Being a preemie parent comes with many challenges. You never really know how things will turn out when a premature baby is born. Some babies do spectacularly well and are out of the NICU quickly, then on to live normal lives. Other babies may not be so lucky and it seems if one thing can go wrong, so will a hundred others. It is often very hard to stay positive when you think that everything seems to be falling apart every time you turn around.
Each person is different, just as each pregnancy and delivery is different. We all face our own challenges or needs in life and we work with what we've got. Unfortunately, when it happens to babies right from the start it seems so unfair. As parents we question, why is this happening to my baby? Is there something we could have done differently? We all know the answer is, "No." Things happen sometimes that we have no control over. What we do have control over is how we work to get over these challenges or setbacks (as we often call them in the NICU) and look forward to the future.
Prior to our twins' arrival, as I've mentioned in a previous posting, we had nothing but high hopes and great expectations. During my pregnancy I often envisioned my twin boys at around the age of 6 or 7 learning to play baseball and running the bases. I always thought they'd live "the perfect life," that I had concocted in my mind. We all have these ideals. An ideal is a concept of something in its perfection. As we all know, we are always striving for some kind of perfection, yet we each have differing opinions of what perfection is.
A baby born at term would be perfection.
A baby who has just come off CPAP and is breathing "room air" would be perfection.
A baby coming home from a long NICU stay would be perfection.
To a NICU Nurse...
A baby who is finally able to be held by its mother or father would be perfection.
A baby who opens their eyes and responds to voices would be perfection.
A baby who is able to breeze through a NICU stay without additional complications would be perfection.
To a Neurosurgeon...
A baby who has a severe Intraventricular Hemorrhage and it clears without medical intervention would be perfection.
A baby who makes it through the operation of inserting a VP shunt would be perfection.
A baby who makes it 6 months without any complications or infection following surgery would be perfection.
Having a life changing experience can really get you thinking about your perspective on life, those around you and what really matters. I've learned to take things one day at a time and not get too ahead of myself. I used to be a person who wanted to rush through things to get to the goal...I just didn't expect my body to do the same during pregnancy! :) These days perfection is being able to spend time with my three growing boys and enjoy every minute of it!
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