Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Before I Had You

Dearest Little One,

Before I had you, I never really thought about how truly miraculous little babies are. I suppose that if I had what some may call a "normal" pregnancy, I would have never stopped to think about how truly miraculous it is to conceive, create, give birth to and nurture a little one. It's all about the perfect timing, the perfect conditions, and everything else falling into place at just the right time. You arrived twelve weeks early, and changed our lives forever.

After all your days in the NICU and some scary times, it makes me truly appreciate the true gift that you are. Many people take for granted how very special babies are. I always knew babies were special, but it never occurred to me just how special they are. Perhaps going through all the roller coaster rides we went through in the first few weeks of your life made me more aware, more thankful, and more appreciative. We truly are very blessed.

When I think about everything you had to go through, it sometimes makes me cry. Through it all, you were always very strong and determined. From your first breath, you were a fighter and a strong-minded one! The nurses kept telling me how resilient and how persistent preemies can be. Preemies are little fighters...because they've got to be.

I think about your first two months of life and how I was in Toronto with you, while Daddy was at home on the Island. I think about how every day was a challenge for me and about how alone I sometimes felt. I think about how exhausting it was to wake up at 5AM every morning, commute to the hospital and stay all day and have to pump breast milk for you every two or three hours. I'd leave the hospital in the evenings, feeling exhausted, drained, homesick and missing your Daddy.

Despite all this, there was never a single doubt in my mind that you wouldn't be okay. There were a few "scares", but that was mostly from your very diligent and very capable doctors being overly cautious (which is a good thing). One LP, days and days under phototherapy, and a few other things, and you came out just fine.

When I look back at photos of you while you were in the NICU, those days seem so far away. I see before me a very active and busy 8 month old (chronological) girlie who is now 12 lbs, 2 oz and eating cereal (and boob snacks)! It's hard to believe that this same little girl was a 980 g preemie who had an NG tube, CPAP, and all sorts of leads attached to her.

In our quiet moments together when you're nursing, Mommy thinks about those times. I am always reminded about just how special you are. You are our little trooper. Some people may think Mommy is a little bit paranoid when she washes her hands constantly, to the point where her skin on her hands start peeling. Some think it's odd that Mommy carries Purel and all kinds of liquid hand sanitizers in your diaper bag and in the car. Some may think it's odd that Mommy winces when strangers want to touch you, pick you up, or kiss you. Mommy knows you need to build your immune system, but she also knows how easy it is for preemies to get sick...and how a simple bug that may not really have a huge impact on some people can be deadly for you.

You are our special little miracle. This weekend our family, friends and loved ones will be coming to celebrate with us. This weekend is your baptism, as well as a celebration of your life and everything you had to go through to be where you are today.

In my moments of exhaustion, zero down time, anxiety because you are teething, and just days when I think I can't keep up with you, helping Daddy with the farm stuff, tackling all the household duties, doing work on the side...I'll think of just how special you are and how blessed we are.

Mommy xoxo


jan said...

That was beautiful. My babies are now larger than I am, but still in my mind's eye, I see them as tiny miracles that need to be nurtured and protected.

robert said...

She will surely be very proud reading this entry of yours.

Patti said...

Absolutely beautiful! And so true. Babies are miracles, and we need to not take them for granted.

Debbie said...

That was such a lovely letter. Good for you for getting this all down.

Jackie said...

tears are in my eyes... have a wonderful baptism, you and hubby and the baby will be in my prayers.

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Maya was a big, robust child, 2 weeks late, so I didn't have the fears and exhaustion and all of that that goes with a preemie. And still, she was my miracle. Believe it or not, she still is.

But I was a preemie. My aunt overheard a nurse saying that I wasn't going to make it, that I would die. Babies back then didn't make it if they were born as early as Little One. I was probably 6 weeks early, so no months and months in the hospital. But still, my mom had to go home without me, and visit me in the hospital, and it was so very hard on her. She cried every day, and yet, she still had to be good and strong and patient with my brother, who was 2.

So I do and I don't understand what you went through. I do and don't understand, and yet, I just do. I think back to those early days when my baby was a baby, when life was so wonderful and so difficult at the same time. So in love with her. So exhausted.

Enjoy the baptism with your wonderful husband and your little miracle baby. I remember being so scared that she wouldn't make it when she was born. You are so blsseed to have her, and she is so blessed to have you.

Veronica said...

She's beautiful. This is beautiful.

C said...

:) Thank you, Jan! So true. I guess babies will always be their parents' babies! I know my brothers and I are still our mom's babies...and we're all grown up and bigger than her too!

C said...

Thank you. In many ways, I'm glad I started blogging and I'm glad that I wrote about her birth and her time in the NICU. At first it was just a place for me to get my thoughts out, but it turned into something for her to read when she gets older.

C said...

That's for sure! :) It amazes me when I read stories in the paper or hear stories on the news about parents neglecting children or abusing children. It makes me so sad, angry, upset...knowing that babies and children are such miracles but can be treated so badly.

Hmmm...I won't go on a rant. Perhaps that's another post! ;)

C said...

Thank you! Thanks for popping by and commenting too!

In the beginning, I was a bit guarded about what I posted on this blog. I didn't really want to divulge too much and I didn't want to share everything with people. I also kept the blog "sort of" anonymous. My friends and family who read the blog know who I am, but I don't reveal real names here.

Now, after months of posting about my pregnancy, life in the NICU and life with a preemie, it feels like this blog has helped me get through some very tough and challenging times. My friends and family have helped a lot, but comments from blog friends and readers have been very helpful too.

C said...

Thank you :) Actually, I reread this post and started bawling my eyes out. Sometimes it feels almost surreal that we went through what we did. Although, Little One didn't have any serious medical issues and managed to get by pretty much unscathed, it was a really hard experience to get through at times.

C said...

I remember you telling me about that when I delivered Little One. It's true. Years ago, babies as small (and born as early) as Little One would most likely not survive. If so, they were truly medical miracles. Now, it is amazing what modern technology can do for these little ones. When we were in the NICU, it blew me away to see all the machines and equipment used to help these preemies survive.

It's amazing to hear about just how many preemies there are out there though. So many times when people in public ask how old LO is and I tell them her age, they say she looks so small. I then tell them how old she's supposed to be and explain that she's a preemie. Quite a few have said, "Oh! I was a preemie too!" or "Oh! My grandchild was a preemie!" All of a sudden, it doesn't seem so uncommon anymore. I wonder why.

C said...

Thank you. Thank you.
How are you doing, btw?
xoxo <3

My Bottle's Up! said...

fantastic... so beautiful.

Jinxy said...

C, that is beautiful! You made me cry.

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About the Blog Author

City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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