Be honest, does this sound familiar? You walk into a room with your dirty cell phone and hands, and never seem to remember to disinfect either of them before touching a baby recently released from the NICU. You allow other folks to come in with their yucky palms and give medically fragile babies high fives, as their parents flinch and wonder what germs may have just been hand delivered. You enter preschool classrooms where trusting children are playing and transport viruses from one kid to another. You don’t stay home when you know you have a highly contagious cold.

You don’t even know what you’re carrying.

I saw you auntie or uncle, sneeze into the air behind you (because it is better than sneezing into the air in front of you, right?) while your niece or nephew sat unassumingly in your lap. Oh, and let’s not forget the therapist who, after spending one hour with a baby that clearly isn’t feeling well, goes right over to another kid and commences to stretch them without getting the ick off first.  Yes, these bad habits must go; you are spreading colds and viruses to children you love, who have enough going on. They don’t need to be sick on top of it all. We all need to do better.

sickNot just for preemies, but for all young children. Because when they get sick, although you made the cough and congestion possible, you don’t have to deal with it. The parents do. We have to take off of work and watch them be miserable and sometimes, make trips to the ER. And if our child is susceptible to being hit hard by RSV (a form of cold that wreaks havoc in preemies) it could mean admittance to the hospital.And we know you don’t want that.

Reducing the spread of illnesses is quite simple. Here are five things you can do to keep germs from going wild in your home, classroom or any place where children are.

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1. Wash and/or Sanitize Your Hands. When you enter the room, and before touching a baby or child, wash your hands. This is especially important when handling preemies during cold and flu season. Your hands are like a germ housing complex and you are full to capacity. Washing your hands often is essential, whether you are sick or not. Using hand sanitizer between washes can reduce the spread of germs significantly. If you feel you are washing them too much then you are washing them enough.

2. Disinfect Your Phone. In today’s world, our phones are everything. We touch them more than we touch anything else. According to Livescience, cell phones carry ten times more germs than toilet seats. So, even if your hands are clean, touching the phone often is constantly putting the germs BACK. Disinfecting your phone before washing your hands is a must. You can take pictures of the little one and post to Facebook without leaving the common cold behind. Please note: this tip also goes for all handheld devices, computers and the remote control.

th3. Sanitize and Keep Surfaces/Desks/Toys Clean. When you pass toys from baby to baby or child to child, especially if you know one child is sick, make sure to wipe them off with a disinfecting cloth. Better yet, do not allow children to share toys during cold and flu season. Disinfecting all surface areas, toys and desks at the end of the day will also give you a clean start each morning. If people touch it a lot, disinfect it daily. The Honest Company makes a toxin free, baby friendly disinfecting spray if you are worried about the constant use of chemicals.

th4. Stay Away if You Are Sick. A bad cold for you, or your child, could send a preemie to the hospital. If you are sick, take a day and stay home. Refrain from visiting. Don’t bring your sickness to other people’s children.  And if you must come, wear a mask and gloves. Our preemie’s lungs are not as developed as a full term baby’s lungs due to their early birth and the use of oxygen for long periods of time. Take the necessary precautions. We parents will appreciate it.

5. Stop Telling Yourself (and preemie parents) that Getting Sick is Normal. Yes, children get sick. But that doesn’t mean that they need to be sick. Furthermore, it is not your job to determine how sick our child can get. Don’t take the easy road out. Do your part to help preemie parents worry less.

We all know preemie moms and dads are a little extra when it comes to germs. But not really. See, we spent weeks or months and sometimes years, in the NICU. Hospitals, scare the crap out of us. Seeing our baby sick, activates our PNSD Post NICU Stress Syndrome. And if our preemie is entering their first or second winter, a simple cold could be deadly. We come from a world that you know little about, and so you will have to trust us. Our rules and tips do not only work for preemies, they work for your children too. Spreading germs is just plain nasty.

