I guess in order to convince you that I know what I’m talking about, I should tell you who I am. What better post to do that than in my very first?
So, who the heck is this woman yammering about a premature baby and why is she qualified to do so? Well, reader, thank you for asking!
I am a first time momma to a precious preemie peanut, born almost 11 weeks before he was due. He came into the world via emergency c-section and stayed in the NICU for 52 days, but I’ll get into his birth story later on.
Now, 73 days after his birth (21 days after his homecoming, if you’re counting), I type this blog using an app on my iPad, sitting on my couch with said peanut in the crook of my arm and his minky blankie over us.
I don’t claim to be an expert in all things preemie, nor do I swear to be even a mediocre momma. As mentioned, I am a first time parent and I have absolutely no…clue…what I am doing. I guess really, all parents are clueless when they first start out, but the problem with being a parent to a preemie baby, is that the many mommy manuals out there tend to cater to “normal” mommies that had non-traumatic deliveries to term babies. I had a traumatic delivery to a premature baby, so the “What to Expect” books and cutesy baby development apps don’t pertain to me. So I get to learn as I go by trial and error (which is terrifying) and asking advice from other preemie mommies in the hopes that our stories are similar enough for their advice and suggestions to pertain to my situation.
I don’t claim to be all knowing in the realm of preterm deliveries, but I do want to help other parents that have experienced the terror of not knowing if your baby will leave the hospital after he was born, because he came too early. I do want to show my support for the parents that had to leave their hearts behind at the NICU every night when they had to leave and go home to sleep, while their babies were left in the hands of medical professionals, and not their own. I want to virtually hug the parents who had to ask a stranger for permission to just touch their babies through the porthole of an isolate bed, and sometimes be told “no”.
I have been there. I feel your pain. I’ve cried those tears. I’ve felt your grief.
You may feel alone in this, that nobody could possibly understand your pain. You may cry as your friends and family post maternity pictures like the ones you never got to take, as they invite you to baby showers like the one you didn’t get to have, as they complain about the aching back and swollen feet you didn’t get to experience. You’re not alone. I’ve cried about those losses too, and still do.
So read with me, cry with me, mourn with me, learn with me.
Stay with me and follow along in my journey as a parent to a preemie. Experience this whirlwind with me, and know that you’re not alone.
(Featured photo taken by the lovely Grace Farnan.)