Life in The NICU, The story of Kaleb

When the doctor first tells you that you are expecting your first child, many people never expect to deliver their child three months early.  They expect to deliver at the 9 month mark.  I know that I never expected to have that happen to me.  We have been asked by many to share our story as it serves for encouragement to many that have gone through a situation similar to this.

Here is the story of Kaleb, along with his video testimony that Miracles still do happen! 27 Miracles Wedding Consulting and Event Planning has started coordinating baby dedications with live testimonies and stories for the families of the affected parents as a way to share in the joy when that baby finally comes home.  It gives other parents hope  and an increase in their faith that miracles still do happen if you just believe…

The Story of Kaleb, a Miracle of Life

Chapter 1: Before Kaleb was born

The dream of having a baby came true for Rosie and Marcus when on May 8th the test came back positive.  Although we were looking to have a baby we were surprised at the results!

The first three months of pregnancy were filled with the typical, mom not feeling well with morning sickness.  June came around and Rosie finished out the dance year dancing on pointe and tapping as well, and wondering if she would still fit in those costumes as she blossomed out.

During the 4th month we sure had some busy times, we did a 2 day out of town wedding, traveled to Mexico for a destination wedding site visit and then finally relaxed at the beach on vacation.

Our 5th month came along with many surprises.  During a routine sonogram, we were told that the baby was a boy, hard to tell because at the time the baby was always moving around so it was hard to tell for sure. During this time Rosie developed high blood pressure and was immediately sent to the hospital, but managed to get discharged on the same day that the Prom for Perfect Wedding Guide was going on.  Rosie was not missing Penelope’s maiden voyage. (A pink Rolls Royce owned by VIP Limo)

Our 6th month was a rocky month with trying to control Rosie’s blood pressure and this caused yet another hospital stay. The doctors were concerned that Kaleb would be delivered at 23 weeks, but the blood pressure stabilized and she was able to go home, just in time for Rosie to graduate with her bachelor’s in Nursing.  Throughout this month so many doctors saw Rosie all in the hopes of keeping the baby safe.

The 7th Month starts 26 weeks, the specialist admits Rosie to the hospital for complications with the umbilical cord and the blood flow not going to the baby. Rosie also had dangerously high blood pressure to stroke level 220/120. The doctors feared for the safety of Rosie and the baby so an admission was necessary.  While in the hospital the specialist came to discuss what would be happening and they indicated that Kaleb may very well be born early.  Rosie and Marcus prayed to the Lord at that moment and asked the Lord, “How could this be?”  On October 8th we had a near miss when the staff rushed Rosie to the surgical suite for a crash c-section because they could not find the baby’s heart rate.  It’s just like something you would see on the TV show “ER” Except this was for Real!  Once in the surgical suite, the doctor quickly found the baby’s heart rate, so they took Rosie back to her room.

Then on an unsuspecting Tuesday morning of October 13, 2009, at 4:30am Rosie was awakened to her worst fears, the baby’s heart  rate dropped, it is time for an emergency C section.  Kaleb was born minutes after that at 4:54am on October 13, 2009.  He weighed a mere 1 lb 10 oz and was about 12 inches long.

Chapter 2: Kaleb’s Life in the NICU

Kaleb was admitted to the NICU as soon as he was born. He had tubes and monitors coming out everywhere.  The nurse that took care of him that day took a picture for Rosie to see him, since walking at this time was not an option for Rosie after the emergency c-section.

First reaction to Kaleb from Rosie and Marcus was that of shock as we tried to love on him.  He was so tiny he fit in our hands and we could do nothing but hope and trust that God was in control.

Terry, Rosie’s long time friend for 18 years came by to see the baby and encouraged Rosie and Marcus as they went through this journey. Terry’s famous phrase, but oh so comforting, “keep the faith.”

On October 17th, we met Janice the nurse practitioner and one of God’s angels that was sent to oversee Kaleb’s care.  She tried to explain everything as best as we could understand given the circumstances. At this time we found out that Kaleb only had one functioning kidney and we were praying that it would work, so as we prayed to God for hope, we relied so much on Janice’s every report that she provided.

