After a baby is born, most moms delight in having a plump, sturdy baby plopped down on their chest. That was not our reality. Since Jacob was born over 16 weeks early, after he was born, he was whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It was over 2 weeks before I got to hold him for the first time and when I did, although my heart and arms were aching for the moment, I was terrified.
For those who do not know our whole story, Jacob and our angel, Logan, were born when we were visiting my parents in Illinois…2200 miles from our home in California. Bryan had to return home once things were stable to go back to work and I stayed with Jacob in Illinois.
I remember the day I held Jacob for the first time like it was yesterday. He was so SO small. He had an IV, PICC line with several ports, sensors and, of course, oxygen. He had just made his first attempt off the ventilator and had been stable for long enough that the Neonatologist felt he was stable enough to give “Kangaroo Care” a try. “Kangaroo Care” is when mother or father hold the baby skin to skin. It is proven to help regulate temperature and heart rate and is very therapeutic to both parent an child. After all, they’ve been through A LOT to get where they are.
Again, I was thrilled to finally hold my baby, but also terrified. He was only 12 inches long and had emergency bowel surgery only a week earlier. To make matters worse, Bryan was back in California, so I couldn’t even share the experience with him. Although, we certainly tried. Unfortunately, technology failed us and we couldn’t connect the FaceTime to let him watch it all. You can hear him in the video running around trying to find a solution. His tone may sound rough, but he is just frustrated things are not working out. We made the best of it and had wonderful helpers video the whole experience. I share it with you now. Our sweet little fighter when he was so small.