Photography by Chasing Light Photography
Meet Cansas. She is Beauty Revived.
Our journey began on November 16, 2009 when we went for a routine ultrasound prior to my last month of pregnancy. During the ultrasound our doctor noticed Cansas was extremely small for her size and had not gained an adequate amount of weight since our last visit. She monitored her heart beat and then ordered me to bed rest for a few day and scheduled my follow up visit on Thursday. During our doctors appointment on Thursday our doctor noticed Cansas had began to stress and decided to go ahead and induce labor. At this point, we had no idea she had a birth defect of any sort or what was soon to be in store for us.
Upon our arrival to the hospital I was admitted for delivery. I was in labor for the remainder of that day and through the night. Failing to dilate the doctor went ahead and performed a cesarean on November 20th and Cansas Perl Nichols was born at 7:30am. In the delivery room I remember hearing her cry and thinking well at least her lungs are developed which is typically the biggest risk in a premature delivery. The doctor then looked over the curtain and said, “There’s a slight problem…” They didn’t go into great detail at that point they just said a potion of her organs were on the exterior of her body. The room was silent and all I could hear was an uneasy shuffling around. They just showed her to me and ran out of the room with her wrapped in a plastic bag and blankets. Everyone, even the doctor was in shock. They had never seen a child born with Gastroschesis before. Gastoschesis is defined as, a type of inherited congenital abdominal wall defect in which the intestines and sometimes other organs develop outside the fetal abdomen through an opening in the abdominal wall. It is commonly believed that this defect is a result of obstruction of the omphalomesenteric vessels during development. She had 70% of her organs on the exterior. Typically it’s just the intestines but what made hers so different was that it was her intestines, stomach, kidneys, and a portion of her spleen.
Cansas was being transferred to Texas Childrens Hospital where they could care for her and give her immediate attention necessary. Once the Kangaroo Crew arrived they wheeled Cansas into my room to say bye. I still couldn’t hold her, all I could do was touch her hand through a small hole in her transport box. At that very moment I wasn’t sure if that would be the last time I would ever see her. Fast forward 8 years and I get to look at my beautiful, talented, strong, big hearted, precious girl every single god given day and for that I am truly blessed.
During the time Cansas was at Texas Children’s Hospital we lived at the Ronald McDonald house where multiple other families who’s children were in dire situations as well lived during their stay. It was set up similar to a hotel but we all shared a kitchen, living room, dining room and we were in charge of cleaning our room as well as assigned the job of cleaning dishes for the entire house. While our month there seemed like an eternity we were able to reflect on all the important things in life and got to meet some wonderful volunteers that made such a difference to so many people that I knew I wanted to pay it forward. So, every year we collect and donate cereal to the Ronald McDonald house! Canvas looks forward to this every year! You can see her heart bursting with joy to be giving to others. Sometimes it’s the little things in life, like name brand cereal, that can make such a difference in a person’s day! It’s the little things in life that are often taken for granted and the little things can make big changes in lives. I cannot wait to see where life takes my “little thing” because I know something big is in store for my miracle l Cansas Pearl! She amazes me every single day.
About the Photographer
Hi there, Jessica Davis of Chasing Light Photography here!
I’ve been a giggle maker, light chaser, and a picture taker since 2014. Photography found me when I became a mom to our oldest of two boys. Couldn’t put the camera down and fell in love! Documenting moments is a *huge* part of my life. Being a wife and mother I know how much your pictures are to you because I know how much mine are to me. I’m a lover of all things sea salt colored, anything galvanized, and everything Texan. Also, I could eat pizza every single day of the week and need copious amounts of coffee to function, can I get an amen!?