23 Months..... The Quiet Before the Blessing Storm...

My baby is becoming a big boy. He desires independence, throws little tantrums, and is mesmerized by TV. All answered prayers.

I am expecting a storm of blessings as he turns 2. Walking, talking, running.. the entire menu of miracles. The closed eye opening, his thirst for knowledge growing, I am expecting to be filled with joy over and over in this new year. My spirit tells me to believe. And on the eve of his 23rd month, our 23rd month together, my prayer is simple.

Thank you God for all you have done. I am prepared for all YOU will do. Just run wild.

Sonshine, the best is yet to come.

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5 Things all Preemie Moms Want Pregnant Moms to Know

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From the moment we find out they exist, all mothers begin dreaming for their children. No matter the circumstances that surround our pregnancy, we all hope for a healthy, happy baby who will leave their mark on this world and our hearts. We see their faces in our sleep, imagine holding their hands as they learn to walk, and find moments where the excitement is so intense that we want to reach in our uterus, pull the baby out and cover their little faces with kisses– mommy kisses.

Then, there are moments in our pregnancy when we are intensely emotional. If your pregnancy is a difficult one, those moments are far more frequent. We are fearful of the unknown; we have pain, worry tremendously, and complain. We are even a little bit selfish in our desire for the ten months to be over. Morning sickness, getting fat, and dealing with the aggravating people in our lives –it can feel like too much at times. Both sets of moments are real, and fair and normal. All mothers have them.

But the latter, is what we preemie moms, want you to consider doing less of. Entering motherhood earlier than expected has changed the way we look at pregnancy. For us, pregnancy is the real MIRACLE. We would give our right arm to be able to go back to ours and enjoy every bit of the worry, pain and annoyance that comes with growing our baby to term. At night that is a lingering prayer in our minds, the “what if” that takes us years to let go of. We know that if our pregnancies had been longer, our children would have been born healthier. The conditions in the womb during pregnancy are just as important to your child’s life as the condition of the nursery we decorate for them or the home we prepare for them. In some ways, the womb is even more important.

So pregnant moms, on behalf of preemie moms everywhere, here is some advice. It comes from hindsight, and from experience. It also comes from heartbreak. We understand that you, mom, will rarely be as powerful and beautiful as you are right now. Take hold of that. In a nutshell, for the next 40 weeks it is both all about you and not about you at all.

1. There is Nothing More Important than your Happiness. In your belly, there is a life forming. There is nothing more important to that process than a healthy, happy, joyful, expectant mom. Our lives are complicated, hectic and unpredictable. Your baby’s is not. His or her needs right, now, are simple. They need YOU. Your child did not ask to be born, so it doesn’t deserve anything but the best of you. Speak positively, smile often and rub only goodness into that belly. Stock up on happiness. For bad days, keep some in reserve. Your baby will grow off the energy you give to him or her. Vitamin H is essential.

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2. Speak Only Positive Words. Pregnant moms experience much to complain about. But be careful of the words you choose when expressing your feelings. Be careful not to say things that are negative towards the baby. A preemie mom shutters at the sound of a pregnant woman saying, “Oh, I can’t wait for this to be over”. We all said it, and now regret it. Instead say, “I can’t wait until the 40 weeks are over and my child is born.” Both have the same meaning, but one is more positive and specific. Be cautious of what you put out into the universe. Our words have power.

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3. Try Your Best not to Worry. No one knows more than NICU moms that sometimes things go wrong. But most of the time, they don’t. One of my favorite scriptures, instructs us not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Spend your mental energy hoping and praying for everything to go right. Don’t fret over what you cannot foresee or control. Our self-inflicted fears of pregnancy are not worth the anguish they cause. I remember spending at least 20 percent of my pregnancy worrying about the labor. I hoped for a C-Section. I did not know any better. My labor was easy, and I got that C-section, but I also got a 5 month NICU sentence. I now wish I had spent more time, for my son, celebrating instead of worrying about his entrance into the world. And moms, if a doctor is the source of your worry, take heed to their precautions, follow their directions, but don’t let them overtake your journey. Listen, be aware, but choose faith. Faith has saved more lives than a doctor ever will. And no matter what, God is in control.

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4. Take it Easy. Mom to Be – PLEASE RELAX. Be lazy. Let everyone else do all the heavy lifting. We know that many of us have to work during our pregnancy, but you do not have to work your butt off. Slack off instead. Call people to do things. Don’t rush. Exercise if you must, but go lightly. Doctors and nurses and “experts” will tell you that you can do your daily tasks normally, but then if something begins to go wrong they will restrict you. We say, restrict yourself. Don’t wait for a doctor who doesn’t love your baby to tell you what is BEST for him or her. And don’t wait for something to go wrong. All of that activity can wait. Stay on the safe side. Your baby is worth it.