On behalf of preemie moms and dads everywhere, I thank you in advance. Let’s have a healthy winter.

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Hope Not Guilt

Hope Not Guilt – A Guest Blog Post by Preemie Mom, Linda Churchill

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May 14, 2015 started out as any other day. Taylor (stepdaughter, 6 years old), Logan (stepson 3 years old) and I woke up at seven in the morning. Morning routines were underway soon followed by bringing Taylor to school. This day was Special Friends Day at Taylor’s school so I stayed at her school all morning to see her perform her Spring songs, meet her teachers, and see artwork and assignments she had learned throughout the school year.

I got to sign Taylor out early so we went home, got Logan, made some PB&J sandwiches and went to have a picnic near Daddy’s (Sean) work. We ate lunch and played tag and enjoyed nature for the afternoon. Early evening, Sean left for his second job, and the kids and I went to get a few groceries. We then came home, ate dinner, and we had a little while before bed time. The kids decided they wanted to play with the balloons they got me for Mother’s Day only a few days before. I was sitting on the couch videotaping their fun and laughter when all of our lives changed.

I hemorrhaged. Home alone with two children, scared. Not knowing if I would survive; not knowing if Rylee would survive.

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Five hours later at 11:49pm weighing in at 5lb 7 oz and 19 inches long at 32w 3d our Princess arrived via C-section.

At 20 weeks I was diagnosed with placenta previa and was told that I most likely would not deliver vaginally. As the weeks went on, we started planning on a C-section. At 27 weeks I bled for the first time and bought myself a 7 day admission for monitoring. The day before discharge was also two days before Rylee’s baby shower and I bled again which bought me another 5 days in the hospital for more monitoring. I then was finally sent home on modified bed rest at 29 weeks and well at 32w 3d Rylee made her debut!

When I first bled at 27 weeks a Neonatologist came and told me what to expect if Rylee were to be delivered that early; consult again happened at 28 weeks, then 29 weeks. When I was rushed in on May 14, 2015 I declined the consult. I knew she was going to be born, and preparing for it – well there was no way to mentally prepare for a NICU stay. I learned over the three weeks I was home that there was no way to mentally prepare or know what was going to happen. It all depended on delivery and depended on how well Rylee was doing after delivery to what extent she would need treatment, etc.

I got to see Rylee for the first time a few minutes after delivery. Sean took pictures on his phone of the two of us… me in absolute awe that this little human being just came out of me. She was wrapped up in a blanket – not in an isolette – I got to kiss her forehead, then they took her away. Sean and my parents saw her that night and she was only on CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure). The next morning I was able to go see her, and we brought Taylor and Logan in with us. I will never forget the look on their faces; scared, more accurately terrified. Sean lifted Logan up so he could see her better, Taylor could see her just fine. No one said a word. Taylor broke the silence when she asked if she could leave. It broke my heart. It felt like someone had ripped out my heart and stomped on it when she got whisked away the night before, but now our two older children were so terrified they wanted nothing to do with their baby sister after they were both so excited for her to come into the world before this. I felt like it was all my fault.

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Guilt plays a horrible role in a NICU stay especially when there are siblings involved. The questions remained:

  • What did I do wrong?
  • Why should she have to go through all of this?
  • Why is it fair that I get to go home and she doesn’t?
  • It’s not fair other moms get the joy of bringing their baby outside three days after delivery and bring them home.
  • It’s not fair I will miss the “Newborn” stage.
  • What could we have done different so Taylor and Logan would have accepted Rylee that first day in the NICU?
  • How can/could we make it so Taylor and Logan weren’t as scared seeing her for the first time?
  • Mom guilt
    • Not being able to hold Rylee
    • Not being able to care for her
    • Being jealous that the nurses seemed to be more like her Mom than I was.
    • Not being able to have skin to skin; to feed her naturally.

