Originally published on Scary Mommy in September 2018. Reposting here on my new account. Backstory, both my babies were born early. One born 6 weeks early and 3 lbs, the other nearly full term at 37 weeks, but only 4 lbs 9 ounces. I'm so lucky both are healthy - the 4 pounder is actually a little hulk baby. In honor of NICU Awareness month coming up in September.
Here’s to you my NICU warrior. Here’s to the endless worrying and countless prenatal doctor visits; the daily prayers for just one more day of pregnancy.
Here’s to the beautiful, chaotic arrival -- those fearful moments wondering if there would be breath and life and health, and then the longest 24 hours before holding you in my arms.
Here’s to the fear and pain of watching you with tubes and wires and incubators and not being able to help you now on the outside.
Here’s to the solemn and sweet quietness mixed with the endless and terrifying alerts and beeping one never forgets, PTSD-producing, you hear those alarms in your head for weeks on end.
Here’s to celebrating every little gained ounce, every miraculous milestone; a feeding tube removed, oxygen removed, an open air bassinet. Here’s to you looking cool with your jaundice shades and your preemie diaper so big it encompasses you like a blanket. Here’s to the adorably small preemie clothes and to not knowing how to change you with all your wires on.
Here’s to the incredible nurses keeping me sane and keeping my baby safe and healthy and being there always for both of us in such a critical time of need; to the endless bedside visits; the weepy, weary drives back and forth to the hospital; the late night pumping and waking without you with me at home; the syringe feedings and the nicuview watching.
Here’s to the car seat tests and the graduation day, and all the continued challenges a preemie provides going home at 4 lbs; the nursing struggles, all the lactation consultants, the months of cluster feedings and no sleep until you grew big enough to be a horrible sleeper just because.
Here’s to your incredible resilience and strength; here’s to the tiny hand clutching my finger or those big eyes telling me together the two of us would get through anything together.
Here’s to this incredible bond only a NICU mamma and her miracle baby can have. Here’s to you my sweet, sweet fighter.
Here’s to all you incredible NICU babies and mammas and families. Stay strong. To quote Pooh Bear “Sometime’s the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts.”
As seen on Scary Mommy, written by me, AKA Alexis - https://www.facebook.com/thescarymommy/posts/10156317005248301