Introducing, on Saturday, January 8th 2005 at 4:23pm
Weighing in at 5 pounds, 1 ounce and 18 inches, our beautiful son...

Jared Scott Fairchild

Born at 34 weeks, apparently Jared couldn't wait to enter the world and change his parent's lives forever

Here is Jared's birth Announcement

Below is a daily (or so) record of Jared's situation before he came home on 1/22/05 after spending two weeks in the hospital NICU.

Thursday 1/13/05 (pic added)
Today was a huge day actually. Jared finally got the evil IV removed, which now means his left hand is again his own to flail around to his heart's content. If there's one thing my boy likes to do, it's wave his arms and kick his legs around. He doesn't cry or anything when he does it, he's just a really active and happy baby.

The other thing that happened today was that his bilirubin levels dropped to a level where he was removed from the light treatment. This basically means that the jaundice has passed and his liver is processing the blood more efficiently. There's a possibility the levels could raise again, but that would be an exception. Hopefully it's behind him for good.

We also talked with the neonatologist tonight, basically learning that he's got a while left to go before he gets to come home. The criteria that he has to meet is that he needs to be taking his food 100% by mouth, as opposed to the gavage tube. Once he reaches that milestone, he needs to be observed for about 5 days. Anything could happen, and that could change either way, but it looks like our son won't be coming home for another week at least. While that sucks, a lot, we simply look at the fact that things could have been much worse in terms of complications from a premature birth, and that we have a healthy baby boy that is progressing positively every single day. If that means we have to deal with Jared being in the hospital a bit longer, then so be it.
Friday 1/14/05 (pics added)
Another big day today, as our baby boy has been promoted to crib status! That's right, Jared is holding his own temperature nicely and doesn't need to spend any more time in the incubator (I know, it makes him sound like he's a chicken egg). Feeding is progressing as well, with a little bit more of breast feeding each day. Tara's having no problems with the milk production and Jared is feeding 100% on mother's milk. Now he just needs to start getting it all directly from the source. There will be a regiment of bottle feedings starting soon, which once he is released will be reduced one by one until he's relying only on Mama for food.

Also, since he's in the crib now, we can finally dress him in all those awesome outfits we have for him. Plus, he's opening his eyes much more often now. I can stare into those awesome eyes for hours. I can't get over how much I love him.

Oh, we also stopped by and visited a friend of ours named Jeanne who took the same birthing class. Her and her husband Matthew have a bouncing baby boy of their own named Michael Adian. He looked awesome and She's doing great. I'm sure Michael was as happy to meet his parents as Jared was.
Saturday 1/15/05 (pic added)
Not a whole lot of news today, just still trying to progress with the breast feeding. Looks like they are going to start him on a bottle tomorrow for a feeding and see how it goes. It's a bottle, but at least it's still from Mama. He'll get the hang of it. He's got the latching, the sucking and the swallowing things down. Now he's just got to put them all together, which just takes time.

Marge, our sister in-law left to go home today. Her help was greatly appreciated and we're going to certainly miss her getting teary-eyed whenever we visited Jared. Something tells me she's going to miss him a lot.
Sunday 1/16/05 (pics added)
A big milestone today, as Jared was fed with his first bottle! He actually got most of his breakfast directly from Mama, but Daddy got to finish off the rest with the bottle. He pretty much went to town with it as he sucked it down with great vigor. After a burp or two, he decided to (surprise) take a nap. Later on at night, he had his second bottle too!

Oh, Daddy learned a few important things today in what became a 20 minute diaper change. The baby doesn't wait to go again just because the diaper is off, my son is an anomaly of the space-time continuum because he produces more volume than he possibly can hold and thirdly, you can never have too many baby wipes at hand.

So, seeing as our boy is still in the hospital for a bit, I've decided to list the advantages of a preemie for anyone else who has to go through this. Please distribute as you see fit to any other parents of a preemie, as these are the things I didn't realize beforehand with Jared, but am grateful for now.
  • You get 24/7 nanny care with the most attentive nannies and electronic equipment you can get
  • You can still go out and do things you couldn't if the baby was home (dinner, shopping, movie, etc.)
  • You have a smaller baby (read as: easier) to give birth to. I had previously joked with Tara that she'd be giving birth to a 10 pounder. She didn't laugh
  • Mama gets time to recover from the birth before having to dive into full-time baby care
  • You get professional training on basic baby care such as diaper changing, aspirating, taking temperature, etc.
  • You get to see the baby develop skills that otherwise would have developed in the womb, such as sucking/swallowing
  • You get to dress your baby in preemie outfits, and man-o-man can 5.5lb babies look adorable
  • You have time to adjust gradually to the baby with regards to changing diapers, feeding, etc. This is opposed having to take the baby home in two days and then BOOM get used to everything all at once
  • You get more physical time to spend with your baby in this lifetime, and nobody can put a price on that
As you can imagine, it's not a picnic, and this isn't a situation that anyone should strive for, but if it does happen, at least it's not all bad.
Monday 1/17/05 (pics added)
Only a bit of news today, as this morning he took a record 36cc's from Mama, and tonight didn't lose a drop. It's ok though, because latching isn't something that comes easy for a 35.5 week old. Once he gets some size and more strength, he'll be a powerhouse. He does do pretty well at the bottle though, and they are kicking him up to 3 feedings by bottle/breast, meaning only 5/8 feedings remain through the tube. We're getting there.

