Roots are important to our family. The roots in which build a heritage. Our heritage runs deep, both for my husband and I. Both families are binding and strong. When Nathan and I vowed to be a family together, it was important to both of us that we continue this heritage of strong roots. Blakely will soon be three, and Rowen one. They both love weekends with grandparents. It’s rare that I actually take my camera to capture the beauty of our kids bonding with their grandparents, so I made sure to do so this weekend. The farm community is the foundation of which our Engelland family was built. Land, cattle, crops. It is where I was raised, and it is the place where these two kiddos explore the countryside with Papa atop a 4-wheeler, and where they swing on the front porch with Nana at sunset. And for that, I love all of the beauty captured tonight.
A quick and very impromptu session today in the NICU with this beautiful baby boy and his amazing Mama. When I find out that dear friends suddenly find themselves spending hours upon hours in those seats next to incubators, holding one of their most precious of jewels, I cannot help but well up with tears. I know that exact feeling of helplessness you have, sometimes even guilt, knowing you can do nothing to help your tiny child, but you spend every ounce of your being trying to do so. You yearn to be at home during those first weeks of life, bonding as a family, but instead, you find yourself shedding tears, yet telling yourself it will all be ok eventually. The list of “whys” is longer than can ever be explained in words. You do nothing but sit in that room for hours, that turn into days, and sometimes even weeks. Those weeks were once the longest of my life, and honestly, they were a complete blur now that I look back. NICU sessions are so very dear to my heart. I share a bond with those Mamas, that no one else can really understand. The moments under blue lights, the constant beeping, a lump in the throat as you watch numbers rise and fall on the monitors, keeping your eye on the closest nurse to your station, wondering when the next group of doctors will round, the burning desire to hold your child without wires, yet that fear of taking the wires off eventually plays over and over in your mind. Those tough moments, are what I love to capture, now that I have had time to reflect on our days in this hospital. It truly molded me into the mother I am today. One day, we NICU mamas will look back on images from that terrible time with big smiles, as we sit next to our strong children, and will be able to say…look how far you have come, my child.