Mahomet IL Family Champaign IL Baby Photographer
Forsyth IL Newborn Joliet IL Baby Photographer
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!
I love having the privilege of being invited into people’s homes for photographs, especially when they are celebrating the welcoming of a new baby! This family is welcoming Leo. He is the newest member of their family and was 15 days fresh when we took these photos. His big sister Avery, a HUGE Star Wars fan, was very happy about showing him off! She loves to snuggle him and I’m sure is very much looking forward to having lightsaber battles with him as soon as he can hold one!
My favorite thing about newborn lifestyle sessions is that I get to see your life in real time. Sure, we do some posed pictures and I try to keep everyone together, but I also get to capture real life as it happens. So many of these images have been captured with only a little bit of direction. Avery reading a book on the couch — totally her idea! Their sweet little kitty came out to greet me (and I’m told she is REALLY shy). I guess Avery is the only one that can get as closer to her as she does and can give kisses. Bam! Captured that! I know they will cherish these for a lifetime!
Since Leo is adopted and they got the call last minute about his arrival, his nursery is still in the works of being completed. However, I love the simple touches they have on it already and I’m glad we were able to use it for some of the photos.
Thank you again for the opportunity to photograph your gorgeous growing family!
Oh Lucca was full of smiles and tons of chubbiness for his session with me. I can’t believe how much he has changed. The amount they grow in just only 3 months never ceases to amaze me. They start to emerge with their little personalities and curiosity. I love that I get to be a part of capturing these sweet milestones for so many wonderful people. Lucca got tired at the end of this session, I took advantage and we took some super sweet sleeping photos. Those little curled up hands, long lashes and that little peaceful face. I hope they cherish these for a lifetime!
This little family is so tough. I had the pleasure of meeting them when they booked me for Owen’s 3 year session this spring. Momma was expecting and asked me to document her second baby….a girl.
We planned on maternity photos and the she got put on bedrest….But we made the best of it and did them on the grounds at the hospital. It was actually pretty awesome. You can view that session here.
She ended up induced the following day, so good thing we planned it out right!
When Addison was born, Mom and Dad knew she was going to be spending some time at the hospital and were waiting to hear of discharge. Patiently waiting, they determined they were keeping her until sometime mid summer.
So, I hopped in my car again and documented their life….as it is. It’s gorgeous. They are handling things like champs, smiles on their faces, being strong for each other, for Owen, and for Addison. There is seriously nothing but love in this family.
They are so supportive of each other, encouraging and patient. I have spent quite some time with this family and can just feel their dedication to one another.
So thankful to be a part of such memories, whether they are tough at times or not, they will be so glad to have this to treasure!
I loved this sweet family! They have such beautiful little girls. Nora is well loved, for sure! Her sister was absolutely delighted to get in the photos with her new baby sister.
I also loved the colors from this sessions — I haven’t use lavender with a newborn girl in such a long time, so setting up Nora’s newborn session featuring lavender was so exciting!! I loved using my hand dyed Flokati rug and matching bonnet from Violet Dove Organics.
Jameson was a dream to photograph. His mom brought along a little red fire truck to showcase, as his dad is a volunteer firefighter! He slept like a dream and even showed off his big bright eyes.