|Chosen: my husband, premature son, and I in the park when he was 6 mo./4 adj.|
I don't think there is an actual answer to this question but I'm asking anyway. A popular forward that circulates the interwebs will tell you God and His angels made the choice because you have more patience and smiles to spare than other moms. ...wait, huh?
I've spoken with mothers who both love and hate the poem; religious and not. I'm not sure how I feel about it. When I first read it we were deep into NICU. I cried and found comfort in it. Others in the thick of it have felt bitterness and resentment. Why me, Lord, because I can't do this!
It's so hard to leave your baby at the hospital. When I came home after delivering Tristan I never felt more empty in my life. I have a baby...I have a baby...who isn't in me anymore...I was shocked. Every time I left I'd kiss the palm of his hand and tell him to save it for later.
How are preemie parents chosen? I don't think it's any different than the way other parents are chosen. We are matched up with our children and it is up to us what kind of parents we become to our child. There is no magic. I'd like to think we can throw some glitter around or twitch our noses like Samantha in "Bewitched" and everything falls into place...but I tried and it just didn't work that way.
There are good parents, bad parents, indifferent parents, quirky - loud - quiet - belligerent - creative - wild - shy - attentive - dismissive - parents are just people who fall all over the spectrum.
Those very same people have premature babies. There is nothing special or magical about us. It's what we do that can be special and magical...and that can come across as a superpower when we're really just doing the best with what we've been handed.
"I could never do that."
"You're so strong...I don't know how you do it."
You hear a lot of things like that while you're in NICU, but the truth lies somewhere in between. We all cope differently. Did you know some parents never come back for their babies? Or some are ready to go home but the only thing holding them back is their parents? They haven't come in enough - or at all. Not everyone can do it. It's hard.
I heard a story once about a mother who never came to visit her preemie. When she was asked why not she burst into tears over the phone and said, "I come every day but I sit in my car and cry. I can't face her; I failed. I want to come in...I just don't know how."
If you've given birth to a preemie you'll understand why NICU is often compared to a rollercoaster...for your baby and yourself.
On March 10, Graham's Foundation is hosting its Second Annual Preemie Parent Awareness Day for everyone. If you're a preemie parent, grandparent, friend, and/or supporter please visit their link and see what you can do to promote prematurity awareness. One in eight babies is born prematurely in the United States. Awareness is where we all begin to change the numbers; we've all been chosen for that role.
I hope to hear from you during the Twitter chat they'll be hosting from 2-3 p.m. EST on THIS Sunday, March 10. My handle is @urbanflowerpot - of course! There is a "follow me" button to your right.
Oh, and you can get fun icons here! CLICK ME FOR FUN ICONS!