SOUTH JORDAN — As Jordan and Molly Rogers made their way into the NICU at the Intermountain Medical Center, nurses prepared to console them with the latest updates on their son, Henry. But as the couple approached their 3-pound baby boy, they exuded nothing but joy.
That's the attitude they've chosen to have not only because they've experienced a premature baby before, but because they've learned to appreciate life.
Two years ago, Molly Rogers gave birth to her son Jack at 24 weeks while visiting family in Virginia. Jack was 1 pound 9 ounces.
Going into this pregnancy, doctors explained it would be a 50-50 chance that they would deliver early again. All signs seemed encouraging in the beginning, but by 18 weeks, the couple had to be on guard for an early delivery. Molly was put on bed rest at 22 weeks, and was hospitalized after her water broke at 28 weeks.
Henry Doyle Rogers was due Dec. 14, and was born on Oct. 4, weighing 3 pounds 7 ounces and 14.5 inches long.
"It was kind of funny. When he was born, I was like, ‘He’s huge,’ and everyone else was like, ‘He’s so small, he’s 3½ pounds,’” Molly Rogers said.
Although Henry came earlier than they hoped, the Rogers were ecstatic that they made it as far as they did.
"From an overall health perspective, it's a way better situation, it’s amazing what those addition 5-6 weeks can do for lung development and heart development," Jordan Rogers said. "There’s a lot of basic scans that they did on a regualr basis for Jack, and they’re like, ‘We probably don’t need to do that for Henry, he’s good.’”
Although Henry's overall stability was better than Jack's, Henry was born with some abnormalities that the Rogers hadn't experienced before.
"They came in after 45 minutes and said, 'His ears are totally closed off, we don’t know if he has anything inside at all,'" Molly Rogers said. "That was a pretty big shock, but in the long run if your kid is deaf, that’s better than a million other things that could happen, so it wasn’t devastating, but it was shocking because we had no idea going into it."
This time around, Molly and Jordan appreciate being home and close to friends and family. However, life — work, school and church callings — continue, and they now battle schedules and the task of only seeing each other for an hour a day. Jordan works full time in Salt Lake City and is pursuing a master's degree, while Molly spends her mornings with Jack, then is at the hospital until 7 at night.
"You have to find the silver linings in this," Molly Rogers said. "Most people are just so sleep-deprived because their baby wakes up a million times a night, and granted I get woken up, but then I get to go right back to sleep. He’ll come home on a schedule, every three hours he does all his stuff, that’s how it is, it’s really nice. There are the good things, which you have to remind yourself when you get super annoyed."
The Rogers have received help from family, friends, church members, co-workers and professors in order to make it through this trying time. Because Jack is too young to enter the NICU, someone is scheduled to watch him every day for Molly while she is at the hospital.
"Being willing to accept help is not always easy," Molly Rogers said. "I would never say I’m a prideful person, but I often think, 'I can do that.' Not only can I not do it, but I need a village to help me because we can’t do anything on our own these days anymore. ... People are willing to keep my kid for seven hours every day. We’re home at 7:30 and there’s dinner there waiting for us. It’s so nice for one less stress to have."
Service has also been given through homework extensions and through kind words.
"Times like this really restore your faith in humanity, just because you see how many people are willing to step up and do things for you and expect absolutely nothing in return," Jordan Rogers said. "I think it makes you feel less disgruntled to help other people. You become more of a compassionate person."
Henry passed all of his tests in the NICU on Nov. 23, and was able to go home and meet Jack for the first time.
"I have just an overall appreciation for life," Jordan Rogers said. "It really makes me appreciate that we got lucky, so we need to keep that in mind and make it worth it."
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