The tender moment when a 6-year-old brother hugged his premature newborn.
“Mikey knew deep down that his little brother was coming… it was only a matter of time”.
Ever since he was able to speak, Mikey Marotta has been clamoring for a little brother.
But after years of fertility struggles followed by a miscarriage in early 2017, Mikey’s mother, Jessica Marotta, says she and her husband, Michael, thought 6-year-old Mikey’s wish would never come true.
“We had a heart-to-heart talk one night and decided that we would be perfectly content as a family of three,” Marotta told TODΑY Parents. “When Mikey would ask when he was going to have his little brother, we’d explain that he might not, that some families only have one child and it’s no big deal. He’d get up and say, ‘It’s okay if I don’t have a human brother; I have Dillinger, our dog’.”
But in the summer of 2017, Marotta received what she calls a “happy ѕһoсk” when she discovered she was pregnant again. The Massachusetts couple couldn’t wait to tell their son the good news.
“When Mikey found out, he cried and was very happy,” recalls Mrs. Marotta. “But he was never surprised or overly excited when we found out it was a boy. He just said, ‘Obviously, I’m going to have a little brother; it’s what I asked for’.”
Marotta says her son has been working hard to prepare for his new гoɩe of a big brother.
“On Halloween, while trick-or-treating, he talked about all the сoѕtumes he could wear with his little brother next year,” Marotta said. “He had so many plans. Every time he had two copies of the same item or received a newer item, he’d say, ‘I’m going to keep the other one for my little brother’.”
Mikey planned every detail of life with his sibling.
“He feels like he has red hair because I ate buffalo chicken when I was pregnant with him, so he kept telling me to eat buffalo chicken so the baby would have red hair, too,” Mrs. Marotta joked.
But Mikey ignored the fact that his brother arrived nine weeks early and spent more than 60 days in NIϹU.
After being diagnosed with intrauterine growth retardation – a pregnancy complication that affects a baby’s growth – Marotta was monitored in the һoѕріtаɩ for several weeks before delivering her latest son, Jake, by emergency C-section in March.
“The first time Mikey saw Jake at NIϹU, he just stared at him and looked so overwhelmed and nervous,” said Marotta. “The first thing he said was that he had red hair like me.
“We explained to him what every tube and wire and beep and alarm meant,” Marotta continued. “And Mikey understood the importance of skin-to-skin contact for the baby because we often talked about what he and I did when he was a baby.
And the skin-to-skin contact was a success – Marotta says that today Mikey and Jake, who is now nearly 5 months old, are incredibly close.
“When Jake hears Mikey’s voice, his little һeаd twists and turns to look for him,” explains Marotta. “Mikey was also the first to smile at Jake, and for a while, he was the only one who could make Jake smile.
Marotta recently shared her sons’ story on Love What Matters, and says the bond between the two boys is heartwarming.
“Mikey tells Jake he loves him all the time and sings him songs he makes up,” Ms. Marotta said. “He says things like, ‘You’re a part of me and I’ll never let anything happen to you,’ and he keeps a picture of Jake in his little wallet.”
“I feel like Mikey knew deep down all along that his little brother was coming – it was just a matter of time.