Thursday, April 24, 2014

Parents of Preemies Day - May 4, 2014

The countdown to Parents of Preemies Day has begun!

On May 4, 2014, I will be celebrating Parents of Preemies Day, which recognizes the courage and commitment it takes to stay strong and resilient when a premature birth turns a family's world upside down. Parents of Preemies Day is powered by Graham's Foundation, which is an incredible organization and resource for parents going through the journey of prematurity. 

This means that May 4, 2014, is a special day to celebrate those who have been impacted by prematurity. This is a day to celebrate moms and dads who have babies who entered the world early; parents who spent countless days and nights in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU); and families who worry about their preemie's weight and efforts to reach key developmental milestones. It is a day to honor those of us who are homebound during flu and RSV season -- and who come out of the bubble with enthusiasm, and yet, anxiety concerning germs and illness.

This is also a day to celebrate grandparents of preemies -- those who stood by their children during a difficult pregnancy; held their hand in the hospital; took care of household chores while mothers and fathers of preemies were visiting the NICU; and cried with preemie parents in both good times and bad. 

And, it is a day to celebrate friends of prematurity -- those who reached out by phone or in-person with kind thoughts and prayers -- and those who sent care packages and meals.

My Story

As a mother of a micro-preemie, I've gone through a lot of ups and downs during pregnancy, hospitalization, and my baby's NICU stay. There were times when my baby's survival was very uncertain -- and the whole word was collapsing all around me.

During my pregnancy, one obstetrician-gynecologist informed me when I was approaching the final date to have an abortion, which was not of interest to me.

In the hospital prior to delivery, someone talked about my baby using phrases that involved the word, "if," suggesting that may baby may not be viable.

And, during our 67-day NICU stay, I remember feeling like half of a whole. Coming home without my baby was rough. There were many nights when I cried myself to sleep.

Despite all of the difficulties I encountered, many of these challenges seem long ago. My baby, Emily, is now 15 months old (12 months adjusted). She has been home for about 13 months and I have enjoyed every minute of it. She just started to couch surf and walk with the help of a walker. I am proud of her each and every day. 

In honor of Parents of Preemies Day, I'd like to send a round of applause to some very important people. 

A Round of Applause to My Husband

I am thankful for my wonderful husband, Craig, who helped me through my pregnancy, hospitalization, and our NICU stay.  He understands that Emily is not suitable for daycare and works hard so that I can stay home to care for her. 


A Round of Applause to Our Parents

I feel blessed to have supportive parents. My mom flew cross country to be with me during my hospitalization, c-section, and recovery. She drove me to and from the NICU, did our laundry, cooked our meals, and even took care of our dog, Bentley. My loving stepdad, John, has been supportive every step of the way. 


I am also thankful for my in-laws, Ginny and Sonny, who provided Craig with moral support throughout my pregnancy. They also visited Emily, Craig, and I in the NICU. And, they continue to offer advice, support, and prayers now that she is home. 


A Round of Applause for Our Family, Friends, and Healthcare Professionals

In addition, I appreciate family and friends who provided us with comfort and support through this difficult journey. (You know who you are!) And, I am grateful for the doctors, nurses, and the multiple therapists who have helped Emily get where she is today. 

Parents of Preemies Day Resources

Do you want to learn more about Parents of Preemies Day?  Check out these helpful resources:


Disclosure: I currently serve as a Graham's Foundation parent resource volunteer. 
 

16 comments:

  1. Looks like you had so many wonderful people supporting you!

    Michelle F.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle F.- Yes! We have had and continue to have a considerable amount of strong support from family and friends. We are truly blessed. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Delete
  2. Thans for sharing your story! I know it must be hard to have a preemie. My daughter was only in the NICU a week and I remember how hard it was going home without her. I can't imagine for 2 months.You are a strong mom. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An Ordinary Housewife - Thank you so much for reading my blog post!Enduring any amount of time in the NICU is no easy feat! I'm glad that you were able to make it through your daughter's NICU journey. I hope that she is doing well now that she is home. Thank you also for your kind words concerning my experience. All of us NICU moms really need to stick together. I hope that we can keep in touch. -Michelle

      Delete
  3. Wow. My kids were not preemies but I was. I was born 2 months early.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Debi@The Spring Mount 6 Pack! Thanks so much for your note and for sharing your personal story. It's great to hear from an adult who came into the world early! I'm pleased to hear from you and hope that you are doing well. -Michelle

      Delete
  4. RSV season is awful!!! I'm glad you had a good support system

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Kathy, You're so right. RSV season is awful, especially when you have to be cooped up! Thanks for your kind note. -Michelle

      Delete
  5. Glad your daughter is doing well. A support team is must with premies

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Tara Pittman! Emily is doing really well -- and I'm a proud mama! I appreciate your readership. -Michelle

      Delete
  6. It's great to have that support. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Starla, Thanks so much for your note and for reading my blog post. I hope you have a wonderful week. Wishing you many blessings! -Michelle

      Delete
  7. Wow, what a beautiful blog, you have me in tears! I can't imagine the struggle for you at that time, and my heart goes out to you that you had to endure that. How wonderful that your family is so supportive and helpful. I am so glad to hear your little princess is blessing your life now, and that your husband is so amazing to make sure you stay home. God bless you!! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Angel, Thank you so much for your sweet note! My husband is a blessing -- and it's wonderful to be with Emily 24-7 to help her meet developmental milestones. I hope we can keep in touch! -Michelle

      Delete
  8. Thanks for being the voice for parents of preemies :) I am a pediatric nurse and a mom. :) As a nurse it is always inspiring to see the dedication of kind caring parents for their tiny baby!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet note, Mama's Happy Hive! You made my day -- and provided me with motivation and encouragement to continue blogging about preemies! Thank you also for the medical care that you provide to children! You're a blessing to young ones in need of special care!!! -Michelle

      Delete