The magnificent Kristen Moracco with her daughter Eden Gray (11 months). Kristen was able to conceive Eden without complication and enjoyed a healthy pregnancy. Her husband is active duty military and they were awaiting orders to move to either Colorado (where her family if from and she was hoping for) or Tennessee. They received the orders to move to Tennessee and days later her water broke at 34 weeks 6 days gestation. Kristen delivered via emergency cesarean and Eden went directly to NICU. Kristen is a former NICU nurse herself and was fortunate enough to have a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner she worked with and trusted in the delivery room. She knew that she wasn't ready to be alone and she didn't want her husband to see their new baby in pain, so her husband was able to stay with her while her friend stayed with Eden. Eden was able to come home from NICU in just under two weeks time and has remained healthy, though Kristen did have to be very diligent about checking her weight daily at first.
Being a NICU nurse and then a NICU mom, allowed Kristen to understand what a lot of the parents she worked were going through. She understood why moms demanded breast pumps and feeding access and even more so why they refused to go home at night. This perspective allowed her to simultaneously be a stronger advocate for her daughter as well.
Kristen and her family have gone through a lot of changes in the past year. A new baby with an unexpectedly complicated arrival, several moves and a four month deployment. Kristen went from a place of struggling with herself and her experience to finding the courage to celebrate it. Here they are on the other side and that's the most beautiful thing. Even when things are the toughest, we at some point, find ourselves on the other side. Her participation in this movement, these photographs and this opportunity to share her story are a very important part of her reaching the other side and her ability to now celebrate this first year of motherhood.