He started out so small, much smaller than most of us did. One pound six ounces. His birth is a long story itself, you can find it here if you’re new to me. He was intubated and incubated, had pick lines, IVs, oxygen tubes, blind folds to protect his eyes from the jaundice lamp (I forget now what they call that). Many blood transfusions, supplement drips, and then they started feedings at an incredibly slow rate. He was so frail, so skinny, and still stronger than most people even at that stage. He fought for his little life with every ounce of strength he had, which was approximately 26 ounces.
I was neither brave nor strong. Every time I’d walk up to his incubator I’d instantly start crying. I’d try to read him happy, cheerful books and break out in tears. When it was time to go, I’d cry some more. How and where he got his strength is still beyond my comprehension. I did pray for it though. I wasn’t allowed to hold him much or touch him often. But I talked to him and sang to him as much as I could.
The three months went by surprisingly fast. Before I knew it we were bringing him home. That was a most pleasant day, you can read about it here. I was nervous, for many reasons. What if he stops breathing? What if they missed something in all the tests they’d done? Too many what-ifs really! I tried not to drive myself crazy with them, I was just happy to be walking out of the hospital with the rest of me.
He has been home for 2 months now and things are most definitely different with a preemie.
When I brought Kaida home, she was 10 pounds 13 ounces! And she was my first. She was chunky and not really fragile at all. Draven was 8 pounds 1 ounce. I thought HE was fragile! They were both on time and normal with milestones. They ate normally, did tummy time well, started pushing themselves up, reaching for things, holding their own bottles, rolling over, and sitting up by themselves all by the time they were 5 months. Kaida was the quicker one, started crawling at 6 months and walking at 9. She wants to be a big girl now with boobs and a purse full of money too! LOL!
But Draikaiden is completely different from both of them. When he came home he was just over 5 pounds and even preemie clothes were too big on him. Some of the Dr.’s and therapists tell me to go by his adjusted age, which means to go from his actual due date. His due date was January 25th. That would make him almost 7 weeks old. Some of the Dr.’s say not to get used to doing that because it’s a bad habit! So according to them, he’s really 5 months old since he was actually born on October 12th.
So, he is 5 months old and not quite 10 pounds. He can hold his head up for several minutes but gets tired very easily. He’s getting better with tummy time, but doesn’t consistently push himself up on his arms. He doesn’t rollover unless he pushes himself up high enough that he basically falls over onto his side. He doesn’t reach for things, and he rarely holds onto something you put in his hand unless it’s a finger, and he does have quite a grip. He is looking around and studying things more and more everyday, and each day we get more and more smiles out of him. He doesn’t cry a lot, unless he is hungry or needs changed (he’s VERY particular about that). He will follow sounds with his head, and completely LOVES his big sister. His face literally lights up when she is there to play with him. He smiles at her the most. He’s noticing when things move further and further away, which I see as a good sign, his ROP must be improving!
He has the cutest phony cry and makes the cutest phony face with it. But also has a very persistent cry, just like Draven did, when he is serious. His personality is really emerging.
Whether or not I’m adjusting his age according to any of the experts, he’s really not falling into either category anyways. At first I was getting upset about it. I was feeling insanely guilty about his early birth being my fault. Then a wise mom told me that is just wasted energy. Things happen for a reason, and I was on bed rest, doing all I could to stop the contractions. He came when he was supposed to and he is perfectly fine. And even though the last 5 months have been extremely difficult, I’ve learned so much from this little guy. He’s made me a stronger person. And I’m going to do everything in my power to make him as strong as he can be as well as his sister and brother.
He’ll do things when he is ready to, and that is perfectly fine with Daddy and I. We’re not going to rush him. If someone would have told DaVinci to hurry up and just get the damn thing done already, the Mona Lisa might not have turned out to be such a masterpiece.
Here are a few more photos from the time he was in the hospital up to now.