Back in April, Josh and Emily shared their exciting news: they were expecting a baby in November. Then August came. Without warning, and for no clear reason, Emily’s water broke. Four days later, Brynlee was born. Fourteen weeks early, and weighing just 1lb, 10oz.
The fight she had ahead of her was daunting. But her story soon caught wind in this amazing town and she quickly had a whole lot of people praying for her. Hundreds of people, in fact. For the first few critical days, it was just her and the amazing medical team in the St. Charles NICU. Then Mom and Dad were allowed a short visit every 12 hours. Day by day, week by week, Brynlee fought. And she fought hard – amazing even the nurses that took care of her. Slowly but surely, scans came back normal. There was just one little problem: her heart rate kept dropping. Drastically dropping. Down to as low as four beats per minute dropping during what the doctors call a brady. With eyes glued to monitors, and hearts in constant prayer, Josh and Emily rallied. And Brynlee fought. Finally, after 99 days, she said goodbye to her room in the NICU, and went home with her family.
Brynlee is a feisty, miracle of a baby girl, home just in time for the holidays. Though she still has a heart monitor to watch those bradys, she’s certainly well on her way to being monitor-free.
I had the pleasure of photographing this precious family two days before Brynlee went home. In their home for those 99 days. During that time, Josh recorded Brynlee’s growth with a tennis ball for size reference:
I am continually amazed at the resilience and miraculous strength premature babies have. What they can overcome. How they can fight. What God can do. Welcome home, Brynlee. Your story has changed so many lives already. Happy Thursday, friends.