Your life started early. Six weeks early to be precise. Your Mom's placenta was fully developed at 34 weeks and no longer able to sustain your growth. She was in labour for 13 hours, ending with your birth at 4:02 am on a Sunday. The first day of your life was full of drama. On the way out, you had quite the struggle.
There were a few moments that we were anxious because of a weak heartbeat, but you fought, and your mom was strong, and you made it. We were told that you would need to be sent to another hospital, and we were worried about being apart from you but, luckily, the folks at Mt Sinai hospital in Toronto were able to work some magic to get you a spot in their NICU. If you do decide to have kids yourself and still live in Toronto when you do, I highly recommend that you look into the same hospital.
We spent the first month of your life in hospitals. Not because you were sick, but because you just weren't fully grown yet. You needed some time in an incubator to be sure that you were healthy enough to survive on your own.
Your mother was with you nonstop the whole time she was at the hospital. I was there in the morning and the evenings, but I had to keep going to work during the daytime. There were signs all over the maternity floors of the hospital encouraging Mom's to have "skin-to-skin" time with their newborns to promote bonding and exchange of pheromones that help to induce breast milk production. I slightly misunderstood the signs and insisted on having skin-to-skin time with you myself every day. I was the only man doing so, and I realized that right away, but we carried on and had our one-on-one skin time every night from 9:00pm-10:00 pm.
After the first week or so we received a disturbing phone call that they were planning to move you to another hospital because you were too healthy for the Mt Sinai NICU. At first, I protested, then the doctor told me that there was another family who was in the same situation that we were in who would otherwise see their newborn shipped off to another hospital immediately after being born if we didn't agree. Since we were so grateful that someone else had made that sacrifice for us, we paid the favour forward.
We went to your regularly scheduled feeding time you tried eating from a bottle for the first time before they moved you to St Michaels hospital. We were there to see you off, and we were there to receive you at the new NICU a few minutes later, and you settled in right away. The next morning we found out that you had a bit of a hard time with the transition. You developed pneumonia over night. That just meant that there was liquid in your lungs, but we had no idea why. It's possible that you got sick but, more likely, you may have ingested milk down the wrong pipe on your first feeding.
It was a bit of a setback for us all. You were fighting to get healthy, and your mom and I were paying an emotional toll just being there to watch you fight. We weren't allowed to hold you for a few days while you were recovering and that just broke our hearts. It was a stressful time in our lives, but soon enough we were able to take you home and start our lives together.
The first day you came home we went straight to the park. It was important to us that you got to see what you had been missing out of life having been cooped up in that incubator for those long weeks.