A little over two years ago... our world was rocked. Our family doubled in size as we welcomed two precious baby girls to our family.
Here's the thing, it was one of the best moments of our lives... it was also one of the scariest. When babies are born early, it can be a traumatic event. For our family, I had been on hospital bed rest and we were hopeful to get to week 32 and then 34... and then we'd see what happened! But my body wouldn't have any of it. In this case, our girls weren't ready to get out of my belly... but my body was going toxic and it was ready for the babies to come out.
So after 31 weeks of baking, out they came and it was the most beautiful, terrifying day of our lives. All of the questioning of whether or not the girls were ok, whether or not I'd be ok, and all the good feels and scary feels at once... woof. And we became a family of four.
And the next few weeks were of the same. Getting discharged and leaving your babies behind. Long nights and early mornings spent wrapped in chords, surrounded by beeping noises, and attached to a pump. But the joy. Of becoming a mom... Sheesh, I'm tearing up remembering the emotions while writing this.
And after the NICU... the specialist visits, the doctor's visits, the monthly synagis shots, the hospital bills, the massive amounts of hand sanitizer, the learning to be new parents. ALL OF IT.
It can be incredibly overwhelming... but two years later...
It is incredibly rewarding. All of it. Every little detail. Every hard moment. Every tear shed.
All of it. Rewarding.
I used to think that I'd never look back on that season with warm fuzzies. I thought I'd always look back with a bit of sadness, but today 27 months later... I love our birth story. I love the bond that I have with my girls. I love the fight. I love the hard nights and long days. I love my NICU nurses - STILL OH SO MUCH. I love our neonatologist. I love our hospital. I adore our pediatrician. And the list could go on and on... Because after time fades away a lot of the fear and the pain, you're able to see all of the good things. The fear you felt when seeing a tiny twig of a leg be swallowed up by a preemie diaper has now turned into a sweet sentiment. And heaven knows... I love a chubby baby. But there is just a sweet special place in my heart for the tiniest of tinys.
The bad isn't forgotten... it's just shifted into something beautiful.
And today, on World Prematurity Day, I want to give a shout out to you other preemie mamas in the trenches. You are doing an awesome job and you can and will do this. And one day, you'll blink and your baby/babies will be huge and healthy and thriving (ok... maybe not huge... but much bigger than you ever imagined). And you'll look back with wonder at how awesome your kids are AND how awesome you and your spouse are for surviving (& hopefully thriving!). And you'll see the good. I promise. It'll happen.
So high fives to you today. Because you are awesome. And you will get through this.
If you know of a Preemie parent, I encourage you to READ THIS post to learn a little more about their journey, and send them a little love today. Because it will mean the world to them. They might not have the emotional capacity to express it today, but I can tell that years later... I am still moved by friends, family, and stranger's kindness to us during that season. So go be love today to your fav preemie and preemie parents. <3
Happy Monday y'all & Happy World Prematurity Day.