Regardless of outcomes, having a preemie changes your life and it changes you. Joys become so much more potent because you learn to savor the smallest victories. Your ability to cope with sorrows and setbacks grows, and you find strength within yourself you never knew you possessed. You become an advocate, a cheerleader, a fighter, and a believer in miracles.
The path of prematurity is one no one should have to walk, but those on the path often find themselves changed for the better. Yet at this moment, you may feel anything but strong. The idea that someday soon you will revel in joy may seem totally foreign. The uncertainty you are facing may weigh heavily on your heart.
All this means is that now is the time to empower yourself. Here are some ways to do that:
Ask Questions: The more you know, the better equipped you are to take care of yourself, your baby, and your family. Make a point to learn everything you can about your baby’s health and development so you can make informed decisions, now and in the future.
Speak Out: You are the #1 advocate for your baby. Talk to your baby’s doctors, nurses, social workers, and other caregivers. Be frank; share your concerns. If something is bothering you, don’t hold back!
Always Inquire: Find the services your baby needs and ask how to get them. Ask if your baby is eligible for free or lower cost therapies. Ask for evaluations. Ask loved ones for help and support. Never be afraid to ask!
Be Present: When hope is hard to come by, concentrate on the now. Focus on making your baby’s world and your own as stable and comfortable as it can be under the circumstances. Think about what small thing you can do today that will make tomorrow a little easier.
Do you need help navigating the premature birth journey? Our Preemie Parent Mentor program connects preemie parents with moms, dads, and grandparents who understand what it means to love and care for a preemie at birth and beyond.