Holding your baby for the first time is something that all parents look forward to, but it's different for parents of preemies. We can't hold our babies immediately after they're born. We have to wait and just watch and gently touch through the isolette until they are healthy enough. We waited 20 long days before we could hold Kaleb, but it was the most amazing feeling!
Kaleb Aaron Yonash was born July 2, 2011, at 26 weeks and weighed just 2.3 lbs. We spent four months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota with him. The very best part of that time was when we used the Kangaroo chairs to hold him and sometimes even get an afternoon nap! We noticed that the chairs were not in the best shape, and there was sometimes a wait because there were only a few available. But it was always worth the wait.
We were eventually able to bring Kaleb home and were thankful that he was able to receive the best possible care while he was at Children’s. They did such a great job of taking care of us that we wanted to give back.
It was only two short months later we would lose our precious boy. On Dec. 31, 2011, Kaleb was taken to heaven. We could go on for days about the impact he has had on so many lives; without ever speaking a word.
To show our appreciation for the time that we had with our son, we knew we wanted to donate Kangaroo chairs to Children’s. However, after researching the type of chairs allowed in the NICU, we weren’t sure that it was affordable. But with the amazing help of family, friends and some people who we had never met, we were able to donate two Kangaroo chairs to the NICU where Kaleb called home for the first four months of his short life.
The outpouring of generosity while Kaleb was in the hospital, after we went home, and even now that he has passed away is incredible! Helping other families who are in the same situation as we were helps to keep his memory alive, and it is the least we could do considering we would have never held Kaleb as long we did without the wonderful people at Children's.
This month, Children’s is celebrating Kangaroo Care Awareness. Find out more about how kangaroo care started at Children’s, and how you can support the program by helping us purchase more kangaroo chairs.