On October 18th Rosie held you for the first time and right then and there Rosie prayed to the Lord that this precious gift given to her would be healed of all that he had. The days went by and Kaleb kept growing stronger, strong enough to hold him out of his isolette.  What a joy that was.

Through all of this Rosie and Marcus visited with Kaleb every day.  They prayed over him daily.  They took pictures of him daily as Lynne  a friend of Rosie said, “If you take the pictures daily you can see his progress even when you don’t think there is one.”

This was their prayer……….. The song He’s My Son by Mark Schultz…..

I’m down on my knees again tonight

I’m hoping this prayer will turn out right

See there is a boy that needs Your help

I’ve done all that I can do myself

His mother is tired

I’m sure You can understand

Each night as he sleeps

She goes in to hold his hand

And she tries not to cry

As the tears fill her eyes

CHORUS:

Can You hear me?

Am I getting through tonight?

Can You see him?

Can You make him feel all right?

If You can hear me

Let me take his place somehow

See, he’s not just anyone

He’s my son

Sometimes late at night I watch him sleep

I dream of the boy he’d like to be

I try to be strong and see him through

But God who he needs right now is You

Let him grow old

Live life without this fear

What would I be

Living without him here

He’s so tired and he’s scared

Let him know that You’re there

CHORUS

Can You hear me?

Can You see him?

Please don’t leave him

He’s my son

Many days and weeks went by with daily visits to the NICU at what seemed good and bad days.  Or as they always said in the NICU two steps forward and ten steps backwards.  On November 16th, Rosie spoke with Tina, Kaleb’s primary night nurse that took care of him.  Rosie and Marcus did not even know that Kaleb had a nurse that was assigned to him every time she worked.  A nurse that loved on Kaleb when mom and dad were not around.  A nurse that prayed and sang to him, the songs of Jesus.

As the holidays approached Kaleb grew and grew.  He got to wear clothes as soon as he reached 3 pounds.  What joy to see Kaleb in clothes that were big enough for a doll to wear.  But with the holidays fast approaching, the news came with the sadness that Kaleb would not be home for Christmas.  All around people were rejoicing with their children.  Rosie and Marcus wanted to be strong for Chris and Kayla so that they would enjoy Christmas despite what was happening with Kaleb in the hospital. Rosie and Marcus remained hopeful that Kaleb would be home soon.

Christmas day the entire family stopped in to see baby Kaleb.  How you enjoyed some of the toys, too little to hold them but we got a smile out of you.  It was a blessing because Kaleb had come off the ventilator and the CPAP.  The Lord was moving in Kaleb’s life.

Right before the holidays Rosie and Marcus met another person named Micca.  She was a mom who also had her baby boy Matthew born at 27 weeks, just two weeks before Kaleb at 2 lbs.  She told the story of how she remembered seeing Rosie walking in to the NICU for the first time.  Without knowing a thing about Rosie and Marcus, she prayed for them.  Even though she had her own set of challenges with Baby Matthew.

The weeks went by and Kaleb grew stronger and stronger, despite the fact that he would have set backs after a progress forward.  The last few weeks there was a lot of back and forth on Kaleb’s feedings and whether he could tolerate the feedings or not.  The end conclusion was that he was aspirating on his milk and had thickeners added to it.  But this still was not enough for him.

It was decided that On March 17th Kaleb would have a g-tube placed to help him with his feedings and bilateral inguinal hernia repairs.  This brought Rosie and Marcus back to the day he was born, due to the fear of having him on the ventilator again following the surgery. But it was a necessary procedure and all were hopeful that Kaleb would do well. Kristen, the night nurse on duty the day before surgery, the day of surgery and the day after surgery, brought Rosie and Marcus the comfort that was needed to get through this difficult time.

Rosie and Marcus held on to Psalm 23 as they prayed during surgery.

The Lord certainly heard Marcus and Rosie’s prayers because Kaleb had his surgery and came off the ventilator 3and  1/2 hours after he was intubated!!!!!!!The preparation started for Kaleb to go home in a week. CPR classes, monitor training with the apnea machine, feeding pump training, breathing treatment training, medication training, g-tube care and feedings.  WOW!! Very overwhelming even for a nurse like Rosie.  But the excitement of finally leaving a place that became Kaleb’s first home for 5 months was more exciting. On 3/21/10 we got the word from Janice, bring in Kaleb’s car seat to test him and if he passes he can go home shortly after.