I have learned that guilt will always play a role. The list of questions and feelings can go on and on. But going day by day helps more than one would know until you go through it. Taylor and Logan saw their sister as much as possible and over time it became easier. Over time, Taylor was asking the nurses how much she was breathing on her own, how much was eating, when can the feeding tube come out, when can she wear her own clothes, can I help with a bath. Over time, Logan became loving, caring and over protective of Rylee if they ever needed to do anything to her while he was there he would tell them no until we explained it to them.

While Rylee was in the NICU there were times I would shower and look down, realizing I wasn’t pregnant any longer. There were moments I would start talking to Rylee and then shortly realize I was just talking to myself. When Rylee came home, it started becoming easier. I would hold her – and still do – while she’s sleeping just to stare at her, make sure she’s breathing, talk to her. I talk to her about anything and everything. I guess I may be trying to make up for lost time.

What I have learned though in the short 9 weeks she has finally been home with us is:

  • Time flies no matter what! You fall asleep on the couch for an hour nap and you’ll feel like you missed something! Especially if you are a working Mom like I am, you’ll always miss something. However, reminding myself that missing things is normal, and not worrying about what I’ve missed but all that I have seen and witnessed is more important.
  • Time truly does heal. I now see mother’s leaving the hospital I work at with their newborns or coming in for appointments happy, glowing and pregnant and it doesn’t bother me as much. I am happy for them; I smile; I silently pray for them that they will not have to endure a NICU stay but for the mother and baby to be happy and healthy.
  • I’ll never know if any of this was fair – her birth story, her pain and suffering in the beginning of her life. What I do know though is that she is doing much better now. One day at a time truly has worked in Rylee’s favor.
  • Mom guilt will also always be there. We’ll feel guilty as Mom’s that we missed her first giggle, her first bath because the nurses did it without us, her first smile because we finally got some shut eye; the list can go on and on. What we need to make sure we do is be there for our children as much as possible, so some of these little moments we don’t dwell on missing in knowing we were there for the big ones.
  • I learned to replace the word “Guilt” with that of “Hope”. I hope I get to see all of her firsts, her milestones, watch her grow up. I hope she continues to thrive throughout her life; and I am thankful for seeing everything I have been able to see of her life so far!
  • The most important lesson to any Mom going through this – there is nothing you could have done different. There is nothing I could have done different. No matter how I keep trying to change the story and scenario in my head, nothing could have changed the outcome. Rylee’s birth story is just that; Rylee’s birth story. It may not be perfect, it may not be great, it may not be a nice story to tell. But it does have the best ending any story could have – a perfect little amazing Angel in Mommy, Daddy, Big Sister and Big Brother’s arms and hearts for a lifetime.

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25 Things Every Preemie Mom Should Remind Herself of Daily

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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.

https://praying4mypreemie.com/2014/03/07/on-the-day-you-were-born-too-little-too-soon/

Kaleena Berryman is the author of the first book of poetry for preemie moms! Order on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Preemie Mother Sisterhood

sonshine2I belong to this sisterhood, women from near and far
Who share a life experience that has shaped who we are
It binds us and unites us – has changed our point of view
For we gave birth to miracles, long before they were due

We all met our labor, with happiness and fear
Mumbled a bunch of prayers that we hoped our God would hear
We all know what it means to have life flash before our eyes
And to give birth without the sound of a sweet baby’s cries

We’ve sat by incubators, long nights that had no end
And we all know a NICU nurse can make the best of friend
We’ve stayed over in waiting rooms, sweaters to shield the cold
Made major life choices before our child was two days old

Watched monitors like TV, waited weeks to give a bath
Would trade a million dollars just to hear our baby laugh
Celebrated leads removed, ounces and inches gained
Transitioning to CPAP, room temperature maintained

The NICU is our hazing, each of us passed the test
Our secret handshake is from nerves worn out by all the stress
We share a special language, in stories that we tell
And our treasured resources are O2 and Purell