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5. Listen to Your Body – So many times us preemie moms felt warning pains, or that things were not right, and we didn’t act on it. Maybe we called the doctor the first two times and they checked us out, but told us everything was ok. Certain pain is not OK and you will know the difference. Remember that your doctor has seen plenty of moms, but each pregnancy is unique. No one knows your body better than you. Listen to it. Sometimes it may just want you to rest. Other times, you may need a change of diet. Don’t worry, just figure it out. So many preterm births could have been prevented by bed rest never administered or precautions never taken. Pay attention to your body and never hesitate to call if something doesn’t feel right. You are not being a pain, you are being a mom.

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See mommies to be, no one ever really wants the pregnancy to end early. The dreams and visions we have while our children are forming, are all starring big ole eight pound babies. In none of our visions are NICUs, and one pound newborns. We don’t envision tubes and monitors and isoletes. We envision the perfect end, but we often take the process for granted. We should try our best to see pregnancy as a precious gift to be treasured, enjoyed, and experienced to the fullest. No matter how long it is.

Moms to be, we are so happy for you. We want you to rock this. We want you to take the ball to the 40 yard line. Your child is a rare jewel that deserves the best conditions for safe keeping. And you deserve a jewel that is full grown.

Moms to be, we wish you the longest, most annoying, most beautiful pregnancy imaginable – as intended.

 

On the Day You Were Born (too little, too soon) – A Poem

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On the day you were born, (Too little, too soon)
I lay in denial, until about noon
On the day you were born, I prayed and I cried
For the baby I needed, to stay safely inside
On the day you were born, four months before due
Your heart rate kept dropping, (Mine kept dropping too)
On the day you were born, I wore a fake smile
(Pretend to be happy, you’re meeting your child)
Nurses, doctors and daddy, looking at me with worry
Almost no time for steroids, you were in such a hurry
On the day you were born, my world came crashing down
There was nothing to do, but deliver you now
In the light room I go, for the C-section scar
Twenty minutes of pulling, and whoop, there you are
So little, so fragile, nothing like the norm
I thought I would lose you, on the day you were born
They whisked you away, Family came to say hi
I spent the whole evening, trying not to cry
But as soon as they left, me alone in my room
I mourned for the baby, I’d failed from the womb
On the day you were born, Mommy just couldn’t cope
I desperately needed, to see signs of hope
For you were a pound, and I wasn’t sure
That good things could come, from blessings premature
I didn’t go meet you, heartbroken and torn
Waited 24 hours, from the day you were born
And then I went walking, Motherhood in suspense
The happiness fleeting, the sorrow intense
Before I went in, I said to the worry
He deserves a proud mommy, no matter how early
I walked to your “incu”, to my delayed joy
Yes you were, really little, but MY little boy
You waved a small hand, calling for me to take it
From that moment on, I knew you would make it
I sat there for hours, committed to see
Just a hint of the miracle, waiting for me
I replaced my new faith with the guilt I had worn
On the beautiful, magical, day you were born
Here we go, on our journey, no time left to doubt
For the first time in your life, I wanted you out
Released from the NICU, and home in your room
Laughing and playing and sleeping till noon
So here goes your mother, whose heartbeat you know
We are in this together, on a journey to grow
My baby, you gave me far better than “norm”
My child, a survivor, from the day you were born

If you would like this poem tailored for your preemie “on the day they were born” complete the order form – PERSONALIZED PREEMIE ORDER FORM

 

SEE SAMPLES BELOW – EACH ONE TAILORED TO THEIR MIRACLE!

On the Day You Were Born, for Ellie

On the Day You Were Born, for Jeffrey

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SAMPLE – ORIGINAL POEMS

From Twenty Nine Weeks to Perfection, for Gabriel and Alejandro

The Day Our Miracle Came Home, for Andrew

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On the Day You Were Born, from the book Stronger Than We Thought: Poetry for the Preemie Mom’s Journey. Download from Amazon onto any computer or electronic device!You do not need a kindle or nook to read electronically.

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Dear Heart of a Working Mom… (in Honor of Women’s History Month)

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Dear Heart of a Working Mom,

I need you to stop breaking.
Every morning, when I leave my little one behind, you temporarily take over
With each “See you later”, you make me see his needs
And how much better off he would be if he were home
With ME.
How much faster he would learn to walk, or say his ABCs…
How I might just miss his first sentence,(probably, “Mommy, where are you?!”
If it were up to you, I would just drop it all.
You whisper to me, “Aren’t you forgetting someone?”, with each closing door.
I just can’t take you anywhere.
So….

Dear Heart of a Working Mom,
I am revoking your passport.
No more guilt trips.

You have allowed me to LOVE
This little person with every inch of my being.
But you have also allowed me to love, ME
And a mother’s got to do, what a mother’s got to do
One of those things is – forgive herself
And you must forgive me too.
See, Working Moms need working hearts that are strong
Capable of understanding that when I come home
I will give him all of me
From 5 to 9.
But from 9 to 5, I am carving, for my baby, a future
That will be bigger and brighter than I could have ever imagined
And if you have a problem with that
Tell the Mind of a Working Mom
To pick the right lottery numbers
So all three of us can stay home.

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