Tag Archives | NICU

A Special Valentine Arrival

It seems as though an entire season of laughter, tears, and gratitude has elapsed between February 1 and today. It’s hard to believe that it’s already the middle of March. Last month, our dear friends welcomed a precious little boy into their lives. He was born at 33 weeks exactly. This type of news is always a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, you are thrilled for the new parents and their growing family. At the same time, your heart sinks because you are all too familiar with some of the challenges that come with prematurity… the uncertainty, the waiting, the back-steps, and so much more. Life is just so darn fragile!

Despite feeling overwhelmed and scared, I remember being in awe of Olivia’s tenacity to get better each day she was in the hospital. Her courage gave me strength- the human body and spirit are incredibly resilient, strong, and brave. As we celebrated each tiny milestone along Olivia’s journey, moments of heartache were slowly replaced with joy and gratitude.

Olivia made this Valentine card for her fellow 33-Week buddy, Owen:

Valentines-Card

I’m sure that Owen will continue teaching his parents life lessons as they all grow together. Right now, he is snuggled safely in his mama’s arms and thriving at home!

To all the mama’s of sweet preemies, I think YOU are amazing. You have been asked to find new depths of strength inside yourself and to search for the thread of love in even the most impossible situations. This Valentine’s Day, I am celebrating the fierce and unfailing love that we {as mama’s} have for our precious children.

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World Prematurity Awareness Day

November 17th is World Prematurity Awareness Day.  The March of Dimes currently states that 1 out of 9 women will deliver prematurely in the United States.  I am now part of that statistic.

World Prematurity Awareness Day

Today, I’m thinking of all the sweet babies that are literally fighting to breathe and grow as quickly as they can.  I’m humbled by their strength and beautiful spirits.  I am thinking of all the mamas that have had to wait to hold their sweet blessings for days or weeks all the while trying to manage a complex constellation of feelings ranging from fear to grief to amazement.

I am feeling especially grateful today for all the prayers from dear family and friends about Olivia’s health.  We are so blessed.

To read more about our journey, visit the Preemie Archives.

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Inspirational Words for Mamas with Preemies

For the second time in less than 2 months, a status on my Facebook wall has popped up about a friend (or a friend of a friend) delivering early… like really early.  26 or 28 weeks early.

When these updates appear, I actually have a physical reaction.  A rush comes over me- knowing what we know about the challenges of Olivia’s early start, I have a small (albeit, very small) window of understanding into their situation.

I think about how small Olivia was when she was in the Special Care incubator struggling to breathe.  We were so blindsided by all the challenges associated with prematurity and slapped in the face with a potentially devastating newborn screening complication.  Then, I think about these tiny babies, who are just starting out on a long journey.  I just want to hug their mamas tight.  Thinking back on our experience, these words really inspired and comforted me.

The flow of these words reminds me of the famous “Everybody’s Free to Wear SUNSCREEN.”  Someone should make an inspiring video of wise advice for mamas of preemies.  In addition to what’s on this graphic, I would add a couple of other nuggets:

  • Some days, you are going to feel like a complete and utter failure.  Even in the worst moments, have confidence that you are doing the absolute best you can for your baby.
  • This will be HARD on your marriage.  If you pull together, it will bring you closer than you could ever have imagined.  Pull together.
  • No one can truly understand the heartache and uncertainty of this journey unless they themselves have traveled the path.  The things that can fly out of people’s mouths in an effort to “comfort” you can be utterly devastating!  Forgive them.  They can’t and don’t understand.
  • Prayer is SO POWERFUL.
  • It’s ok to feel like “this is not what I signed up for.”
  • Grieve your losses- especially, the loss of not being pregnant and the loss of the normal newborn experience.
  • Lean on your closest family and friends.  Accept their help, love, and prayers.

If these words strike a chord, here’s a PDF version: Preemie Inspiration Words

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5 Months After the Special Care Unit

5 Months After the NICU

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