My husband came home last night and said a coworker's wife had their first baby, a healthy, 7-lb girl. His boss sent the new parents flowers from the company, which is such a nice gesture. When you celebrate a joyous occasion, don't you want to know you have support from every corner of your life? But, my husband's question to me was, "Why didn't the company do that for us?" And we both know the answer. When you have a preemie, people don't send flowers and cards and balloons and presents. They feel sorry for you. I had to cancel my baby shower because it was the week after J was born. I didn't even bother to plan a baby shower with M, and it's a good thing. We would have missed it too. You don't leave the hospital with a cart full of gifts from well-wishers. I saw those people, and they didn't have preemies.
I want to be clear that it's not about the actual gifts; it's about the gesture.
My husband's comment about having preemies made us both a little sad. "There's no celebration." Why isn't there a celebration? They are still babies, we were still new parents, and bringing them home was still a joyous occasion--it's just that it took us longer to bring our babies home.
Babies are special. Preemies are just extra-special babies, and they deserve a celebration too.