Category Archives: Prematurity Awareness

Jack is Four

Jack turned four years old last weekend, and we celebrated with pizza, cake, ice cream, balloons, presents, and MONSTER JAM! We had a total blast, and as of yesterday, we’re still recovering.

My plan, (don’t laugh) is that now Jack is four, to start making him sit for practical homeschool lessons. We’ve been focusing on letters and numbers, what they are, where they go, and who they belong to for much of this past year. I’d like to advance into handwriting this year.

Jack draws, he draws cute little stick people, but that’s a relatively recent development.

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I got him a new chapter book for his birthday, I read it to him, of course, and the lack of pictures tortures him but it impressed by the presence of so many letters.

Jack is still really into vehicles and play acting. He’s always acting out little scenes and monologues and telling us stories, and that’s how he processes new information and stores it in memory. He also likes to teach his little-stuffed animals their colors and numbers etc., and it’s adorable.

Anyway, here are some pictures of us from the last few weeks.

 

 

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What will I do, when my baby turns two?

As I push my front door open, after a long shift at work, I am greeted with an excited “HI!” from Jack as he charges into my arms, jabbering all the while, as he tells me about his day. Greetings such as this warm my chilly little heart after a long day of “customer service.” These giant and verbal greetings remind me of a time when Jack was not so giant or so verbal.
My first mothers day Jack was in the NICU. Jeremy and I arrived that morning, Jacks bed was surrounded by nurses trying to get a blood catheter in him because they were taking blood from him so frequently, and he was still so tiny, he was going to need a blood transfusion ( a bag of blood from a donor) that afternoon. My husband and I stood in silence as we watched the nurses do what only they could until one of them turned around to face us, requesting that we wait in the lounge. Our devastated gaze was making them anxious, and they were already struggling to get the needle in somewhere useful. We obliged, and when they were done, we returned to the NICU to find our baby boy with a plastic needle catheter inserted into his tender scalp. We visited with him while he rested and, I recited my ritual mantra to him; ” I love you. I am proud of you. You can do this. You are the strongest person I know.”
All around us, the NICU hummed with intense daytime activity. After a brief visit with Jack, my husband and I decided to let him continue to rest comfortably. We returned later that night, and my favorite nurse was at Jacks bedside. She knew we were coming in ahead of time, and she had given Jack a bath and put him in his pajamas. Jack was relaxing in his incubator as I lifted his blanket to peek inside. When I opened the little door near his face to say hello, his eyes popped open, the look of recognition on his face was undeniable. “How’s mama’s baby Jack!?” I said as he thrust his hand upward. I gave him my hand, and he gripped my index finger. We stayed there like that for a long time. It felt so good to be greeted by him, after a traumatic morning. Jack knew his mama, that much was undeniable to me, to Jeremy, and to the NICU nurse as well.
With Jack’s second birthday fast approaching, I am reflecting on how far we have come in such a relatively short amount of time. Jack continues to amaze us with his size, his strength, his sense of humor, his personality, his cleverness, and abstract and critical thinking skills, his courage, and his sensitivity, as well as his good looks.

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Where did this big boy come from?

Jack is closer to being a two-year-old, then he is to a one-year-old. A fact which continues to boggle my mind daily.  Where did this big boy come from? He was 30 pounds at his last baby well checkup.

It seems like another lifetime ago that I was counting his breaths as his tiny 3-pound counterpart slept the day away in an incubator. I measure time by those days in the NICU, Jack then, and Jack now. This boy fought so hard to be here with us, that these seemingly simple moments of watching him, watch his favorite cartoon, or read his favorite book, are worth documenting.

On the calendar you may have been early, but in my heart you were right on time. ~Author Unknown