Preemie Awareness Month-Because I love my preemie

This is preemie awareness month for the March of Dimes.  Two years ago I was not even aware that there was a Prematurity Awareness month.  I was not even aware that prematurity could happen to anyone.  For the past year and a half the March of Dimes is one of my favorite organizations because of their work and what it did to save my baby.  All of the parenting mags advertise November on their covers as Prematurity Awareness month and then have a tiny paragraph- not even a column, in which they tell people to get more info from the March of Dimes.  While they are a great source about prematurity, I think it’s about time that some of the parenting magazines start doing stories from real parents of preemies and micro-preemies, telling their stories because it could be anyones story. 

I did a post early based on a verse found in Phillipians 4 11:12, I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.  This verse means so much to me, because it connects to my parenting over the past year.  It is a unique opportunity to parent a preemie.  If you would have asked me about that fifteen months ago, I might not have said unique.  I was still at my frustrated, scared, angry, self pity stage of life.  My first child was so easy.  I had gestational diabetes and he was a huge baby and had jaundice, but he was pleasant and easy to care for and life was good.  The second pregnancy I tried very hard to eat well and exercise, but I was sick for the first 3 months non-stop.  So when I got to the second trimester and things were better I was so excited for this baby.  Long story short (see other posts) I had my second child at 32 weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, our preemie was not a micro-preemie and was a preemie because of my condition not something wrong with the baby, so it was not as difficult as many of the preemies that are born each day, but it was still very scary and one of the most influential step back and assess your life time periods in my life. 

The first weeks were hard.  I was home the baby was not.  The baby was over an hour away hooked up to machines and tubes and scary things, that I tried not to think about.  Then life got harder, we could bring her home.  Nothing prepares you to care for a tiny tiny baby.  Every breath, every movement, every cry you panic.  Even in our case as it was our second child.  You learn there are clothes small enough for these little miracles and go out and buy some.  You sanitize everything and worry about taking the baby to visit the peditrician.  Everything is scrutinized, the babies eyes, weight, attention span, sleeping schedule, food intake.  My husband and I were walking on eggshells day and night for months, because she was smaller it took longer for her to sleep through the night, to be in her crib.  There were nights and days when I wanted to run away or at least go on a vacation by myself.  My husband and I snapped at each other.  Then things started to get better slowly.  I didn’t hold to the milestones I did with my first child and I still don’t because preemies develop on their own time and they do catch up.  But trying to follow all the timelines for a non-preemie baby was too much and making me worry.  So at about 7 months I thought I am so happy for this child.  I am happy for this experience.  I am happy for all of our health in this house, let me just enjoy each day as it comes and be thankful for that blessing.  And so I did.  I don’t get into discussions with other moms of whose baby is doing what when.  My child is so happy and does her own thing.  I wish I would have been this carefree with the first!!  But that is what happens with a preemie, you learn to live without expectations and just enjoy the moments, because the early birth was the first start of a long road of surprises and happiness.


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