Update #1 on My Infant Nephew - WARNING: Baby & Medical Equipment

Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
WARNING: Some people may be uncomfortable viewing a picture of a tiny baby hooked up to life-support equipment.

For those who didn't see my image made a week ago of my infant nephew and his mother along with the details of his unexpected, premature birth, click here. When I returned to the hospital this weekend, the nurses asked to see that picture on one of their computers. I joked that Uncle Frank had suggested that they might want it hanging in their lobby and, sure enough, they love the idea. It will actually hang in a hallway, as there is no place for pictures in their lobby. Though they are saving my nephew's life, they couldn't believe I would be willing to give them the picture and frame it. Perspective is interesting, huh.

Back to Matthew Jr., who is now 17 days old in the pictures shown below. His parents still haven't held him or heard him cry. Matthew had one bad day this week, which is in keeping with the nurse's reminder to expect some ups and downs for awhile. But the "iron man" hung in there and seems very peaceful and content. While last week's photo session was with mother and son, this one was with father and son.

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Terri will remember that in my first photo session with Matthew Jr., I complained about having to shoot at f/2 and Auto ISO due to the low light. That severely limited my depth of field. (Mister f/1.4 Nute would dispute that that's a limitation :smile:, but I don't have his skill at the really large apertures.) You can imagine my shock to realize immediately upon entering the room that the nurses had actually turned off some lights. Yikes! My solution was to underexpose by one stop, control the ISO at 640, shoot at f/4.8 and correct the exposure in post processing.

I got more keepers this time thanks to the larger depth of field, but some of them definitely don't stand up to scrutiny at normal sizes. That's becaue increasing the exposure in post processing exacerbated the noise issue. Maybe Noise Ninja is in my near future. A D3 isn't. :smile:

Regardless, these photos prove that it's always best to shoot at the ideal exposure when possible and to make the best of the situation when that's not possible.
 
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Joined
Mar 21, 2008
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931
Location
Florida
Your beautiful photos of your precious nephew brought tears to my eyes.... What a special and very beautiful little guy! My thoughts and prayers are for him/your family. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photo shoots, worth more than any words can speak.
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
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26,905
Location
Clearwater, Florida
my continued prayers are with him.... and your entire family
we appreciate the update... as many here are following his progress

wonderful images...
so telling and heartwarming
 
N

Nuteshack

Guest
wow Mike, nice shots ...little Matt is going through a lot. thanks for posting these. it's a reminder for me to pray for him again ...bless


;-)))
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
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Princeton, NJ
He's so precious Mike. I'm looking forward to seeing images of him running around the house like a crazy man. :smile:
 
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
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Massachusetts
He looks wonderful! His color, he's filling out.... I can't imagine they're not happy with his progress. Your photos of this will be treasured in years to come, good on you for doing this Michael!
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
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Idaho
Mike,
These are wonderful photos. I know that it is a horribly stressful time for your family. The "iron man" is a beautiful baby. Why was he born early?

I know that every day seems like an eternity. Hang in there, it does get better. Every day when I look at my little grandsons I feel so grateful. This experience, although so hard, will teach all of you some priceless lessons. I know it has done that for our family.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Terri, the reason Matthew Jr. was born early is that he has a condition called hydrops. There are apparently two kinds of hydrops and I don't know which kind he has. (We are being sensitive about not asking too many prying questions for fear of upsetting the parents about having to discuss more details than is necessary. We might feel different about that if we didn't have such strong confidence in the team at Johns Hopkins.)

The primary symptom of hydrops that occured in Matthew was excess fluid that built up inside his body that put dangerous pressure on his heart. The same day the doctors discovered this condition, they concluded that Matthew's only hope of survival was nearly immediate delivery that would allow them to drain the excess fluid from his body. In fact, they hoped for and accomplished a vaginal birth that allowed a last-minute draining of the fluid while the baby was still in the birth canal. They continue to drain the fluid as needed, including a procedure that is scheduled for today.
 

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