big and strong. You will want everlasting images that capture their strength, bravery, and depict what tiny little warriors they are.