Happy Birthday Jamie Boy! With the addition of our now 1-year old, it has been a tough year. My wife and I learned how difficult having 3 kids can be. We saw jealousy and envy from his brothers and managed to deal with that and make sure to spread our love and attention as best as we could. We felt the pressures of meeting each schedule and handling accordingly.
Jamie had a rough start to life. After his birth, he spent about 3 weeks in the NICU, making us realize how important it is to have such a life-saving team available to babies who need it. Jamie basically had breathing issues from birth which needed to be monitored and tended to 24/7 to ensure that he could come home to us safely and thrive as the final member of our family.
I wrote extensively on our experience of having him in the NICU at the time we were all experiencing it. His grandparents were taking care of Jamie’s older brothers so Mom and Dad could be there with him during his stint at the hospital. I spoke with my sister in Florida every day as she works at the All Children’s Hospital NICU in St. Petersburg, FL. I’ll never forget the advice she gave me and my wife. She said that this is normal and they are monitoring him for his well-being, not to worry, in a few months, this will be a distant memory. Even though that was a very long 3 weeks, she was right.
His first 5 months of life he did not gain weight as quickly as he should have which was quite concerning. We had taken him to the doctor on a few occasions and by time we were supposed to take him to a specialist, he began to gain weight rapidly and put our worries to rest. Now he is off the charts in height and weight and slowly eating us out of house and home. He’s starting to eat solid foods and is still louder than his brothers out of necessity to compete.
He is such a happy boy who is on the verge of walking and talking. He claps, raises his hands and is “SO BIG!” We’re starting to teach him baby sign. His brothers did well with baby sign language but I think one sign in particular is designed to drive parents crazy, because as we teach manners to his older brothers, when we ask them to say please; it’s usually at the dinner table, so they sign it. If you don’t know, the sign for please is basically to move your flat hand over your stomach in a circular motion. So if we want the boys to say please, they are basically rubbing their clean shirts with their dirty hands to do so.
Jamie is loved by his brothers and loves to be with them. The one place he does not like to be, is his car seat. That makes our trips to Florida pretty difficult, but that will change when we can turn his car seat around and he will learn to appreciate the DVD player.
It has been an incredible year and we are so proud of our 1-year old. Jamie is such a happy kid and his personality is really starting to come out. Going through the NICU experience was scary, but we know that it is necessary to care for newborns in need. There are a great number of parents that go through this at any given time. To show how much we appreciate the NICU, my wife and I are contacting the Greenville Hospital where he was born to make packages available to parents of newborns in the NICU which will include gift certificates to Jimmy John’s (as they are close by the hospital and can deliver), vouchers for parking in the hospital parking lot, candy and red box movie rental certificates so that we can make the stay easier for some families that are dealing with the stress of the NICU. This is still in the works but we will do this as soon as we’re able to do so in honor of Jamie and the doctors and nurses that were there for us and our amazing 1-year old. Happy Birthday Jamie, we love you and don’t worry, your Mom, Grandma and brothers have made you a cake and there are still presents for you!
If you haven’t already, please click the link below, read and see pictures from the post one year ago that describes Jamie’s journey from day 1.