Giving Tuesday

Everyone has a day that changes them. A day that never fades from memory. May 3rd, 2010, is that day for me.

Before May 3rd, I was an excited, first-time expectant mother—doing mom things, picking out crib sheets and relishing those first faint kicks of my long-awaited little one. I couldn’t wait for August 11th, my due date.  Unexplained, unstoppable labor changed everything. My baby was coming and he was coming fast.

I delivered my son by emergency C-section. I had no idea what happened. What could I have done differently? The guilt ate at me for weeks as I watched our tiny two pound miracle fight in his isolette. The next several months brought many amazing highs and frightening lows.  Our son showed more strength that I knew one person could possess.

After we brought him home, I had time to reflect on our NICU journey. Despite the hurdles my amazing baby had overcome, I was still struggling.

Was it normal to hate my body for failing its most important job?  

Was it normal to cry every time I saw a happy pregnant woman with her hand laying across her round tummy?

Why couldn’t anyone help me understand that it was okay to feel the way I felt?

There was no one around to offer me a lifeline.  No one to say that these feelings of loss, guilt and breathlessness would eventually ease.

I don’t want any other parent to feel the way I did those months after May 3rd.

At Graham’s Foundation, our sole purpose is to provide parents with that lifeline. To be the kind and gentle voice that offers support and encouragement in a parent’s most terrifying days. Today is Giving Tuesday.  Please help us ensure that parents get the support and resources they need.  The NICU is a lonely, frightening place.  But it doesn’t always have to be that way.

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In hope,

Heather McKinnis

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About The Author: Heather McKinnis

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