I follow a blog of a woman who had a 25-weeker several months after I had my first preemie. Her daughter had so many scares and such a long journey that it made me grateful for our own 91-day NICU stay. I was so emotionally invested in her daughter living. Sometimes, it was like I could actually feel the pain of her words.
It's like a woman who almost lost her twin preemies said to me today, "You don't know stress until you've had a baby in the NICU." Once you've been there, it takes so little imagination to go right back.
Anyway, back to the blog I follow. One of her recent posts was about how tough she is about some things--like medical procedures--that should be traumatic, but then she cries at seemingly mundane moments in her daughter's life. I knew exactly what she meant! I've had to hold both my babies down for a variety of shots and exams, and I always kept my cool. But, I've teared up more than once just watching J run across the yard. Because he lived. Because it took months and months of physical therapy. Because he looks so normal now. I know every mom thinks her kids are miracles. They are. But there is just something different when you've worked so hard for every milestone. Sometimes, I just stop everything I'm doing. I look at him, and I celebrate where he is right now. I mean he was 2 pounds 34 months ago, and now I can sit on the deck and watch him run.
For this, I am so grateful. Before J, I never appreciated the simplicity of walking, talking, eating, and drinking. We are all miracles. But, when you're a NICU Mama and you've come so close to losing everything, the simple things just aren't so simple.