The following post is part of a birth story by Aleigh Khaladkar. I'm posting it in honour of Prematurity Awareness Day, for the babies and also for the families of premature infants.
I am discharged. Ike stays in the hospital for 48 days. I see him every day, except the days when I can’t. I can’t touch him much because it agitates him and his heart stops beating or he forgets to breathe. So I talk to him; he likes to hear my voice. When I run out of things to say, I read. By the time he is two weeks old, he has read all of Beatrix Potter and much of Alice in Wonderland. Parents aren’t allowed to look at the other babies in the NICU. Sometimes, something happens, and they chase us all out to deal with the medical emergency.
I talk to the girl at the next isolette. Her daughter weighs one pound and wears doll clothes from Walmart. She lactates whenever she sees a breast pump.
I begin to obsess over clothes and, particularly, hats. This is stupid. The NICU has beautiful sleepers for the little ones. Women donate their time to make tiny, tiny hats, using a mandarin orange as a model. But I can’t feed him. I can’t hold him. I can only change his diaper with permission. The one thing I can do is to make sure he has his own clothes. I trawl the city for hats small enough, order them online, but they are still too big.
And slowly, he grows into them. Slowly, the baby gets stronger. He moves from the intensive side of the NICU to the observation side. I have a little celebration every time another tube or wire is removed. He goes from an isolette to a normal, tiny crib. He breathes normally. His heart beats normally. There are setbacks, but mainly he gets better.
And then one day, almost without warning, he is ready to leave. He is 4 lbs 13 oz. He looks like a tiny doll in his giant car seat. We take our hat collection and go home.
11/17/2010 12:37:14 am
Absoluteley beautiful kate!!!
11/17/2010 01:48:49 am
11/17/2010 03:40:56 am
I agree, it's lovely.
11/17/2010 06:23:12 am
Hello. Lovely work, great plan. My only concern is the halo that each has. WE are human, not holy. We strive to be, but I think you give we women & our children way too much credit. That is a special symbol of great honor, and I have yet to meet anyone worthy. Nice thought... but misplaced. Keep up the good work.
11/17/2010 08:35:54 am
From adversity comes strength. Ike gave us all a few scares in the beginning, but he is now the neatest kid.
11/17/2010 01:49:47 pm
2/22/2011 12:12:40 am
I love your story for so many reasons. I have preemie twins named Isaac (Ike) and Molly, who are now 19. I have added a link to your story on the Important Links page of my site called <a href='http://mikeandollie.wordpress.com>Mike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds</a>. Your little Ike is beautiful. I hope all continues to go well. Thanks for sharing your story.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.
A blog on art, roller derby and life.
I'm an artist and mother of two in Courtenay, BC. I've completed a project called the "Madonna and Child Project," and I'm now working on a series of roller derby inspired drawings. In my spare time I play roller derby with the Brick House Betties.