Jacob Goodall - An extra special blog post dedicated to a special little man. Please read this story to the end. Jacob is a little fighter and this story shows the raw, powerful love of one incredible family. We are so lucky to have had the privilege of documenting their pregnancy and Jacob's first 2 weeks...
Kate & Andy's Maternity Session | Week 38
"I don't want any of those floaty, girly shots" said Kate as she breezed into the studio for her maternity shoot with Fiancee Andy "I think they're really lovely, but yeah, they're just not me".
You could say that again! At 38 weeks pregnant, Kate was wearing the most amazing vintage outfit: her hair styled into a perfect glossy red victory roll and high red heels!
Kate and Andy are definitely not your conventional couple and this just makes you fall in love with them that little bit more.
I asked Kate "So, do you know what you're having?"
"Nope!" replied Kate and Andy together. "We're keeping it as a surprise, so for now... we're calling baby....." Kate paused dramatically and ran her hand over her perfect bump "Nigel!!"
Nigel the bump! Haha!
So, we had a blast at their maternity session. Kate looked amazing in her kick-ass Rosie The Riveter shot. A natural at posing, she absolutely nailed the retro washing line pinup shot too, created with baby's little outfits and the toys they had picked out for him or her. Not to mention a beautiful purple crochet blanket made by Kate's Mum.
Kate, Andy and "Nigel" were great together in their family shots (you'd never guess Andy was actually blowing a raspberry on Kate's tummy in the shot below, making baby Nigel wriggle and Kate bonk him on the head and not to laugh whilst telling him to be serious!)
I waved them off after a thoroughly enjoyable maternity session (my cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling so much) and wished them luck with the rest of their pregnancy!
Welcome to the world Jacob! | Jacob's Newborn Session
Jacob Henry Sloan Goodall arrived into the world on Monday the 25th July at 10:00am weighing a perfect 8lb 6oz. 16 days overdue, breech and after a C-Section, Jacob is all pouty lips, kissable cheeks and he has the biggest blue eyes.
Jacob came for his Newborn Photo Session at 13 days old.
Jacob wasn't that into sleeping. Nope, he decided he's much rather be awake so he could watch everything going on and that was just fine by us! As I gently swaddled him in a beautiful green cheesecloth wrap, he couldn't help himself having a good nosey around the room.
Jacob has this "thing" where he likes to have his hands up by his cheeks, so even though he was wrapped so snug and secure, his little fingers kept creeping up and out! He had us all in fits of laughter from the word go.
Jacob definitely set his own rules for his session and even when we were all trying to be serious, Jacob would think of something to make everyone laugh again - like this shot below for example... It's impossible not to smile when you're in the room with little Master Goodall!
Jacob decided he would he would indulge us in a little sleep, so we snuggled him down in a beautiful vintage crate from the 1940s with some genuine vintage patchwork quilt pieces from the same era. He also cosied up in a large driftwood bowl for a little while, making just the most adorable little snuffly noises as he slept.
After a power nap, Jacob decided then that he had had enough of being photographed and just wanted to feed with Mama. That was cool with us! We invited Kate, Andy and little Jacob back in a few days time for part #2 of his session so we could get some individual shots of Jacob on his own and sleeping.
Jacob came back a few days later and did he want to sleep? Erm NO! No he did not! But with those gorgeous blue eyes, his huge personality and just the most perfect little pout we couldn't complain and captured some of the most wonderful shots - he just seems to know so much with those eyes! He is absolutely mesmerizing and a total time waster, you could sit and stare at him for hours.
Jacob had been a little unsettled and had lost some weight over the past few days, so the doctor's had diagnosed reflux with a floppy larynx. Kate and Andy were hopeful that once the meds kicked in he'd gain some weight and settle a little more.
Just look how gorgeous he is here with his toys and special blanket:
Oh and Jacob didn't break his trend of making us all laugh at this session either! As he posed so beautifully for this shot below in his parent's hands, he decided to take a tinkle right in Daddy's cupped hands!
"Don't move!!!" I said "I need to get this shot!"
Poor Andy! Just look at Jacob's cheeky little face, first looking up at his Daddy then directing his gaze to the camera.
Kate laughed so hard she actually cried! In the end I had to put the camera down as I was laughing too much to hold it steady. What a funny, little man with perfect comedy timing. A natural born comedian.
This is normally where our story would end! But please continue reading...
A few days after Jacob's session, his reflux had gotten worse and at his appointment, the consultant noticed his eye wouldn't close properly either. Jacob was booked in for an ultrasound to check for meubius syndrome (which is damaged facial nerves).
After a wonderful family weekend at home, on Tuesday the 5th of September Jacob became worse, so Kate took him back to the hospital to get him checked and possibly change his medication.
