Hello World. I have been working on launching this site for a few weeks now. Trying to work on crafts and home projects to eventually post up, but they are all taking longer than I thought they would. (welcome to life with a baby I think) But when I realized today was World Prematurity Day, it seemed like a perfect time to launch.
Prior to March 23rd, I really didn’t know much about prematurity or the NICU. I never understood how threatening it can be for babies or how traumatic it is for parents. I was immediately terrified! The first time I entered the NICU to visit Dylan was so emotional. This was never how I imagined the first two months of my baby’s life to be.
We were given a welcome folder after delivery. The first page said Welcome to Sweden! And the following paragraph has had more impact/meaning on my life the past few months than anything I have ever read. It said, imagine you planned a trip to Italy. And you were so excited to see the sites and enjoy all of the food. You board the plane and you land…in Sweden. It’s not what you planned, but you’ll come to find Sweden has some interesting sites too.
When I read that it was the most refreshing way of explaining what I was feeling. Sure, this was not at all what I had planned – and that would only become more true after I got sicker – but it was going to be ok. Different is not always bad. And in the following months, we came to love the NICU more than I ever thought I would. Granted we had a good experience there – our baby, for the most part, was healthy. He was really only there to get bigger and develop. Other babies were in much more dyer circumstances, and my heart will always break for the parents that have to deal with that. We had an amazing team of nurses and doctors who took care of us just as much as they took care of the tiny babies.
Once Dylan was more stable, we were able to help take care of him. Which at times was extremely stressful. Feeding a premie will always be one of the hardest things I have ever done. Premies don’t yet know how to suck, swallow, and breathe at the same time. You are constantly checking the monitors or his face for indicators that he has stopped breathing. We had some feedings that went great, but most did not. Its never a good day when you have to “stimulate” your tiny baby to start breathing again.
So today, I want to recognize the Premie world that I did not understand or appreciate. People have to be so strong get through it and if you are reading this and you had/have a premie, you are a warrior. Your tiny baby is a warrior. When we first were introduced to the NICU, I read so many blogs about other premies and the ones that helped me the most were the ones that showed me the light at the end of the tunnel. So, for those of you dealing with a premie right now, know that in a few months your life will probably be drastically different. At home with your little baby taking care of them on your own. When you’re in it, it seems impossibly slow, but time will pass. You will get through this one day at a time.
This video helped me immensely. It helped me see how different things could look in a year. My tiny baby will get bigger and will have a good life.
As I write this, my almost 8 month baby is next to me playing in his bouncer. He is the happiest baby ever. Weighing in at, my guess, is 20lbs. The little 3lb plucked chicken we started with is almost a distant memory. We are so thankful for our families and the support they provided. We never could have gotten through this without them.