I am a mom to 8 preemies. I am proud to say I made it through short and long nicu stays, monitors, oxygen, scary moments and monumental moments. I made it through bringing my babies home after having to leave them at the hospital for one thing or another, and I Also made it through leaving the hospital without my beautiful angel.
The road has been rough and I would of much rather of taken the easy road but that was not chosen for me...for us. Our first child (who is now 14 by the way), we went through my water breaking at 29 weeks and spending 5 weeks on bed rest...with me not really knowing or being scared about it...and I delivered a healthy but small 4.8 pounder. Our second was born at 35 weeks but spent a month in the nicu for apnea episodes. Our third was a 34 weeker but pretty big, weighing in at 6 lbs. She only had to stay for feeding issues. Sydnie and Kayleigh were both 34 weekers and even though they are 2.5 years apart they both had true knots in each of their cords...so for that, I am grateful that they both decided to come early because they could have had a cord accident in which they could have been stillborn.
Then you get to my twins...the two that changed our lives in very different ways...born at 23 weeks...a whole 17 weeks early! They taught us how to face challenges of chronic illnesses and special needs. How to deal with a death of a child and the grief that follows it...all the while still "swimming" for the sake of the surviving twin the even years later is struggling daily, the other beautiful kids at home that had to deal with losing a brother and having the other sick constantly dealing with the special needs that he has...and finally for our marriage...because no one talks about the stress that loss and sickness can wreck havoc on a marriage. We are stronger, grew closer because of it!
I used to think that my oldest son was small...but to see two 1.7 pound babies being taken from my safe and protective womb is just...scary and heartbreaking.
Finally we have our Gina. Our longest term baby at 36 weeks...just a true blessing to us all. No hospital stays or issues...and loves to be "best buddies" (as she says) to her brother, Kenny.
There were/are times when I want to wake up from the nightmare of having preemies (mostly micro preemies), but know that it is our reality...our life. A different life than what most would want. A life that has taught me that money isn't everything...family and friends are...the people that you meet in your lifetime are. Decorating your child's cemetery plot and praying that the extra plot next to him won't ever have to be used is. The experiences, good and bad are important. Watching your child who was so small play a sport, sing a song or try to tell you what he wants when he can't talk is. Doing things for others are. Understanding and forgiving is and so are A hug, a deep stare and an I love you!
Happy Parents of Preemies Day to all those parents who have ever had a preemie. May God bless you all!