Look preemie moms, I know the struggle well. Prematurity and the NICU, your small baby and your big dreams – the daily struggle of keeping them both alive. All mothers have one thing in common, an indescribable love for our children that drives every waking moment of our lives. That doesn’t come in any particular size. So no matter where you are in the journey, here are 25 things you will need to remind yourself of daily. A list every preemie mom will understand.
1. It’s not your fault.
2. This baby is blessed to have you loving them, right now.
3. It’s absolutely not your fault.
4. You are an amazing mother.
5. You don’t determine birth dates, God does.
6. Faith can move mountains, so it can definitely move babies.
7. Buy that outfit. Decorate the nursery. Hang those pictures. Your baby is coming home. Believe it every single day. It’s ok to prepare and to let your heart be open. Your baby deserves every bit of your belief.
8. Your instincts ROCK. Trust your intuition. It’s your mommy super power. Let it guide you through your NICU stay and every moment after. Don’t hesitate to listen to it today. It could save your baby. Never be afraid to speak up.
9. Be grateful for the little things. The little things are awesome. (Who knows this better than you.)
10. Life was never supposed to be easy. Challenges come. You just have to show up and fight. Fight like a preemie.
11. God is with you now and always. He isn’t punishing you. Look how many lives your baby has inspired already. God’s got this.
12. You have to take care of yourself. Don’t neglect yourself. Don’t put Mommy in the corner.
13. It’s not your fault.
14. No one who loves you is blaming you.
15. You are a part of the team. You can tell the doctor what you think is best. You know your baby too.
16. Breastmilk is great, but if it isn’t coming out, don’t stress over it. The baby will eat.
17. Miracles happen everyday. It’s ok to expect them!
18. No matter what the day brings,the sun will shine tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a better day. Things won’t seem so bad in the morning.
19. A test can either tell you everything is fine or what needs to be done for your baby to make everything fine. Don’t fear them.
20. The NICU is home. Make it feel like home. Home is where the heart is. And that is definitely your heart in that incubator.
21. This too shall pass.
22. You’ve come this far, you can keep going. Get up. Show up. Dry those eyes. Keep going.
23. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to need. It’s ok not to be OK all of the time.
24. Your heart is right to be broken. Help it to be hopeful. Hopeful takes the edge off.
25. No matter how you feel, no matter how hard it is to accept, it is not your fault. Please don’t blame yourself. Especially on the bad days. Prematurity happens to so many women. It’s important to spread awareness not regret. Remember – this is your baby’s journey, your baby’s testimony. Don’t reduce it.
No one loves this baby more than you. Your love matters. And just like this child, it will grow. The NICU sucks. But you can make it through. Just keep reminding yourself that you are everything to your little one. Regardless of the outcome, life is lived when filled with love. And there is life after the NICU. You mom, are much stronger than you ever thought.
If you love this list, you will love my poetry. Remember the day your preemie was born? My poem, “On the Day You Were Born” will resonate with you.
Kaleena Berryman is the author of the first book of poetry for preemie moms! Order on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.