Brooke Roberts and her husband, Kyle, thought they were out of the woods.
Early in 2019, Brooke was in the early stages of pregnancy.
Four months earlier, the couple lost a baby, Carter, at 36 weeks following an umbilical cord accident.
“We weren’t really expecting any hiccups with the second pregnancy,” Brooke told KTW.
“With everything we’d been through, we thought the odds were in our favour.”
Not so fast.
At 20 weeks, Brooke’s ultrasound showed a small, but healthy baby boy. Doctors sent the family to B.C. Women’s Hospital in Vancouver just to be safe, given what they’d been through the previous year.
Brooke said the 26-week appointment showed a few signs for concern, so she was admitted to B.C. Women’s.
Six days later, doctors delivered Declan, a baby so tiny that he has Brooke wondering if he might be the smallest ever born to a Kamloops family.
Declan was born on July 25, 2019, weighing about as much as a can of soup — one pound, three ounces, or 539 grams.
“I wasn’t even able to hold him until he was a week old,” Brooke said. “I stayed down in Vancouver for six months with him. My husband came back and forth every week.”
The Roberts family left the hospital on Jan. 31 and returned to their Barnhartvale home, mom and dad sufficiently trained on the equipment that helps keep Declan healthy.
“It was surreal to leave,” Brooke said. “It didn’t feel real. It was nerve-wracking and it was very exciting. It was awesome.”
The family — Declan, Brooke, Kyle and 15-year-old Kaden — found its groove after about a week.
“The first week was challenging trying to get enough sleep and figuring out where everything goes and what Declan’s day should look like,” Brooke said.
“It can be exhausting. We have respite nursing that comes in a couple of times a week. But we have a good routine now. The only struggle I foresee is getting him out of the house.”
That’s only had to happen once so far, for a doctor’s appointment at Royal Inland Hospital. Brooke said she expects trips to get easier with time, like everything else for Declan.
“He’s 13 pounds now and he’s seven months old,” she said. “He’s about the size of a small four-month-old.”
Doctors have told the Roberts that Declan should catch up in size by the time he turns five and have a very normal life — something for which they are grateful.
Declan’s lungs remain fragile, but they should normalize in childhood, Brooke said, and he is on a feeding tube and uses a respirator for the time being.
“The only real long-term deficits we’ll see at this point is he’ll have to wear glasses,” she said.
“Every little thing that could have gone wrong, it sorted itself out.”