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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Making memories

Pamper commercials and Gerber jars make having a baby seem like an effortless walk in the park. The truth is, it can be scary and chaotic in special cases like premature birth, crisis pregnancies and babies born with critical illnesses. Thankfully, Preemie Prints of College Station offers a most unforgettable service to the parents and families enduring these trying times.
Preemie Prints, founded by Amber Collier, class of 2003 and mother of two, provides charitable photography for families dealing with such situations, as well as parents going through child adoption.
“In my eyes, all of these people deserve beautiful pictures of their child at that life-changing moment. The pictures will trigger memories of a time in their life when they were having to show unbelievable courage and faith — the memories will give them confidence to face anything the future holds,” Collier said.
With Preemie Prints, a family receives a free photography session of their baby, offered as late as the child’s first birthday. The family also receives a disk of all the pictures, a DVD slideshow and a small, portable booklet of prints free of charge.
“We are also working on providing ‘Preemie Bags’ to both The Med and St. Joseph’s for every family that comes through a NICU [neonatal intensive-care unit]. We also want to provide ‘Angel Bags’ for the babies that very sadly don’t make it, containing items for the parents to collect and hold on to the short precious memories they had with their angel,” Collier said.
The Preemie Bags are filled with an assortment of useful things for new parents, such as information, clothing and gift cards from local restaurants that deliver, for those arduous nights when having the time to cook a meal is out of the question.
Preemie Prints is also in the beginning stages of organizing a Brazos Valley support group for moms who have previously been in a NICU or had a premature baby and moms who are currently going through the experience of having a premature baby. The group’s first meeting will be March 20.
But what could inspire one woman, Collier, to begin such a charity as this?
“What sparked the specific idea was the birth of my twins and my time spent in NICU,” Collier said.
Her twins were born at 33-weeks in Houston and had to spend four long weeks in the NICU, an experience that proves to be stressful for the parents, especially the mother.
“Even with wonderful friends and family supporting me, it was honestly the most difficult time in my life to date,” Collier said.
Out of her love for photography, Collier took pictures throughout the whole process and was able to capture some beautiful memories, but couldn’t help but wonder how many families deserve the same memories yet do not have the means to hire a photographer, she said. If not a money issue, most parents do not have photos taken of their newborn simply because they are so overwhelmed with the situation of having a premature baby to even think about pictures.
Collier said she credits her faith and trust in God for her decisions with Preemie Prints and the success of the charity itself, along with her marketing experience and her A&M business degree.
“Things are just seeming to come together. I know there is a need and place to fill here in the Brazos Valley,” Collier said. “There really isn’t a charity around like this benefiting premature babies and their families in this particular way.”
Other moms have experienced the helping hand of Preemie Prints and said that it truly is a needed charity.
“I was 15 for my first daughter and had cancer during my latest pregnancy. Knowing what a hard time each of these were, I love that [Collier] has found a way to reach out to people during these difficult times and offer them an experience that they will cherish,” said Rebecca Wilson, a close friend of Collier.
Mellissa Roy, a new photographer for Preemie Prints and mother of two, has also had experiences with the NICU and lost her baby girl Acadia in the hospital at the age of only 11 days in 2007.
“The one thing I did happen to do was take photos of her. These are the only things I have left of my daughter and they are so valuable to me,” Roy said. “That is one reason this charity has drawn me in so much, because I know how important those are to me, and I know how important they can be to another parent who may find themselves in a similar situation.”
Collier encourages all readers to visit the Preemie Prints website at www.preemieprints.blogspot.com and “Like” the Preemie Prints Facebook page.

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