In the meantime, we're finishing up Jared's room for his long-awaited homecoming. I'll be putting up some pictures of that as we prepare to welcome our boy home. Speaking of the other babies, we've been bringing home blankets and stuff from Jared's hospital stay for a week now, so the animals can get used to his scent.
Tuesday 1/18/05 (pics added)
Today we hit a new milestone, as Jared took a great feeding from Mama this morning, but even better was that he took his whole feeding tonight! He's been upgraded to 4 breast/bottle feedings, with the rest using the tube. With 8 feedings a day, that's only 4 more we need to knock off. We expect 1 bottle to be added every day. Of course, like all other things to this point, it's up to Jared and how he handles the progression. Knowing how well my boy has done to this point, I'm confident in his ability.

He also had his hearing screening today, passing with flying colors. With that and the Hep B shot he got yesterday (which I forgot to mention) he's now doing the things all babies normally get done before they get home.

I added a couple more pics of the room too, enjoy.
Wednesday 1/19/05
So, basically I was pretty much blown away. Jared is now fully feeding by mouth. The doctors decided that because he was eating so well by bottle last night, they would put him on every feeding and then observe him the next couple days. The feeding tube from his nose is gone and he's reached what was really his last milestone.

Not to put too fine a point on it, my boy is coming home Saturday!

I also left the camera at the hospital, duh, so no pictures today. Sorry.
Thursday 1/20/05 (pics added)
Today Jared is preparing to go home, and today he passed his final true test. We basically bring in the car seat and they leave him in there for a while, still on the monitors. This is just to make sure he can handle the position and not freak out.

I can't tell you how much I'm waiting for those monitoring wires of his to be removed. If nothing else, changing a diaper will be nothing once they are removed.
Saturday 1/22/05 (pics added)
12 inches. That's going to be one of the most memorable aspect of Jared's awaited homecoming - 12 inches of snow. It wasn't the worst winter storm ever, but it sure grounded many people at home. It was actually only about 6 inches in the morning when I did the first pass with the snow blower to clear the driveway. When I came home later in the night, I took a second pass to clear the rest, including the lovely 3 foot drifts. Fortunately, we have a 4x4 pickup which eats weather like this breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing was going to stop our boy from coming home.

When we got to the hospital, Jared's nurse finally took our boy off the monitors. Yes, our boy is now wireless! Once all those came off, we could finally do what we've been waiting a very long time to do, dress Jared in his most special outfit, a yellow preemie sleeper with a giraffe on it. Of course, this is no common terry cloth outfit, but the very same outfit that Daddy came home from the hospital in. Yes, unbelievably, I once fit into that thing myself. It's difficult to explain just how awesome it is to see my own son wearing it now.

So then we moved onto the dismissal orientation which included the regiment of feedings, vitamins and all kinds of other stuff that is now 100% our responsibility. People keep asking us if we're ready for him to come home because it will be exhausting. I don't think they realize that for the past two weeks Tara and I have put on our coats, driven to the hospital, parked, walked a quarter mile to the NICU, unloaded our stuff, spent hours with Jared, did it all in reverse to come home and did it twice every single day. Now we can do it while wearing our slippers.

The nurses all loved Jared and were sad to see him go. They all came over to say farewell and tell us to definitely bring him back to visit on occasion. We have an infant CPR course to take next week, so they will see him soon. Until then, we bundled our boy up in his car seat and brought him home. Brought him home. What wonderful words that I have been waiting to write for a long time.

So our boy is finally home, and now begins the rest of his and our lives. I'm happy you have been reading this journal. I probably won't be continuing with this page, but I definitely will be adding more pages about our family's lives to the site in general. Please visit every now and then to check them out. We certainly love the fact that we have such wonderful friends and family that gain joy from what's happening in our tiny corner of the world.

And now for some photos!

You can either check out the thumbnails below, or click here for larger, captioned pics
Both pages display the same photos, just in different formats

(Click on any picture to enlarge)

Here are some intereting historical intersects for January 8th...

Famous Events
1656 - Oldest surviving commercial newspaper begins (Haarlem, Netherlands)
1675 - 1st American commercial corporation chartered (NY Fishing Co)
1790 - George Washington delivers 1st state of union address
1798 - 11th Amendment ratified
1800 - Austrians defeat French in 2nd battle of Novi
1806 - Lewis & Clark find skeleton of 105' blue whale in Oregon
1815 - Battle of New Orleans-War of 1812 ended 12/24/1814 but nobody knew
1835 - The United States national debt is 0 for the first and only time
1838 - 1st telegraph message sent using dots & dashes (NJ)
1889 - 1st Computer patented
1947 - Gen George Marshall becomes Sect of State
1947 - Toronto Maple Leaf rookie Howie Meeker scores 5 goals in a game
1956 - Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog," single goes to #1 & stays #1 for a record 11 weeks
1968 - Jacques Cousteau's 1st undersea special on US network TV
1974 - Loch Ness Monster photographed
1984 - NCAA announces that basketball tournament will have 64 teams
1987 - Dow Jones closes above 2,000 for 1st time (2,002.25)
1988 - Hewlett-Packard introduces HP-28S Advanced Scientific Calculator
1992 - George Bush gets ill & vomits on Japanese prime minister's lap

Famous Birthdays
1814 - Thomas Green, Brig General (Confederate Army), died in 1864
1926 - Soupy Sales, [Milton Hines], NC, comedian (Soupy Sales Show)
1935 - Elvis Aaron Presley, Tupelo Miss, singer (Blue Suede Shoes, Hounddog)
1937 - Shirley Bassey, Cardiff Wales, singer (Goldfinger, Moonraker)
1938 - Bob Eubanks, Flint Mich, TV host (Newlywed Game)
1942 - Stephen Hawking, English physicist (Black Holes & Baby Universes)

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