A Premature Addition

As I begin to write this post today, I realise it’s the date that was originally set for the birth of our newest family member. But we didn’t expect him to arrive at 30 weeks! Very small, very lightweight, but very welcome!

When I think of his unexpectedly early entry into the world, I’m reminded of a list that King Solomon of Israel made centuries ago. There is a time for everything, he began. And then he added some other well-known words, the first of which were: There’s a time to be born … (Ecclesiastes 3:2).

God knows when things are going to happen and I’m sure he wasn’t caught napping with the timing of Zachary’s birth! That tiny baby arrived in July and he’s been developing his unique personality ever since. When we heard he’d been born, how excited we were!

Naturally, none of us would have chosen such a premature arrival. If we’d had a choice, what would we have decided was best for him and his parents, grand-parents and the rest of us, including his great-grandparents – Maurie and me?! I think a baby born at full-term would have much better prospects of survival than one who came with incompletely developed organs. But with constant care, lots of love, and many prayers, this dear little fellow’s been growing bigger and stronger every day. I was thrilled to know that his name is a derivative of Zachariah, a Hebrew name which means The Lord remembered.

Actually we didn’t have a choice about the date of his birth. He was born when he should have been!  He’s here, and we’re so happy! He quickly grew into size 6×0 clothes, then just as speedily grew out of them, when he fitted into the 5×0 ones! For a baby who only weighed 1449 grams at birth, he’s been doing well! (That’s just under 3 pounds 3 ounces!)

While he stayed in the hospital, his mother had to travel the long distance to and from their home to take milk for him and give him lots of ‘kangaroo care’. Babies thrive on skin-to-skin touch and fathers can also tuck their baby down inside their shirt. This provides both physiological and psychological benefits for both parents and their baby.

Now look at this photo of him. At last – no feeding tube!

By the time you read this, Zachary will be just over ten weeks old. He’s home, gaining weight, and experiencing the privileges of family life with his brother, James. The future lies ahead, with all the wonderful blessings that God has in store. I may see his adulthood – if I live that long! But others will be there to prepare him for a good life; to be a kind, loving, gentle man who’ll eventually be able to  create a safe home for his own family.

Today I’m up-dating this with a couple of other photos. James is so proud that he’s able to hold Zac by himself. What fun they’ll have together as time goes by!

And here’s Zac at ten weeks. He weighs 2890 grams (6 lb 6 oz) – almost double his birth weight.  He’s now wearing size 4×0 garments! 

I recall the nighties and dresses (!) my mother made for our first son. White, cream, and pale blue were the usual colour choices for baby boys then, and now look at these smart clothes!  Much more cosy and interesting for such a bright-eyed boy.

The first time I held Zachary in my arms, I looked down and whispered a prayer for him. ‘God bless you, dear little boy’. Imagine my joy when he responded with a smile!

I love you, Zac.


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