Benjamin Scot and his wife, Lyndsey, probably envisioned their first days as parents much like the rest of us, full of long nights and early mornings, gummy grins, and diaper duty. But their journey took a very different path when their son, Ward, arrived 3 1/2 months premature weighing less than 2 lbs. It was four days before his parents could finally hold him, and 103 more before they were able to bring him home.
Benjamin, a photographer, captured those early months in the NICU, along with Ward's entire first year, in a video that he shared on Vimeo earlier this month.
"He was born way too early, and the obstacles he had to overcome were really big, but not bigger than our God. This is a story of a mother's love for her baby," writes Benjamin, adding, "I want to thank all the doctors, nurses, and staff all over the world that make it their life's mission to help babies get better! It's because of you that my son ever stood a chance to make it home!"
Though the video was made as a birthday gift for Benjamin's wife, it's touched thousands. And if those images of Lyndsey holding her tiny son for the very first time didn't bring you to tears, the comments left by other families who know first-hand what it's like to welcome a baby too soon surely will.
- "I cried my eyes out watching this, your wife was me, and your son was my twins, I will show this to anyone who wants to really know what we went through and hopefully to my twins one day to show them how brave and strong they are! It breaks my heart that anyone else ever has to go through, I felt for your wife the first time she held him, on the drive home, and loved the happiness in her face once your son was home, just amazing . . . "
- "Wow . . . that's awesome . . . my son was born 3 months early and made it almost a year before he passed. I am so happy [for you] and your family. Brought tears to my eyes and joy in my heart to watch this. It was over 14 years ago but still feels like yesterday."
- "My son was born at 24 weeks and weighed in at 1 lb 8 oz. in 1987 and stayed in NICU for 108 days! I wasn't able to hold him for a month! We didn't have a video camera at the time, so this video was so emotional for me . . . even 26 years later! . . . I could feel how your wife felt, holding her son for the first time . . . happy yet terrified for what was to come. Thank you so much for sharing something so personal. Although my son did lose vision in one eye, he is a smart, amazing young man about to get married this year!"
- And from a nurse in the NICU where Ward stayed: "I think it's pretty safe to say all the nurses on J4 have seen this video. We’ve shared it on our Facebook pages, watched it in the breakroom on our phones, watched it at the nurses station, and we've probably all watched it a million times! It's beautiful."
There are hundreds more stories of hope and joy and of unthinkable loss.
Thanks to Benjamin for sharing his family's beautiful story; it reminds me how truly blessed I am to have my two healthy, happy little girls.
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