We take nothing for granted, live off blessings in store
And pray to God we’ll never see a NICU anymore
Life threw us in the ringer, and we came out alive
Promise to be more grateful if our baby just survives

This preemie mother sisterhood, we never thought we’d know
Comes with a roller-coaster, watching our babies grow
There’s joy in our sisterhood, although it’s hard to see
We’ll feel like better mothers, after the misery

So here’s to all the mommas to whom miracles were born
Who learned through our delivery, we’re stronger than the norm
Keep holding one another, hoping for all things good
This mom’s a lifetime member, preemie mother sisterhood

Written by Kaleena Berryman

Love this? Read Kaleena’s most popular poem, On the Day You Were Born

Learn about our personalized preemie poem service here!

Poetry from Praying4MyPreemie At Praying4MyPreemie, we specialize in poetry written to celebrate the miracles that come with our children, through our personalization poetry service, Poetically Yours. Give us your story, sentiments, dedications, and we will create a beautiful poem to honor your child, at a reasonable price. There are no cards that tell our story, this poem will live on forever! First birthday – Coming home from the hospital – birth – even loss, we can capture the words of your heart. Email us at kaleenaberryman@gmail.com or call Kaleena at 9735176581 for more information.

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My Body Betrayed Me (A Preemie Mom’s Journey)

My Body Betrayed Me

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You had one job

The job you were designed and made for

To carry my little one the necessary 40 weeks

You could do it

With absolutely no medical care

But we had it

And every doctor’s visit you performed to perfection

You were ready to carry my greatest gift

You were in perfect mom to be condition

But then

On that cool spring day while my guard was laid down

You betrayed me

You weakened

You went AWOL

You threw my baby out!

And I am angry with you

One job, the most important

To help us become a mommy

To allow my first born to grow

My heart and soul were all in

They showed up and loved without measure

But you

You

You hid your inability until

There was nothing we could do but

DELIVER

Even when you did not…

Part of me will never trust you with this again

I will second guess you

And think twice about placing my precious gift in you again

I’ll have to pay more attention to you

Place less faith in my womb

I just can’t let you ever

Ever

Betray me, or my child

Again

from the book Stronger Than We Thought: Poetry for the Preemie Mom’s Journey

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I’mOrder a Personalized Preemie “Journey” Poem from Praying4MyPreemie!

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Celebrate your preemie miracle with a personalized preemie poem, written by Kaleena Berryman, preemie mom and author of the viral poem, “On the Day You Were Born” , “Other Mothers” and the book “Stronger Than We Thought: Poetry for the Preemie Mom’s Journey”. There are many milestones to celebrate, let us create a one of a kind poem that your preemie, or the preemie parent in your life, will cherish forever. Just Because, Christmas, Prematurity Awareness Month, Mother or Father’s Day, Coming Home, a Favorite Nurse, Birthdays, and Milestones – we will take your words and turn them into an amazing keepsake. There is truly nothing like it. Currently, there is a 15% discount on both poem types!

The process is simple:

  1. Choose between a tailored version of “On the Day You Were Born” (25.50 with the discount) or an Original Poem (52.00 with the discount).
  2. Complete the order form HERE Preemie Poem Order Form .
  3. Email five of your most beautiful pictures to accompany the poem, to kaleenaberryman@gmail.com.
  4. We will will send the invoice. Allow five to seven business days to complete the poem. Poems can be completed sooner upon requested.
  5. Share your poem on social media, frame your poem, and place it in your baby book!

See below for samples:  I’m Ready to Order Now!


The Angel Assigned to Our Son, a poem for Amanda from Marissa, Shawn & Ryan

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The Day Our Miracle Came Home, for Andrew

Poetry Reviews:

Holly, “Hi!!! Omg!! I am crying!! That is perfect in every way!!! You are truly amazing and I’m soooo thankful I saw your post!! This is amazing! The best thing I could ever have! Thank you thank you thank you truly from the bottom of my heart!”

