Having the “title” of preemie parent was one that never entered my mind. Sure, I had thought about other parent “titles” that I might have – soccer mom, dance mom, chorus mom, PTA mom, volunteer mom, working mom, stay at home mom.
My husband and I found ourselves abruptly thrown into the world of prematurity in 2009 when our twin boys were born at 24 weeks gestation after only seven hours of labor. Campbell passed away after 23 days of life and Joseph spent 228 days in the NICU before coming home for the first time.
Becoming a preemie parent was an unexpected journey but it is a journey I am forever thankful for.
Frankly, being a preemie parent has been hard – really hard. We’ve experienced the death of a child, we’ve watched our survivor suffer more than anyone should, we’ve advocated for our child, we’ve seen countless specialists… but through it all we’ve never given up.
Being a preemie parent has taught me more about being a mom than I ever dreamed would happen when becoming a parent. I’ve learned how to advocate, I’ve learned how to research, I’ve learned how to talk with doctors, and I’ve learned how to never stop until our son has exactly what he needs.
Being a preemie parent teaches us drive. It teaches perseverance. It teaches grace. It teaches patience. It teaches us hard work and dedication. It teaches us love and acceptance. Most important, it teaches us to never, ever, ever give up because our child deserves the absolute best in life.
Being a preemie parent has allowed me to meet other people on the journey of prematurity that I would have otherwise never met. I can’t imagine my life without these people. They are encouragers, they are supporters, they are educators, they are listeners, they are inspiring, they are friends.
To all preemie parents, we celebrate you on Parents of Preemies Day. We celebrate your drive and perseverance. We celebrate your family. We celebrate your beautiful miracle. We celebrate all you do every day for your child.
From the team at Graham’s Foundation, we hope you have a beautiful Parents of Preemies Day.