So I follow a lot of “preemie” blogs, or really, “micro-preemie” blogs. These blogs have really helped me know I am not alone and also helped me exponentially through my NICU stay – seeing how babies had progressed and gotten out of the NICU was priceless on the hardest days. Well one of the blogs I follow posted the “best posts of 2012” today. I have read almost all of these through preemie support groups or from following the blogs and couldn’t agree more. For anyone who wants to really understand what Casey and I have been through, read these, these folks are much more eloquent about expressing their feelings through writing. Additionally, this shows just how many resources there are out there if you ever know someone who has to go through what we did, there are posts on what you should do, what to say and not to say, etc.
Anyways, here is the direct link to the best of 2012 and below I have taken from her list and posted my favorites with some excerpts:
My personal favorites are:
“Get over it,” “Just Fine,” “Normal” by Tatum Marinkovich for Ain’t No Roller Coaster – This is the one that describes exactly where I am right now. Here is a quote from that post:
“what onlookers have a harder time understanding is why the rest of us aren’t our “normal” selves anymore. Let me just put it out there really, really simply. I will NEVER be the same person I was before Owen was born. 95% of the ways that I have changed are for the better. I’m a more balanced, empathetic, appreciative and kind person. The other 5% are the memories of fear, helplessness and devastation of spending 181 days in a place where babies – very real babies, not just babies I’ve read about in the newspaper, friends’ babies and nearly my baby – die. You see, in my old “normal” world, babies didn’t die. In my new world, I think about those that were lost every day. I’m no longer naive to the true pain that is in the world. I’ve felt it and the scars still ache. I’m prepared for them to always ache.“
Dear New NICU Mom by Lindsay Franks for Life with Jack – this is one I wish I had during my NICU stay, it so accurately describes the conflicting feelings. Here is a quote:
“But the truth is, unless they’ve been there, unless they’ve walked this, they
won’t know that your heart is broken. They won’t understand that you’d do
anything, go through anything if it meant you could just carry your child to
term and save them this pain. And they won’t understand that in an instant, your
dreams have been shattered and you’re questioning how you’ll ever pick up the
pieces, glue them together and start again. You don’t need someone to remind you
to be thankful– you are. It will take some getting used to, but often times
you’ll juggle being thankful for your child’s life while being scared to death
for their future. That’s ok.”
Dear New Preemie Parent by Tatum Marinkovich for Ain’t No Roller Coaster Parts of this one also realy spoke to me, all I ever want to do is make what we went through easier for someone else and I can not express in words the kindness shown to Casey and I from friends near and far, those that I have kept in touch with and lost touch with during our NICU stay.
“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. . .
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.
Catch up by 2? by Jessi Bennion for Life with Jack – this one I expect to start relating too as we approach the babies first birthday.
And lastly, here is a poem my sister-in-law sent me the day after I had the babies, I didn’t really understand it or was too upset to really focus on it at the time, but I have seen it reposted many times since them and the words are starting to have meaning to me, especially the ones in bold:
How Preemie Moms Are Chosen~*~
Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to profanity.”
Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. “Give her a preemie.”
The angel is curious. “Why this one, God? She’s so happy.”
“Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I’m going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”
God smiles. “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect She has just the right amount of selfishness.”
The angel gasps, “Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?”
God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see– ignorance, cruelty, prejudice– and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.
God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.”