My Miracle Baby

Happy birthday to my wonderful son, Jacob!

Jacob was born 11 years ago today at 25 weeks gestation. He weighed 1 lb. 14 oz. Since all babies lose weight when they’re born, he dropped to 1 lb. 8 oz. before starting to gain weight.

Jacob was so tiny, he slept laying in a preemie diaper:

Jacob spent a little over two months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The hospital was about an hour away from my house, and I would drive there every morning to sit with him during the day and then drive back home at night. He had his own phone that I could call any time day or night and the nurses would give me an update. Leaving the hospital without my baby is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do.

Jacob wasn’t able to breath on his own. He ears weren’t completely developed yet, and they stuck flat to his little head. He couldn’t maintain his own body temperature, so I wasn’t able to hold him until he was two weeks old. It was right around Mother’s Day when I held him for the first time, and it was the best Mother’s Day present I could ever ask for.

Jacob came home when he was about two months and weighed about 4 lbs. He came home with different medication at every feeding. He came home with an oxygen tank because he couldn’t “remember” to breath while he ate his bottle. He came home with an apnea monitor that would beep loudly when he “forgot” to breath. He was my little peanut.

Jacob had hernia surgery, eye surgery, and tubes put in his ears. He went to occupational therapy and physical therapy for a long time.

We patched his “good” eye to strengthen his “bad” eye:

Jacob is my miracle baby, and despite everything, his only long-term problem is that he wears glasses. That’s it. He is so incredibly intelligent and is his own person.

Having a preemie baby was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do, but it made me stronger and who I am today. I believe that God gives you what you can handle and how you handle it is up to you.

My body is simply unable to hold babies. Even though it was completely out of my control, I always felt like I did something wrong. Which I didn’t. I was able to get pregnant again with Jaden, but I had to have a small surgery and be on bed rest for six months with weekly ultrasound appointments.

The nurses at the NICU always told me that Jacob was a fighter, and they were absolutely right.

 Jacob holding his new baby brother:

Playing baseball:

Getting the Harry Potter book at midnight (which we won because he was such a cute Harry Potter!)

I love you, Jacob, more than anything. Happy Birthday.


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19 Responses to My Miracle Baby

  1. Happy Birthday, Jacob! What an incredible story!!!

  2. Melissa Woollard

    I remember hm Growing up at Fh and taking care of him in the baby room! He has growing into a fine young man and yes Heather you should be proud!

  3. summer9135

    Wow, that is precious! What a miracle :) My little guy turns 5 tomorrow, love May bdays!

  4. I just got tears in my eyes reading that. I’m studying to be an OT and know how hard it can be in the NICU with a preemie. What a great story, I’m glad hes healthy, happy, and has a great mother! :) Hope he has a great birthday!

  5. He is so stinking adorable – what a sweet story! Hope both of you enjoy the day and take some time to celebrate!

  6. What an inspirational story. Hope he has a great Birthday!!

  7. What a beautiful miracle! And a blessed boy to have you as a mama. I hope he has the best birthday ever!

  8. WOW Heather! I love this and as a mother I am really inspired by you and Jacob. It must’ve been tough. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  9. Nicky

    Thank you for posting this. Last January, our best friends had a son at 22 weeks after she was diagnosed with preeclampsia too late. Little Mattox was such a fighter and held on for six whole weeks but was never able to gain enough weight to have his little under developed lungs operated on and earned his wings instead. Your post was so nice to read because it gave me a chance to see what he could have grown up to bed like. Your son is precious and such a fighter and is lucky to have such a great mom. Happy Birthday, Jacob!

  10. I had no idea! AWWW!! So adorable!

  11. Julie

    I have a 6 yr old and almost 3yr old triplets that were all premature. Your story brings back memories of my own, especially the part about leaving the babies everyday, it is heartbreaking. They are all healthy and I think it is amazing what they can do do for tiny babies. So happy Jacob is healthy, what a special guy! Happy Birthday Jacob!

  12. Yikes! I had no idea either!

    I’m glad your story had a happy ending, and I hope Jacob had a wonderful birthday!!

  13. Key Master

    Happy birthday to a great kid!! The strength it takes for both baby and mother to get through such a tough time is incredible. I’m humbled by the events that took place and thanks god for watching over you. You are both very special people!!!

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