For the second time in less than 2 months, a status on my Facebook wall has popped up about a friend (or a friend of a friend) delivering early… like really early. 26 or 28 weeks early.
When these updates appear, I actually have a physical reaction. A rush comes over me- knowing what we know about the challenges of Olivia’s early start, I have a small (albeit, very small) window of understanding into their situation.
I think about how small Olivia was when she was in the Special Care incubator struggling to breathe. We were so blindsided by all the challenges associated with prematurity and slapped in the face with a potentially devastating newborn screening complication. Then, I think about these tiny babies, who are just starting out on a long journey. I just want to hug their mamas tight. Thinking back on our experience, these words really inspired and comforted me.
The flow of these words reminds me of the famous “Everybody’s Free to Wear SUNSCREEN.” Someone should make an inspiring video of wise advice for mamas of preemies. In addition to what’s on this graphic, I would add a couple of other nuggets:
- Some days, you are going to feel like a complete and utter failure. Even in the worst moments, have confidence that you are doing the absolute best you can for your baby.
- This will be HARD on your marriage. If you pull together, it will bring you closer than you could ever have imagined. Pull together.
- No one can truly understand the heartache and uncertainty of this journey unless they themselves have traveled the path. The things that can fly out of people’s mouths in an effort to “comfort” you can be utterly devastating! Forgive them. They can’t and don’t understand.
- Prayer is SO POWERFUL.
- It’s ok to feel like “this is not what I signed up for.”
- Grieve your losses- especially, the loss of not being pregnant and the loss of the normal newborn experience.
- Lean on your closest family and friends. Accept their help, love, and prayers.
If these words strike a chord, here’s a PDF version: Preemie Inspiration Words