As a member and founder of various preemie mom groups, I have seen posts lead to comment threads full of preemie mom “checking”. You can always find a “your baby isn’t really a preemie” thread or a “your NICU stay was no where near as long as mine” after a mother whose baby was born over 35 weeks posts. I don’t know why we do this to each other.
While gestational age is a factor in a NICU stay, and while it is likely the earlier the longer the stay, it is not fair to assume that a late preterm baby or parent had it easy.
You can be born at 36 weeks and be VERY. VERY SICK. You can be born at 24 weeks and have a long but steady NICU stay. You can be born at 34 weeks and have surgery after surgery. There is no set rule book for experience.
And who are we to minimize the pain of another? There are parents whose children are battling cancer for years who would tell a mom with a NICU stay of 10 months that she had it easy. Pain, trauma, is RELATIVE. It doesn’t matter if it was “the worse”. All that matters for a parent is if it was “their worse”. Get it?
However, a parent should be able to vent here, respectfully, and be educated in the appropriate outlook vs attacked. You can inform vs criticize. It’s more effective.
And when we post, we must consider that this group has many many members of all different kinds of preemie journeys. Posts and comments that are not in alignment with this should be REPORTED to the admins.
And, this is coming from a mom of a 24 weeker who is seven has cerebral palsy and autism and does not walk or talk. If I dont preemie shame, neither should you.
Thoughts of the end -so through a pen I share rawfully honest thoughts. Thoughts about my relationship with chronic pain. Thoughts about the fantasies of romantic love , and the agony when this illusion disappears. The goal is to learn from my own journey through words.
Meet Jax a funny, kind, and smart preschooler who was a micro-preemie born at 23 weeks. Now that Jax is older, the scariness of the NICU has faded, but we're still learning how to manage the lasting effects of prematurity including chronic medical issues, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is our story of love, hope, and survival.
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