Today is Dude and Kevin’s birthday. Dude was born eight weeks early (ON Kevin’s birthday – that’s right, I gave Kevin a son for his birthday! It wasn’t planned and I would have preferred to give him something else, but you play the cards that are dealt you), and spent the first six weeks of his life in the NICU because his lungs hadn’t fully developed.
He was a big preemie: 4 lbs and 12 oz. But he dropped all the way to 4 lbs at the worst point of our stay – they wouldn’t release him until he reached 5 lbs.
Up until this point in the video, he had been fed intravenously – this was the first time I was able to feed him and it was scary. I had to keep an eye on his oxygen levels and if they dropped, we had to stop so he could catch up. He only ate about 4 ounces at a time at the beginning and that took FOREVER for him to eat because he would get tired and start falling asleep, but it was soooo nice to be able to hold him, to talk to him and encourage him. I was there all day, every day while he was in the NICU and it broke my heart to see how many preemie babies were left alone because family members simply didn’t come in to see them.
I cried for them, actually. It was just so sad.
At any rate, Dude is 18 today – EIGHTEEN – this time period seems like another lifetime ago. I thank God that it didn’t take him long to catch up to his peers and that he’s never had any sort of “issues” from being born early.
(Also? I had big hair. It was the early 90’s, what can I say).