A Massachusetts boy’s touching skin-to-skin moment with his newborn brother is going viral after the boys’ mother shared the story behind it.
Jessica Marotta, of Melrose, said her son Mikey had been asking for a baby brother since he was a toddler, and was growing impatient as he watched his friends and classmates gain siblings.
Marotta, who suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks in January 2017 but did not tell 6-year-old Mikey, kept telling her son that it would happen “when it’s time,” PEOPLE reported.
“We would never want him to be burdened with that sadness,” Marotta said of withholding the miscarriage from him. “It was something we had been trying for for so long… then we had the loss, we were devastated. I was heartbroken. We felt like we didn’t deserve what happened to us. But at the same time, it happens to so many people.”
Sharing their story with Love What Matters, Marotta said that after the miscarriage they decided to tell Mikey that he may never get a baby brother. A few months later, Marotta said she knew something was off and decided to take a test.
“I took the test and waited in the bathroom alone for the result,” she told Love What Matters. “My husband could hardly believe it and made me take two more tests just to be sure. We were excited but cautious. The next seven weeks were hard. I found myself bleeding every week and each time my heart would drop and our excitement would turn to sadness. I found myself Googling [the chances] of miscarriage by week every chance I could get.”
On Halloween, the Marottas found out they were expecting a boy, and decided to let Mikey know he would be getting his wish. But Marotta said that over the next few weeks, the baby started measuring behind in size, and a series of complications led to several scares. She was given ultrasounds twice per week and underwent an emergency C-section at 30 weeks, six days gestation.
“Jake was 1 pound, 12 ounces and only 12 inches long,” she told Love What Matters.
Ten days after Jake was born, Mikey was able to hold his long-awaited baby brother in the NICU.
“On March 17, 2018, Mikey was the first sibling at the Beth Israel NICU in Boston to do skin-to-skin,” Marotta said. “It was amazing and emotional, and I truly believe became the foundation for their brotherly bond.”
Accordring to the Cleveland Clinic, skin-to-skin bonding can help comfort babies, as well as enhance brain development and bonding.
Marotta said Jake spent 62 days in the NICU and that the brothers have an inseparable bond. She regularly posts photos of the two of them on Instgram under the handle @themarottabrothers.
“It is as if the two of them were destined to be each other’s brother,” she told Love What Matters. “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.”