Georgia Frazier, “I had this done for my Preemie Daddy for Father’s Day!! You did such a wonderful job, and Trevor didn’t make it through reading without crying!! This is such a special keepsake! Thank you so much!!!.

Cara Reno, “This is a beautiful poem, written by Kaleena Berryman of Praying 4 My Preemie. She described our journey in a way that I could have never imagined. I gave her scattered details and pictures and she created a beautiful work of art. I am forever grateful. Thank you so much! I hope everyone will go and like her page and let her create a beautiful poem for you! It is worth it!”

Lisa, “Kaleena, thank you so much!  It is beautiful and we can’t wait to give it to him!   You truly have a gift.”

Jennifer, “You are amazing!!!!!!!”

Sara, “The most precious poem, story I could have EVER wanted to tell our story of Solomon’s arrival. Thank you so very much Praying 4 My Preemie. We TREASURE this writing.”

Sheri Gordon, “I want to say thank you so much for the beautiful poem!!! I couldn’t ask for anything better! It captured all the beautiful ups and downs of the NICU. I was kept in the loop the whole process and received it right on time!! Thank you a million times!! Any preemie moms out there I would recommend this. I will be telling my NICU mommas”

Emily Vaughn, “I absolutely love it. Thank you a million times for doing this for us. You are such a blessing.”

Casey Carmichael, mom of Olivia: “This is absolutely the most beautiful thing I have EVER read! I cannot stop crying! Joy, pain, happiness, fear all rolled into one!!! You have a magnificent talent! I absolutely love it!”

Shandi Sorter, mom of Addison: “Thank you so much for writing this beautiful poem for us!!! We will cherish it forever!”

Angele Munster, mom of twins Keegan and Kyler: “Being the mother of twin boys that were born at 31 weeks and in the NICU for 30 and 34 days has made me a stronger person. The feeling of not being able to do anything to help your babies or being able to bring them home was unbearable. Kaleena, this poem is absolutely beautiful! It’s puts our story into words that I would have never been able to do… This will be cherished for the rest of our lives! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this perfect story of my boys! praying for all preemies! Miracles come in small packages!”

Contact Us For More Information:

24 Things I Learned in the First 24 Hours of Becoming a Preemie Mom

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I became a preemie mom on April 27, 2012. I will never forget that day. I became a different person, and as a first time mother it was a crash course in parenthood that I was not prepared for. On Monday, I was a mom to be, just beginning to “show”, and by Friday he was out and I was empty. My pregnancy ended 16 weeks early, and I had no idea how we were going to survive the NICU and all of its uncertainty. I could not imagine my one pound son making it out of there, becoming a full term baby. It hurt and it hurt like heck.

I will never, ever forget that day.

However through that pain, I learned. I learned so much. Tragedy and love will do that for you; teach you lessons in one day that it takes other people a lifetime to learn. My journey with my son, 5 months in the NICU and beyond, has given me a deeper understanding of life. Much of which, I learned in the first day of his being here. Here are the 24 lessons I learned in those first 24 hours.

