My little li-li!
Uhh, these pictures still break my heart a little. I just recently read a post by a blogger who spoke of her preemies and the guilt that mom's feels related to their children being born early. It reminded me of how I felt when I would go to the NICU and watch my little boy Eli as he "pulled" to get air. Pulling is when you see them pull in for a simple breath with such force that their little bellies puff out and then pull in dramatically so that their ribs are exposed. It is the most difficult thing for a mother to watch. I cried so hard the first time I sat down next to that isolette unable to touch my baby afraid that it would cause him to get too worked up which would result in his sats dropping. I felt such guilt at not being able to keep him inside me longer, not being able to help him breathe, not being able to give him the nutrients he continued to need and instead watched him receive through a tube. So impersonal, so hard, so cold, so unnatural. It still is a bit hard to talk about without getting emotional.
I now know that God had a plan for my boys and he wanted them here in this world on April 18th not in July like Daddy and I planned for and desired. Preemie mom guilt is a very real thing and one that I can honestly say that I am, thankfully, passed. I do know, however, that as you watch them sit up for the first time, you breathe a sigh of relief, first step, another sigh, their first words, breathe a sigh and on and on it goes. The guilt is relieved a little at a time but for some there are no first steps, no first words. There are disabilities and delays and speech issues, etc., etc., giving way to more guilt and in these cases I imagine it is more difficult to move passed it all. To those, I do not pretend to know what that is like but I do know that God has a plan.
Having had preemies born at 27 weeks and in the NICU for up to 3 months I appreciate A LOT of the day to day grind and for that I am thankful. I stop and watch the little things that they say and do. I tend to give Jared a run down of it all at the end of the day. It all may be mundane to other parents, I don't know I only know how it is to have my little survivors, but to us they are monuments on a daily basis of God's love and protection over our boys and ourselves. Obviously Eli got over needing that help with the oxygen but he still has his battles with his breathing as does his brother. I still get freaked out when I see him pulling and needing to take a trip to our ER, like last week at this time, BUT I take it a day at a time.
We still don't know what implications there will continue to be for our former preemies. They may have learning disabilities, breathing issues and other setbacks, that even full-term babies have, but I do know that my God, my Heavenly Father, has a plan! He will guide us and lead us on this path that he put us on and there is strength and comfort in that.