|Feb 17th, 2007||March 17th, 2007|
Exactly one month prior to meeting typing these words, Kaleb Arthur was born weighing 3lbs 11oz. It has been a crazy four weeks since Kaleb arrived and screamed out for the first time and continues to scream in the exact same way today.
The first week at the Brigham & Women's went by quickly and all seems like a blur now. We learned all about having a preemie and were permitted to hold him for the first time since the delivery. We both learned how to change diapers and also how to get around the Longwood area of Boston. Kaleb got better and better with each passing day and as expected lost 5 ounces and bottomed out at 3lbs 6oz before beginning the climb back to his birth weight. Before the end of the first week, he had nursed briefly for the first time, sun bathed through billirubin, graduated from his IV and successfully pulled out his nose tube multiple times.
At the end of the first week he was feeling well enough that he was moved to Winchester Hospital and started his second week of life at the Special Care Nursery. He continued the weight gain, nearly perfected nursing and started feeding from bottles. We learned more about how to take care of him and also gave him his first bath. By the end of the second week, he moved out of the isolette, mastered feeding enough that his nose tube was removed and surpassed his birth weight.
The third week started with high hopes of his coming home within the next few days. He continued to progress well over the weekend, finishing more of his requirements like the car seat test and feeding continuously for 48 hours. We were super excited and there was only one more day to go before he could come home, when we found out he had a spell in the middle of the night. It was the first time it happened to him and the first piece of bad news we had received since learning about the preterm labor. It was hard on us, but we knew it was for the better and the five days would fly right by. He got right back on the horse and the end of week was there in no time.
Saturday morning at the beginning of week four we drove to the hospital on a bright, warm day and brought Kaleb home for the first time. It was so great to finally have him home after a long three weeks of hospitals. It took a few days for it to actually sink in that the little person in our house was ours. Kaleb quickly adjusted to life in the house and basically maintained the same schedule as the hospital, although he did have more difficulty with gas. At his first pediatricians appointment we learned that he weighed 4lbs 8oz, which was a five ounce gain from when he left the hospital. Even in the last few days he has changed so much not only does he look a lot fatter, but he is noticeably more aware of his surroundings and looks around all the time. He is feeiing very well and besides his fear of being held naked and the bouts with gas he is doing wonderfully.
So sitting here a few feet from my lovely wife and my tooting child, I am happy to say that I am now ready to start the second month. The first month was a heck of a challenge, but aside from a few breakdowns we prevailed and are now sitting pretty, a bit tired, but doing well. Now we are focused on taking care of our newborn, just like everybody else and no longer think about how we had a six week premature baby. He now cries, feeds, poops and drives us just as crazy as any newborn who comes home from the hospital right away, just a little smaller.
Let the games begin!!!