Jennifer and her husband are the proud parents of two young boys, Andrew, 4 years old, and Lucas, 7 months old. While Jennifer and her husband are busy juggling schedules—work, school, social gatherings, naps, mealtimes, and therapies—Andrew is now learning how to be a big brother to Lucas.
Andrew, born at 25 weeks and less than 1 lb., is continuing to make great progress. He attends school five days per week and craves the social interactions his new friends and teachers provide. Jennifer mentions how much Andrew has improved since last year, and shares his love for his baby brother and school, “Andrew is always saying, ‘School, mama? Backpack, mama?’” Jennifer says.
When Andrew was decannulated and no longer required 24/7 Skilled Hourly Home Nursing, Jennifer and her husband started thinking about adding to their family. This is their story about how they made the decision to have another baby.
Choosing Baby Number Two
“The decision to try for a second child was difficult for my family, but it was a much easier decision for me,” Jennifer begins. “I still wanted more children.”
Jennifer and her husband were at a great place with Andrew—he was healthier, more independent, and he no longer required mechanical ventilator and skilled hourly home nursing care.
They were at a point where Andrew was still the center of their universe. “Andrew was spoiled,” she laughs. “Andrew deserved a sibling as much as we wanted a second child.”
When Jennifer found out she was pregnant again, she remembers how worried her husband and family were about her health and wellbeing. Jennifer had major complications during her first pregnancy with Andrew, and a second pregnancy was a risk her family wasn’t willing to take.
Jennifer had to stay strong for her new baby and her family. “I never once let myself believe it was going to happen again. My physicians were watching me so closely and I was optimistic.”
But deep down, Jennifer knew she needed to prepare for the possibility of another complication. With everything Jennifer and her family have been through with Andrew, she remembers thinking: “I’ve seen it all, been through it all, and know we can handle anything.”
The Birth of Lucas
Jennifer had an idyllic full-term pregnancy with Lucas, but the day she was scheduled to deliver, Jennifer got sick again. “My husband was so worried about me,” Jennifer remembers.
Jennifer’s platelet count was extremely high, and she was diagnosed with HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening pregnancy complication considered to be a type of preeclampsia. Jennifer was placed under general anesthesia, and again, had a difficult delivery.
“It was devastating,” Jennifer shares. “For all of us.”
Luckily, Jennifer and Lucas were okay. Lucas was born at 39 weeks at 7 lbs., 8 ounces.
“He was as healthy as can be,” Jennifer smiles.
“I think everything we went through with Andrew made us relax with Lucas,” Jennifer explains. “We aren’t so worried about him getting hurt. We know he’ll be okay, and if he isn’t, we’ll figure it out.” Lucas has been the perfect baby. Jennifer says he isn’t fussy, and only wakes up in the middle of the night for a bottle. As for Jennifer and her husband, they’re enjoying their growing family.
Above all, Jennifer and her family are excited to see Lucas’ development and enjoy every interaction he has with his big brother, Andrew. A profound faith has grown from their challenges and they know they will always find a way through anything that comes to them.
This family’s joy and gratitude is powerful – and we’re so happy for them!
To read Andrew’s story from the beginning, go to Part I, Part II, and Part III.
Congratulations! So happy for you and your family. God bless all of you.
Thanks, Mary! We’ll pass on your message to the family!