The hospital admitted Jacob to the ward overnight as a precaution as Jacob had lost weight and decided they might as well do the ultrasound while he was there.
The ultrasound showed a cystic structure in his brain which they were told was from a stroke or bleed on the brain in the womb.
An MRI was carried out that Friday, which showed this was in fact a tumour. In that moment for Kate, Andy and Jacob "Things went from 0-100 in a nano second". Jacob was sent to the Specialist Neuro Paediatric team at Southhampton Hospital
At just 6 weeks old and weighing only 9lb 7oz, Jacob underwent a grueling and dangerous 6 hour operation on his brain. It was touch and go and there were no guarantees but somehow Jacob, the little fighter, made it through the night. The doctors managed to remove an incredible 95% of the tumor, which is more than they hoped for.
I'd love to tell you that the worst was over, that Jacob doesn't have to fight anymore and that he is on the mend and the tumor won't be bothering this wonderful family again...
But I cannot.
The fight has only just begun for Jacob.
This has all happened over the past 13 days: Jacob is still in intensive care. Kate and Andy had a naming ceremony at the hospital chapel a few days after Jacob's surgery. A beautiful and bittersweet moment for this brave, brave trio.
They also threw together a wedding, with help from their family and friends, as Kate couldn't bare the thought of her wee man leaving her with a different surname.
Kate updated Jacob's Go Fund Me page with this update about their wedding day: 'Well folks, we did it! It wasn't quite the big vintage/festival wedding we had anticipated but it was a beautiful, and personal day shared by a few of our family and friends.
It was a close call but, with a waiver granted by the General Registrar due to expectational circumstances, at 10.30am today, we became Mr & Mrs Andrew Goodall! There are so many to thank for making this possible, from Dumfries and Portsmouth Register offices, who bent over backwards to help make this happen, Kerri for my bouquet and Andy's buttonhole, so many of you for helping us make this possible, and a friend of a friend for a beautiful cake with rainbow layers for hope inside, we are truly humbled and grateful to you all. We wish we could've had you all around us to share our day but, as I am sure you all understand, it wasn't possible to do this in the time we had to organise it. Please forgive us and wait for the party invites when all of this is over, we'll have a hell of a good knees up then!
With love to all Mr & Mrs Goodall
We were in Southampton today and were so so pleased to be able to see Kate, Andy and Jacob in the ICU. Jacob was taken off the ventilator last night and is doing better than anyone could have hoped for.
Even with everything that's happened during this whirlwind of a fortnight, Jacob has managed to catch the hearts of his nurses, doctors and everyone he has met. The nurses are even coming to visit him on their days off - as I said earlier, he is such a captivating little time waster once you meet him you can't bare to be away from him!
Jacob has been a little pickle, pulling at his tubes and needing more sedation than a grown man! An absolute little fighter and his spirit is the one thing that has got him through this far.
Kate and Andy have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Southampton and have barely left Jacob's bedside. They say they couldn't have gotten through this far without the support of the wonderful staff and their friends.
Kate and Andy are the bravest parents I have ever met - their positivity and love is phenomenal - it's not hard to see where Jacob gets his strong will and fighting spirit!
The family have no idea what the future holds for Jacob, if he makes it through this: He has a rare congenital aggressive tumor and the doctors cannot tell them at this stage how quickly it will grow back... They can only say that it will.
Kate and Andy are taking things day by day, but the goal right now is to get Jacob home so they can spend this precious time as a family, soaking in every inch of their beautiful new baby boy and spend every moment they have left together, as a normal family, how ever long this may be.
The family have set up a GoFundMe page on behalf of Kate, Andy and Jacob. Kate was made redundant in December and Andy is self employed, meaning every day spent with his son is a day the family's financial situation becomes more of a struggle. I don't know about you, but money should be the last thing on this incredible family's mind right now! You are able to help Jacob's Mummy and Daddy by visiting: https://www.gofundme.com/keepfightingjacob and donating anything you can, however small. This goes directly to Kate and Andy and buys them precious time with their little boy.
Kate's cousin, Solveig who set up the page, says "I wish more than anything in the world that I am trying raise money to save Jacob's life but this story does not have a happy ending.
I am raising money so this family spend every precious second they have left with their son. I would like to say a massive thank you to all the wonderful people who have already donated and or sent messages of love and support , it really means the world to Kate, Andy and Myself"
Kate, Andy and Jacob - our thoughts are with you all. Thank you so much for letting us come and see your beautiful, cheeky, funny little man today and we are counting down the days, with you, until you can get him home.
Where he belongs. Lauren and James xxxxx
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