For the First Time

Do you ever wonder about your baby and when he or she will be born? Do you think about that special moment when you get to hold the baby for the very first time?  It is the most amazing feeling.  The smell of a new baby, the cuddles, the smiles when they are sleeping, the coos and of course there are those cries of hunger pains, wet diaper, gas or just hold me.  But oh such wonderful feelings.  As I looked around this weekend while I was out with my family at an October festival at all the new babies and their mommies, I started to remember back to when I had my son Kaleb.

I longed for the day that I could hold him and see him smile, coo and yes even cry for something that he needed and Mommy could supply.  That day came when I had Kaleb, except he was born unexpectedly, 13 weeks early.  He was taken from me and I never saw him until 2 days after he was born.  We were both in critical condition.  I mustered the strength amongst a painful vertical c-section, heavy pain medications, and uncertainty of life, to get to the NICU where my son lay in an isolette connected to what seemed like hundreds of wires.  What was happening I thought to myself.  I wanted to hold my baby, but he was much too fragile to do that.  I cried for hours as my husband comforted me and let me know that he will be okay, we just had to have faith and pray.


Day after day, we made the journey to the NICU, even after I had gone home without my baby to see him fighting for his life.  One day, as I arrived, the nurse said to me, “are you ready to hold your baby?” I looked at her puzzled wondering if I heard her correctly.  She started to explain to me about something called Kangaroo therapy. She explained how the heartbeat, breath sounds and warmth of a mother, will help the baby feel like he is still in the womb hearing those comforting sounds and it helps them recover so much quicker.  I was excited but wondered how that would work.


It took three staff to get this done, 2 nurses and a respiratory therapist.  The nurse was quite funny and asked me to go to the rest room first because once I started I was going to be there for as long as the baby would tolerate it.  The whole process took about 15 minutes to get the wires taped, the baby settled and off he went inside my button down shirt on my chest.  In an instant the nurse pointed to his monitor and how his blood pressure and heart rate stabilized.  His breathing was not so labored.  He stayed with me 45 minutes, they were so impressed.  I had finally held my son, wires and all.


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It was scary to hear all the beeping noises, but the nurses said if you relax, the baby will as well.  I had all sorts of thoughts fluttering in my mind.  As I sit here and remember that day,  I still get teary eyed because it is a moment that I will never forget.  Seven years ago today, I held my baby for the very first time 12 days after he was born.  Today he is a lively 7 yr old and he still snuggles with mommy.123-4899-2 123-4900-2


The first time a mom of a preemie holds her baby is so special.  If you ever hear someone tell you that, take a moment, listen to them and send them hugs, love and prayers because that mom is rejoicing inside at the very first time she is holding her baby.




It’s #GivingTuesday at The Gift of Life

It’s #GivingTuesday – a day to give to your charity of choice and to share stories about how the charity helped you or a loved one! Will you join by making a contribution to help our families of premature babies receive hope, encouragement and support while they are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit?


Since The Gift of Life was founded in 2012, we have delivered over 400 Knit Bears made by senior citizens to our local hospital during the Christmas season to spread cheer during the Christmas season. We have shipped bears out-of-state to other families as they hear about what we do, this can only be done through supporters like you.


Thank you for choosing to support our families. Your donations will help families like the Lonas Family who received a Christmas Bear :

“The next few weeks were the hardest times I have ever experienced. I felt helpless and heartbroken. I was told the NICU stay would be a roller coaster of events and emotions and that’s exactly what it was. We went through 2 types of ventilators, 3 intubations, infections, medications, complications and happy milestones. Every ounce counted and I was ready to see him pack on the pounds and thrive for life. It was a long road but that’s exactly what Jameson did. He has taught me all about strength and faith and a lot about having patience. We are truly blessed with how well Jameson did and still continues to do as a micro preemie. The odds were stacked against him and he pushed through. After 143 days in the hospital we brought our sweet boy home on December 23rd. Just in time for Christmas. The best Christmas present ever. He came home with his teddy bear from The Gift of Life, made with love by the seniors citizens at Good Samaritan Village.”

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