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Preemie Strong: I am a Preemie Mom

I knew at 19 weeks I wouldn’t get to experience a ‘normal’ pregnancy. I wouldn’t know what it felt like to carry a baby full term, have a vaginal, non-medicated delivery where my babies were placed on my chest and I immediately would bond with them. I knew at just 19 weeks, I would be a Preemie Mom.

In some ways, I felt so lucky to have {what we hoped would be} 15 weeks to prepare for everything that entailed with two premature babies…and in other ways it was torture.  I had nightmares of the worst case scenarios, was constantly praying my body would hold on just. one. more. day.

We met with countless Neonatologists, took tours of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit {NICU}, I cried with NICU nurses knowing this would be where my tiny, innocent babies would spend their first days, hooked up to machines. I researched everything I possibly could, motivational quotes, prayers, pictures of what machines my girls may or may not be hooked up to. I even made a count-up calendar and checked off every day they stayed safely inside my belly.

At 31 weeks, they decided it was time. The moment those contractions started, I knew it was out of my control and on Mother’s Day 2015, I would officially be ‘Mama’ to two preemie babes. 

But as much ‘research’ as I did, there were so many things I didn’t know about my tiny preemies.

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  • I had no idea you were ready. You most certainly weren’t on my timeline, but you were ready. You are ready.
  • I had no idea all 3lbs. of those tiny bodies would fight with their entire being and prove every odd against you wrong.
  • I had no idea you would be stronger than I was and teach me what it means to be a fighter.
  • I had no idea I would have to watch you fight for every breath you took.
  • I had no idea your nurses would cry with me when you or your sister took steps backward. Or call me at 3am when I so exhaustingly slept through my alarm to tell me everything was okay.
  • I had no idea your nurses would coach me and assure me I was doing everything I could when I felt like I wasn’t really parenting either of you.
  • I had no idea that your doctors and nurses would pray for you.
  • I had no idea those sterile walls would become the most comforting walls because I knew they were safe and I wasn’t alone.
  • I had no idea that I could know a love so deep it hurt.
  • I had no idea you would forget it all. At just 18 months, you are full of life. Full of laughter. No one ever looks at you and sees those fragile little bodies hanging on to every breath. You’ve forgotten every stick. Every IV. Every bili light. Every tube. Every alarm. Every time I cried over your tiny isolettes.

One thing I did know: I knew I would be proud. 

You, sweet girls. You are strong. Stronger than you know.

You are Preemie Strong and I am a PROUD Preemie Mom.

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