When I think about our journey in starting a family… when I think of Hazel’s journey, I know undoubtedly she is here in this world in this life for a beautiful reason.

Our story of conception was one of two years of unexplained infertility, followed by two back to back early miscarriages and within the month following the conception of a special, tiny little soul who is now our Hazel Emilie. I look at the odds stacked against both myself at conceiving and our baby girl at being born 4 months too early and I think to myself, “you are here for a reason, my love”. How does one tiny being have so much strength, so much tenacity, so much fight and yet is days, weeks, months behind any full term newborn. 

We’ve been so fortunate that hazel has had minimal complications in her journey. Her only real issues have been simply due to prematurity… and thankfully those issues are ones that can work themselves out as she grows bigger, stronger and older. 

How could one tiny person overcome all that she has, how can one tiny soul that has survived despite all the odds stacked against her, how does one little baby become ours after the struggles of infertility only to be born so insanely early that the doctor had to ask if we wanted her brought to the nicu before my c-section….. how does that big, little life get to where she is and not have a purpose. 

In 15 weeks hazel has already shown me more about myself than I ever knew. She has brought relationships into our lives that I will forever be grateful for (her nurses, and the friends I’ve made), she has strengthened the bond that Jeff and I share… we aren’t just a husband and a wife, we aren’t just parents, we are the mama and daddy to a warrior. Hazel’s early arrival has made me a better mother than I would have been if she’d been born term. She has reminded me of what’s important. She has touched the hearts and lives of people around the world and has given other mamas hope for their own sweet micro preemies. 

She has a story to tell. 

Today puts hazel at 108 days old, and on her 100 day birthday my friend Jenn from Jennifer Foik photography came to meet hazel and capture some of the special moments hazel and I share in the nicu. Jenn, thank you. From the bottom of my heart…. You have managed to pause a moment that as much as I want to be past it, will one day be a distant memory and my tiny newborn won’t be so tiny anymore and I will yearn to remember her little-ness… her smell, the touch of her soft skin.