When Owen was born, my biggest pet peeve was when people would say things like;
“Don’t worry, he’s going to be okay”
“Most of these baby’s turn out just fine”
I know these people were trying to be supportive and they were at a loss for words as to what to say and, I don’t fault them for trying. At the same time, I wanted to scream the statistics at them. I wanted them to be honest and really understand what lay ahead for our family. The truth is, in the best cases, mirco preemies have challenges for years.
Here’s an idea of what I wanted them to say. It’s what I would say, to those with a new preemie.
Dear New Preemie Mom and Dad,
I wish your pregnancy could have ended differently. I really wish I could say, “this is going to be easy”. I wish I could answer all the questions that you don’t even know that you’re going to wonder about your baby.
Your child is going to have to fight with super human strength. You are going to stand by and watch and pray (or hope or meditate) and sometimes you may have to beg. Sadly, you have no control over how this will end and, honestly, how it ends may not be “for the best”.
You are going to feel guilt and anger and helplessness and jealousy and mostly…deep, profound sadness. Some days you’re not going to be sure you can take anymore… “this is just too hard”.
And, it is.
What I can tell you, is that even when you’re feeling lonely, you are not alone. The mothers and fathers standing over the beds around you, are here with you. The families that have been down a similar path ahead of you, want to make it easier for those behind them. And the community of family, friends and strangers will overwhelm you with their kindness.
While the hurt that you’re feeling will probably never fully go away, you’re also going to cheer for things you never imagined worthy of a cheer – Open eyes! Vent setting reduction! A POOP! You’re going to feel gratitude to those that work to help your child.
You are going to find strength in yourself that you never, before, knew existed.
More than anything, be prepared to be amazed and inspired by the, seemingly, helpless, child in front of you. These babies are proof that miracles happen.
It is okay to hope.
What would you add?
© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster