Baby love: Preemies in pictures
See photos of tiny babies that photographer Jessica Strom takes free of charge.
Kansas City photographer Jessica Strom calls them "warriors" -- tiny preemies who have been born clinging to life and who must spend weeks or months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before they can go home. Moved by one of these children's stories during an assignment, Strom began offering free sessions for families with babies in the NICU who never get a chance to do a "traditional" newborn photo shoot. The photographer, who is struggling with infertility, says they help her as well as she captures moving images of these tiny human beings.
Twins Ava and Olivia were born 4 months prematurely, each weighing approximately 1 pound. Here they are at 2 months old still bundled up to help control their body temperature.
Briella was born at 23.5 weeks gestation, technically under the standard 24 week guideline for viability. The cell phone image was taken the day she was born to compare how much she'd grown in two months. She is now a happy, healthy and thriving 14 month old.
Twins Colton and Weston were born almost three months early at 29 weeks gestation and spent eight weeks in the NICU. This was the first time they had been able to be photographed together.
Cooper was born nine weeks early and had several issues, including a heart condition. He will soon be a big brother this spring.
Twin sisters Elliana and Lilliana were born three months early, weighing between 2 and 2.5 pounds respectively. This was their very first professional family photograph.
Smiley Evalee was born at 32.5 weeks gestation, and at only 2 weeks old is smiling big and bright in this image with her dad.
A quiet moment of love and comfort for baby Haven as she rests in her incubator.
Helena was 5 months old in this photograph of a precious moment with her mom. She passed away two months later.
Joey was born by emergency Caesarean section at 30 weeks gestation. To his parents, he is their entire world, and they are about to celebrate his first birthday.
Max was born very early at 24 weeks gestation. This image is from his first year portraits, which were taken inside the NICU as he had not been able to achieve his medical goals to go home.
Max continued to grow and fight every day with his amazing family, friends and medical staff by his side cheering him on. Here he is at almost 2.5 years inside the PICU, still never having gone home since his birth. He died a month after this photo was taken.
Nora was born before her parents' maternity session. Her mom later went on to say that this was the first time they truly felt like a family through all the craziness that surrounds a baby's early unexpected arrival.