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:
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.