With Parents of Preemies Day in just 2 days, I think about all the strength it takes to be a preemie parent. When a parent becomes a preemie parent your whole world changes. You now have a tiny being depending on you for everything they need to survive. You have to make decisions that could change their whole world. There’s something about being a preemie parent that changes everything you thought you knew about being a parent. It’s different than being a “normal” parent.
- You go home with empty arms till the day they come home. You are strong.
- You spend countless hours in the NICU. You are strong.
- You hear every noise the monitor makes and worry. You are strong.
- You wait longer than normal to hold your baby for the first time. You are strong.
- You cry your eyes out when they tell you all the risks. You are still strong.
- You make decisions for your preemie that change their world. You are strong.
- You love with more than you ever knew possible. You are strong.
- You finally leave the NICU. You are strong.
- You go through all the therapy appointments. You are strong
- You watch as your preemie struggles to meet milestones. You are strong.
- You stand up for them against germs. You are strong.
- You stay inside during RSV season. You are strong
- You rejoice when they learn to crawl and walk. You are strong.
- You do all this and more because….
YOU ARE STRONG!
All of a sudden you have this newfound strength that you never knew you had. When we became parents of a preemie, I never thought I would be able to stand in every moment that came at us. A quote I heard while going though our preemie journey was “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have.”
Being strong doesn’t mean you will not have broken moments, but it means you will not break.
You are your preemie’s whole world. There is something to be said about a parent that can put all their needs and wants aside to put the needs of a tiny baby first. You are strong and being strong is hard. It takes a strong person to sit up in a NICU filled with noisy monitors and all the other craziness and remember that everything will be all right.
There will be moments when you look back and realize how amazing you and your preemie are. Take joy in the fact that you are strong. Regardless of what stage of parenthood you are in, there will always be challenges but as someone once told me- it will storm but it cannot rain forever. There will come a day when you look back and all this craziness is a memory of strength.
Parents of Preemies Day is all about being proud of you and your little one! I can honestly say I am incredibly proud of my 18 month old little boy. I am also proud that we were able to do everything we could to help him make it through every obstacle he ever faced. So this May 7th be proud of your preemie family, you have come through so much and have so much to celebrate!