Friday, September 28, 2012
From one pound to 20, Hayden Pratt turns two
Hayden Pratt, soon to celebrate his second birthday, is pictured with his parents, Beth and Ken Pratt of Orofino.
By Alannah Allbrett
Hayden Colt Pratt, an Orofino boy born prematurely at one pound, 11 oz., will be celebrating his second birthday next week. His mother, Beth Pratt came in to give an update on this special little boy. Hayden was expected on January 11, 2011 but put in a surprise visit, much to everyone’s consternation, on October 1, 2010.
The baby’s progress had been checked, via an ultrasound test, two weeks previously, and everything appeared right on course. Without ever going into active labor, Beth delivered the little guy at home, however. Beth’s mother (Abbey Walker) wrapped him in a blanket and put him in Beth’s arms, and they were rushed to the hospital.
Both mom and baby arrived at Clearwater Valley Hospital and then were LifeFlighted to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane where Hayden stayed in the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit (NNICU) for 133 days.
Beth said, out of the five months the baby was in NNICU, they were on the waiting list to stay at the Ronald McDonald house four of those months. Hayden’s father Ken and Beth had to leave their tiny firstborn child and commute much of the time to visit him on weekends.
The Pratts own their own business in Orofino (Khaybes Optics), and had to run the business as well as trying to spend as much time with their newborn as they could. They were told their son had only a 15 percent chance of growing up without suffering from long term effects of his early birth.
Happily, Hayden came home from the hospital February 10, and was five months old when they welcomed him home.
The Pratt home is a happy home with an active toddler who weighs a whole 20 pounds now and gets his share of tumbles and bruises that two year olds seem to manage. Beth says they’ve discovered a good distraction for when he bumps himself into a wall or some toy. They go over to the wall and pat it to determine if it’s survived the bump, and reassure Hayden that the wall is okay. “Hayden is so mesmerized by the process, he forgets his owie,” she said.
Hayden’s favorite toy is a plastic cow, but he’s also into electronics and loves to push anything with a button on it. Beth says he’s infatuated with lights and loves anything that lights up. She wonders if this is a holdover from all the bright lights in his early days in the hospital.
Hayden happily goes around his house humming a little tune. He loves the theme song from Barney and hums that often. His Jack Russell Terrier, Jake is his best buddy. The Pratts were a little hesitant about having a family dog at first, but Jake snuggles up next to Hayden whenever he is on the floor. Friendship only goes so far, however, as Hayden will not share his mommy with Jake. Beth said Hayden will try to shove Jake off the couch or use him as a footstool to climb up on, if the dog occupies space next to mommy.
Soon, Hayden will have someone else to share his parents with, as the Pratts are expecting a little brother or sister for Hayden. Although he doesn’t understand about having a new sibling, Hayden points to his mommy’s tummy and says, “Baby, baby.” Beth’s parents, Abbey and Jim Walker live in Orofino as well and are very supportive.
If the weather is good, the family will go camping to celebrate Hayden’s birthday. They hope to make this a family tradition, as they were scheduled to go camping when Hayden chose to make his entry into the world.
Although the Pratts certainly do not wish for an early delivery of their new little one, they wouldn’t trade the experience they had of watching their baby develop for four months, as he would have developed inside the womb. “Although it was extremely hard on us, we got to see him developing in a way we would never would have gotten to see” said Beth. “He’s smart; he’s really smart, and I just know he’s going to be something” said his mom. “But for right now, he’s gone from one pound to twenty, and that’s good enough for me!”
Hayden Pratt is pictured in the Deaconess Hospital's Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit.