When people ask me what I am thankful for, of course my first response is my three boys. My happy family. I am thankful for a whole list of people and organizations that never crossed my mind only a few years ago. I am thankful for having the opportunity to learn about my children's needs and having a better understanding of what it means to be a mother. If you had asked me this a few years ago I wouldn't have had such an in depth response or given it all that much thought.
I am also thankful for all of the connections of preemie parents, specialists, nurses and those that are interested in the goings on of a preemie family. I wouldn't have found most of these connections if it weren't for the Internet!
Yesterday, while checking out Facebook, I read a wonderful perspective of another preemie mother on her idea of why "we" are chosen to be the mothers or parents of premature children. She highlights the fact that as parents we take nothing for granted with our premature babies. We feel lucky and blessed to have these children to call our own.
Here is Elli Drukman's story:
Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering 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...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 am 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."
God smiles. "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 clear the things that 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."
"But what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air. God smiles. "A mirror will suffice.
I think this is a beautiful story and a great answer to the "Why did I have a premature baby? Why me?" which I am sure most premature babies' mothers ask themselves.
This is our second Thanksgiving home with our twin boys and I am no less thankful than I was one year ago. In fact, I may be even more thankful, having been able to see my babies grow another year and seeing them begin to interact with each other and their big brother. Every day I am thankful and I tell them so.