isupportredfridays_edited-1 Join me by wearing red on red shirt Friday! Pray for my brother-in-law's safe return as well as the rest of our troops!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

SUPER Mom of the MONTH: (Or shall I say "MomS"?)

This month is Prematurity Awareness Month.

Before I had a premature baby, I had no idea about how bad everything surrounding having a baby too soon actually was. And for someone who is normally good with words the only word I can come up with is "bad" because even if the baby turns out to be perfectly healthy (like mine), the mom still blames herself long after it's all better (me) and feels like a failure and carries guilt with her and wishes that she had had a picture-perfect pregnancy because of the fear that surrounds having a baby early.

And then sometimes it's never all better and terrible complications arise from the baby's prematurity, like Cerebral Palsy or feeding issues or growth issues for years and years to come.

It is all so very much like a game of roulette because a baby who was born at 34 weeks might not have any issues but a baby born at 35 weeks might have years of feeding and occupational therapy ahead of him or her and a baby born at 30 weeks might be born at 3 1/2 pounds but a baby born at 33 weeks might be 2 pounds.

Right now, there are just too many babies born premature! And that's the bottom line! And it makes me so angry!! The number keeps going up instead of down! And babies need to be in there incubating, for as long as possible!

But no matter how premature a baby is or how many complications a baby goes through or doesn't go through, the experience of it is nothing short of devastating. To each and every mom.

And because of that, for this month, the very special month of Prematurity Awareness Month, I want to recognize the sheer selflessness and power of a mom to a preemie because if I hadn't witnessed it myself and through the beautiful moms in my preemie moms group, Mommies Little Miracles, I'd have never understood or known it for myself.

So to Moms of Preemies: YOU wear a cape. I've seen it.

I've seen you sit for hours upon hours upon hours beside your tiny baby while he fights for his life. I've seen you cry tears of sadness and of guilt because you feel like somehow your body failed and that somehow this was your fault. And almost in the same breath, I've seen you pick yourself up and carry on and change hats and refuse to crumble under all of it. I've seen you cry tears of joy when you see your baby do something you never thought he'd do because doctors thought he never would. I've seen you appreciate every single moment and every single milestone and not let a single smile or a single step go by unnoticed. And even though many of those milestones are because of all your work -- the therapies, the hours and hours of phone calls to get through the red tape, the hours of work at home -- I've seen you take no credit whatsoever for all of it. I've sat next to you while you nursed or snuggled your baby while you did kangaroo care and I've seen you read stories and take pictures and try to make the best of the long hours in the NICU. Then, afterward, when it all settles down, I've seen you try to take care of other moms. Because you know what it's like to be there. I've seen you carry courage on your shoulders as if it were your duty and I've seen you standing strong and being a warrior and voice for your baby during even your own darkest moments. I've seen you do it all effortlessly. I've seen your beauty as a mother and a caretaker and there is no doubt that underneath all of it, YOU WEAR A CAPE.

If you're a mom to a preemie, YOU ARE SUPER MOM. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.

Take this badge and wear it proudly.

Because Preemie Moms Wear Capes.


Michele said...

Wow...just wow! Thank you for posting this! I want to say so much but with my son being in the hospital because he is trying to fight a virus is very hard. He and his twin were born at 23 weeks gestation. Nick passed away a short time later, Kenny is now 3 and has many problems from chronic lung disease, epilepsy, mod/severe hearing loss, eating problems and developmental many more smaller problems...walking, not talking, eyes are bad...etc... Anyhow, He had a seizure Friday and is so, so sick with RSV/para-flu. Thank you for posting makes our routine of daily meds and small and big reminders of how early he really was...well worth the struggle. Having a preemie...rather...I've had 8...5 born @ 34 weeks, 2 @23 weeks and 1 @ 36 hard work but worth every moment of existence. To see the smiles, feel the hugs and to know that you are helping your child be the best he/she can be with what has been given to them...from the circumstances that were given to worth it!

MoDLin said...

Thanks so much for this great post! Preemies mean so much to us. I wanted to let you know that we will be participating in the Bloggers Unite Fight for Preemies event on November 17th, Prematurity Awareness Day. I thought you might be interested in joining us. Here’s a link for more info and to sign up to help us spread the word: Nov. 17th is the day we all fight – because babies shouldn’t have to

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