Joliet IL Newborn Dwight IL Maternity Photographer
Forsyth IL Newborn Joliet IL Baby Photographer
2017 had the most gorgeous fall I can remember. Thank you for choosing me to capture it with your family.
So I am trying something a little new for my blog posts. I’m not sure how long it will last, if it will be consistent, or it will even work effectively.
I often get behind on blogging/posting to my website because of the amount of time it takes to describe the sheer awesomeness that each family and session deserves. I love each and every family/person that I have the privilege of capturing, but the journalistic side of my job I often find difficult. So, in order to get you WAY more cuteness and a higher volume of eye candy, I have decided I’m only going to include photos for each of my blog posts from here on out (at least as a trial).
I mean, seriously, you all surely don’t come to a photographer’s website to READ, do you?!
So, without further ado, this is 18 month old Charlotte and her amazing family….
You know those people that come into your lives that you immediately feel like you’ve known forever? That was this family of 4. They arrived at their session, their kiddos dressed in their PJ’s (to avoid winkled carseat clothing), tousled hair and grimaces on their faces. They had fallen asleep in the car on the way to their session. Normally, any other day, this would not be a time they would ever fall asleep.
However, while towing kids, Mom had the biggest, sweetest smile on her face. She told me what happened and I said, “Absolutely no worries at all! We got this!”
Their oldest was having nothing to do with wanting to change, wanting to take photos, and of course this strange location with some strange new lady.
Between Mom, Dad and me, we managed to get them changed, snuggled and eventually, we got them both on board with photos — I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I need to grab from on occasion. Luckily for all of us, they worked like a charm!
This family. So much love. I’m telling you. I would have been freaking out if my kids came to their session grumpy and tired, but not these two. They just loved on them, were so patient and, honestly those are my favorite photos of all time. Because that is what being a parent is — being flexible, being loving, being patient. Those kids are surrounded by the some of the most loving people!
Good luck trying to narrow these down – I couldn’t even do it for your blog post.
Can I just tell you that I love this family?! I have been looking forward to Pax’s session for a long time and it was a gorgeous night for a session on the golf course at Cresticke. Pax wasn’t quite ready to sit on his own at his session…..but mom sent me a photo 2 days later and, what do you know. Sitting all.by.himself. Babies are stinkers like that.
Paxton was born in February, 2017 and I got to photograph him for his newborn session. I died over his eyelashes. The boys always get the longest ones! You can see all his newborn photos HERE.
Lindsay said Pax was a very grumpy baby, crying constantly, not sleeping for longer than 20 minutes at a time, and just not easily consolable. She was patient, hoping he would outgrow this, but when he didn’t seem to get any better. At 4 months, she expressed her concerns with her pediatrician at his well baby visit. Some other worries Lindsay and Jared shared were slight discoloration in his right eye, lack of red eye reflex on his night camera in his room, and failure to follow/track objects.
At that visit, a whirlwind of a wild ride was about to begin for the Johnson family, Jared, Lindsay + Paxton. They were informed toimmediately take him to the eye doctor, then again after that, to a specialist in Peoria, and again after that, were rushed to Chicago. Three days of eye appointments across central Illinois, led this family to the last thing they wanted to hear. Paxton has a rare form of childhood cancer in his right eye….Retinoblastoma. They had to make the most difficult decision of their lives that day. The following day, just 4 days after his routine 4 month check up, Paxton’s right eye was removed. They were informed that he had already lost vision in that eye, and to relieve pain and pressure for him (so he wouldn’t be crying constantly), the best thing to do would be to remove his eye, which would also eliminate the tumor.
Paxton also had some genetic testing done to determine the cause of the cancer. The results revealed a bi-lateral, hereditary retinoblastoma. Meaning it was in both eyes and was a gene mutation that will continue to be passed on through him.
The oncologist recommended 6 rounds of chemotherapy. Since they also discovered some spots present on his left eye, they wanted to incorporate laser treatment for that side in hopes of saving his sight. They placed a port in Paxton’s chest for chemotherapy treatment. Paxton and his family will travel to Chicago every 4 weeks to undergo chemo and laser treatment, paired with eye exams, making sure the cancer isn’t spreading and that it is in fact, hopefully clearing up.
Paxton was also fit for a prosthetic eye, which they say he keeps in for a maybe total of 2 hours max during the day. He will be fitted for a permanent one when he is three —- they learned a child’s eye socket is completely done growing by this age. Interesting fact of the day.
The good news is, since the surgery, Paxton has been all smiles, is sleeping well and beginning to hit all his milestones!
Lindsay and Jared have learned a lot on this short, but intense journey and I’m sure they will continue to learn much more. They have been fortunate enough to meet some other families going through the same thing, so they have someone to reach out to when they have questions. Paxton is, by far, one of the toughest babies I know. He has endured more in his short life than most of us could think of, but he is also one of the happiest babies I get to see.
***If you would like to support Lindsay, Jared and Paxton, you can purchase a t-shirt and/or donate to their family. All proceeds are being used for medical expenses and travel to and from Chicago for Pax’s treatments.***
Buy a shirt and spread the word and raise awareness!