On 3/24/10 Kaleb took his first car ride and it was to go to his home with Mommy and Daddy!! Kaleb was coming out of the NICU and we want the world to know that there is something to Kaleb, a miracle of God!

Kaleb has been home for several months now and although it has been an adjustment with the way parents would normally take care of a baby, he has brought joy to the lives of Marcus and Rosie and those that have had the pleasure of caring for him. Nurses, Respiratory therapists and Doctors  like Janice, Tina, Carrie, Rose, Kristen, Deidre, Shawn, Kirsten, Lillie, Dot,  Dr Wisewll, Dr Bowen, Dr Ajai, Dr Anderson and so many others that through 23 weeks had a part in Kaleb’s life.

During his months at home he has managed to endear himself to his grandparents that have helped to take care of Kaleb.  As well as his brother Chris and sister Kayla.  Kaleb was dedicated to the Lord.  The bible verse that comes to mind is Numbers 14:24 “But because my servant Kaleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.”

The name Kaleb is a Biblical name and signifies ‘dog’. Dog symbolizes faithfulness or loyalty. He was known for his faith in God as he entered Cannan. Jephunneh was his father.  Kaleb was a spy sent to a place named Canaan. This was place which the Hebrew nation refused to enter. Canaan was believed to be the ‘promised land’, a land promised by God.

Chapter 3: Kaleb is Home:

Everyone Meet Kaleb a miracle of God…….

The real miracle in Kaleb’s life will not be realized for years to come. God saved him so his life will be a testimony for thousands of others. Many will be encouraged and even come to know Christ through Kaleb. Yes, where he is right now is a miracle, but what he will accomplish and who he will touch is the greater MIRACLE. We thank God for this miracle.

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18 thoughts on “Life in The NICU, The story of Kaleb

  1. Thank you for sharing Kaleb’s story! His NICU journey was truly miraculous, and reading it fills me with joy and gratitude. Despite the tedious challenges of prematurity, Kaleb stands before us today triumphant exemplifying the power of faith in God. How truly inspirational!

  2. Dearest Rosie and Marcus,
    It is humbling to read Kaleb’s story, and I wept with smiles while I watched the beautiful pictures of his growing up in the NICU. Aren’t you thankful you took so many pictures??!! Great advice from a friend 🙂 You will be able to express to Kaleb how truly special he is one day by telling his story and showing him just how loved he is through those pictures. I was very impressed at the beautiful slide show. What an awesome job! Also, I LOVE Mark Shultz’s song . . . one of my favorites, and so true when you have a child with challenges. May God always bless your marriage, and your precious Kaleb. I was truly priviledged to know and care for him. Love, Tina

  3. Wow… God is great!! As a mother of 27 week boy/girl twins (Joshua 2lbs 1oz & Madison 1lb 2oz’s) I know all too well the ups and downs of the NICU and the power of prayer. I’m happy to say my twins, who are now 22 months (19 months adjusted) are doing well. We still face those developmental challenges given their prematurity, but our faith in God reassures us to know they will be just fine.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. I am raising my grandson, Jake. His mother had toxemia and he was delivered emergency C-section 10/12/2006. His mother, Amber was taken of life support 10/18/2006. That was the saddest and most horrible thing our family has ever been through. Jake is a miracle and truly a blessing from God. He just turned 5 and is doing great. He started Pre-K this year and loves it!!!

    • I am so sorry to hear about your daughter, who lost her life, but God was still able to give life to little Jake and protect him. May the Lord bless you as you raise this little boy.

  5. As an update to Kaleb’s history, after 2 years of apnea monitors, pulse oximeters, oxygen masks, nasal cannulas and oxygen tanks and concentrators in the baby’s room and all over the house, he is finally off oxygen 100% doctors orders !!! They picked up all the equipment yesterday!! All that is left is tube feedings 2 x day and breathing treatments!! God is not good he is FABULOUS!!!

  6. Hi, I just wanted to say thanks for the post above and for Life in The NICU, The story of Kaleb 27miracles’s Weblog. It is an incredible read.

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