  1. I am strong. I just gave birth to a baby boy, and I am not even thinking about the pain. I would get up and walk right now, stitches and all, if it meant I could see my baby. But I can’t. I have to wait. And I am strong enough to do that too.
  2. A mother’s love has no conditions. My baby looks like a creature from out of space – incredibly small and frail – and I think he is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. One pound of pure awesomeness.
  3. My mother was right – I don’t know what she was right about for sure, but something tells me that as I travel this road I will find many things she had spot on. Yeah, she knew what she was talking about.
  4. I will miss all I missed. No first cry. No long bonding moment. No tears of joy. I will not have those moments with this child. And it makes me sad. But there will be others, and I will appreciate them so much more. So. Much. More.
  5. Pregnancy is important. The next time I will rest. I will relax and take it easy. I will cherish it. I will let everyone cater to me. I will make sure not to miss a single minute.
  6. One pound babies can grow and live, and there is a place they do it in. It’s called the NICU. I never knew it existed until now. Soon the NICU will be my home. It already has my heart.
  7. I was listening in church. I know how to pray. So glad to have God’s number. I have prayed more since becoming a mom than all of the years before, combined. I am praying as if my child’s life depends on it. I can’t do much, but this I can do.
  8. I really, really want to be a mother. And I want to be a mother to this child. I was silly for wanting a girl, or worrying about labor pains. All that matters is that my child survives. I want to love this child so badly.
  9. I am not alone. Everyone is here, surrounding me. I am loved. My child is loved. I have the greatest family and friends a girl could ask for. My life is filled with reasons to be grateful. I need to thank them more.
  10. My husband, my man, is amazing. He is scared to death but still protecting me. He is worried about both of his babies. He is really showing me that I made a good choice. I am blessed to have him. I need to thank him more.
  11. Yes, your heart can really break. It can break in two and make you feel like disappearing. The love for your child can do that to you. No one wants to lose their baby. The fear of it alone hurts more than can be explained. My heart is actually, really, broken. Millions of pieces scattered in the hall that leads from my room all the way to his incubator.
  12. People have it all wrong when they talk about their pregnancies. A healthy baby and healthy pregnancy is all they should ask for. A healthy, happy baby and mommy. That they leave the hospital well and together as planned. The rest of it is just crap. The things we say when we don’t know any better.
  13. I would sacrifice everything for this child. If God gave me a choice, I would do anything to keep my baby here. I would give the world. I would give my life.
  14. Doctors don’t know everything. They said he may not survive. But I can see it in his eyes. My baby has what it takes. He is planning to be here and they will have to chalk it up to miracles.
  15. You can survive the worst day of your life. I just did.
  16. It is okay to be honest. I am scared. I feel guilty. And I really need all of you right now. If you leave me alone, I will get lost in my sadness. So, please stay.
  17. Babies are stronger than we think. Look at him, fighting to be here and he doesn’t even know what “here” is. He is only one pound but he is taking it all in stride. I should do the same. I need to put my big girl undies on.
  18. I can be mean. Mess with my baby and feel my wrath.
  19. Parenthood is no joke. Most parents have just the fluffy stuff for the first few years of their child’s life. But preemie parents jump right into, “my child might die” mode. We gave birth to a baby that needs life support. Decisions have to be made. Their life is in your hands. Being a parent is major. It can get real, real fast.
  20. My kid is special. Hs dramatic entrance will make him the most prayed for and talked about baby around. He will survive and his story will follow him all the days of his life. People will introduce him forever with the words, “Do you know he was born just one pound?” Folks will be amazed. And that is pretty cool. God will get the glory. He will change lives.
  21. Prematurity is an Epidemic. Ten percent of babies are born early around the world. Millions of babies born to soon. Something needs to be done. No one should have to go through this.
  22. I should have enjoyed the Peace of Mind more. Peace of mind is a blessing. A gift from God. It means all is well. The next time I have it, I will thank the heavens for it.
  23. There is so much more to life than this. Life is beautiful. Deep. The journey deserves our attention. It deserves our reflection. Stay in the moments and appreciate all of the good. You will need it to hold on to when things get rough. Or when pregnancies don’t go as planned. My life is filled with moments missed. I can’t let that happen anymore.
  24. The little things are all that matter. Now that I am a preemie mom, I understand that the little things are all the matter. Encourage. Practice Kindness. Be Grateful. Health, happiness and strength are so important. Be thankful for all of the things that make every day worth living. They aren’t on TV and they don’t cost any money. They can be found in the people we love, the things that make life beautiful. And oftentimes, they can be found in small incubators, in crowded NICUs, fighting for the chance to grow, and love, and thrive.

