Jessica Marotta | Love What Matters

Mom Shares Touching Photo Of Son Giving His Rainbow Baby Brother Skin-To-Skin

A 6-year-old Massachusetts boy has stolen the hearts of people everywhere after his mom shared a photo of him giving his newborn baby brother skin-to-skin, an understandably emotional moment that was years in the making.

In an article submitted to Love What Matters, mom Jessica Marotta shared that her son, Mikey, had always wanted a little brother, but she and her husband had struggled for years to make his dream a reality.

Ever since Mikey could speak, he had been asking his parents to give him a sibling — specifically, a baby brother.

Jessica Marotta | Love What Matters

"We thought we had plenty of time," Jessica wrote. "After all, Mikey was a surprise for us a month after we had gotten engaged and we did not think we would have any trouble the second time around."

However, she and her husband soon found out that giving Mikey what he wanted most would be a difficult journey filled with more heartbreak and disappointment than they had ever anticipated.

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When her son was five years old, Jessica discovered that she was finally pregnant after months and months of trying.

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But before she could tell Mikey the good news, she tragically miscarried, and the couple later found out their precious baby had been a boy.

"It took my breath away," Jessica shared. "Mikey had gotten his baby brother, except now he was our angel baby."

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Months after the devastating loss, Jessica and her husband decided they were going to stop trying and would simply be content with their family of three.

Jessica Marotta | Love What Matters

"After that, every time Mikey asked for his baby brother, we would explain to him that there may be a chance that he may never get a baby brother," she explained. "It broke our hearts to say these words to him, but we found a way to settle into a life just the three of us in our new home and enjoy our summer."

Incredibly, it was once they had decided to stop trying that a miracle occurred.

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In August 2017, Jessica found out she was pregnant again but held off on being too excited, as this was another extremely high-risk pregnancy.

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She made it through her first trimester without much concern beyond some minimal bleeding, but that was when the couple was given heartbreaking news during an ultrasound.

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The doctor broke the news that all signs were indicating severe Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR).

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"There was a high risk of uterine demise (their words, not ours)," Jessica said. "I was 23 weeks pregnant, but our baby was measuring about five weeks behind in size. Legally, the doctor had to give us the option to terminate the pregnancy."

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This condition is also known as fetal growth restriction and refers to situations when a fetus is significantly smaller than it should be during a given stage of pregancy.

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According to Stanford Children's Health, possible causes for this can include health conditions in the mother such as high blood pressure, diabetes or autoimmune conditions like lupus. However, infections, birth defects, or genetic and chromosomal anomalies within the fetus itself can also lead to this problem.

Even if there are no issues specific to the mother or the fetus, fetal growth restriction can also happen as a result of the placenta failing to properly attach or a limitation in the blood flow coming through the umbilical cord.

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Although the odds were stacked against him, Jessica and her husband decided they would fight for their unborn baby boy.

Jessica Marotta | Love What Matters

At 30 weeks, she was told she would have to undergo an emergency C-section or risk the baby being stillborn.

Jake Eric Marotta was born on March 6, 2018, weighing just 1 pound, 12 ounces, and was only visible to his mom for a moment before he was taken away to the NICU.

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Throughout her pregnancy, Jessica had made sure Mikey was prepared for whatever could come following the birth of his baby brother.

Jessica Marotta | Love What Matters

"We explained that the baby was going to come early and would be in the hospital when he was born for a long time," she told Cafe Mom. "Mikey cried and said he didn't want the baby to stay in the hospital — he wanted him home — but we just kept an open conversation with him."

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While Jake remained in the NICU for weeks after his birth, Mikey fell easily into his role as big brother, but wanted desperately to be able to hold the baby he'd been waiting years for.

Jessica Marotta | Love What Matters

Then, on the tenth day Jake was in the NICU, doctors told Jessica that Mikey was allowed to give his beloved baby brother skin-to-skin. As Mikey finally held his baby brother, their mom snapped a photo that truly shows the overwhelming love felt between the two siblings.

"It was amazing and emotional, and I truly believe became the foundation for their brotherly bond," Jessica said.

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After spending 62 days in the hospital, Jake was finally able to go home with his family.

Jessica Marotta | Love What Matters

Now, Jessica said every morning starts with Mikey snuggling his baby brother in bed before the inseparable pair go on to spend the day together.

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And now, Jessica says she feels honored to witness their love.

Jessica Marotta | Love What Matters

"It is as if the two of them were destined to be each other’s brother. There is no question that Mikey was born to be Jake’s big brother and Jake was born to be the baby brother Mikey had always wished for."

h/t: Love What Matters, Cafe Mom

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