Stronger than We Thought3

Kaleena Berryman is an author, mother of former 24 Weeker Jharid and founder of http://www.Praying4MyPreemie.com. Her book, “Stronger than We Thought: Poetry for the Preemie Mom’s Journey”, the first book of poetry for preemies, can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

http://www.amazon.com/Stronger-Than-We-Thought-Preemie-ebook/dp/B00PKX0RDC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417582902&sr=8-1&keywords=stronger+than+we+thought

Other Mothers (A Poem Dedicated to the NICU Nurses, Who Fought to Save Our Children’s Lives)

sonshine2On the day my child was born too little, too soon

I was not the only mother present in the room
Somewhere in the background, I did not realize
There stood a group of women, assigned to both our lives
They took my baby swiftly, helped add his Apgar score
Made sure I got to see him, then they rushed him out the door
As I lay there heartbroken, sent to recovery
They watched over my baby, they held my child for me
His new life in the balance, fear made it hard to cope
They kept us optimistic; they gave us cause to hope
They reassured his daddy, although he seems so small
“Our preemie kids are fighters; he needs some time that’s all.”
After what seemed the longest day, I mustered up a smile
Rolled slowly to the NICU, to finally meet my child
They stood beside my baby, told me what to expect
“Remember mom he’s preemie, and not fully grown yet.”
There lay my greatest prayer, amid the ringing sounds
They’d recommended changes, when doctors did their rounds
Tears streaming without slowing, one held my trembling hand
She said “Mom he’ll pull through this, and we’ll do all we can.”
“Here starts the NICU journey, but we’ll be at your side
Yes it’s a rollercoaster, but surely worth the ride
You’ll be a better mother, if you’re open to learn
We’re committed to help you, carry your child to term.”
We shared so many moments; they cheered for all his firsts
Left us alone to hold his hand when things turned for the worst
They pointed out the milestones, when they were hard to see
Encouraged me to help them – left certain care for me
I’d call into the NICU, each hour when away
They’d answer with excitement, “Mommy your boy’s ok.”
Sometimes they would remind me, “Snap out the NICU trance.”
“Go off and have some you time, while you still have the chance.”
They stood up for my baby, when doctors weren’t right
When he began to miss us, they’d sing to him at night
They memorized his little moods, habits, likes, and such
They were his other mothers; they loved him very much
After each of the surgeries, their worry I could see
They wanted my son to survive, to send him home with me
They made sure he was comfortable, helped my baby pull through
Did much more than required, did much more than I knew
They became like our family, new treasured friends of mine
Laughter and sharing stories, helping us pass the time
These women were like angels, to nurture and protect
They helped us to the other side, and we’ll never forget
Received the best of guidance, while sitting in that place
“When he’s home” conversations, reminders to have faith
And when it finally came the time to send us on our own
I knew that I would miss them, for months this was our home
To all the NICU nurses, who take care of our hearts
Who find a life important, no matter how it starts
Never would have imagined, we’d come to know each other
Forever I’m indebted to our NICU Other Mothers

By Kaleena Berryman Dedicated to the loving nurses of St. Joseph’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Paterson, NJ.

If you would like this poem tailored for your favorite NICU nurses, contact us the author at Kaleena Berryman@gmail.com.

The Angel Assigned to Our Son, a poem for Amanda from Marissa, Shawn & Ryan

Poetry from Praying4MyPreemie At Praying4MyPreemie, we specialize in poetry written to celebrate the miracles that come with our children, through our personalization poetry service, Poetically Yours. Give us your story, sentiments, dedications, and we will create a beautiful poem to honor your child, at a reasonable price. There are no cards that tell our story, this poem will live on forever! First birthday – Coming home from the hospital – birth – even loss, we can capture the words of your heart. Email us at kaleenaberryman@gmail.com or call Kaleena at 9735176581 for more information.

If you would like this poem tailored for your favorite NICU nurses, contact us as well!

 

 

Other Mothers, from the book Stronger Than We Thought: Poetry for the Preemie Mom’s Journey. Download from Amazon onto any computer or electronic device! http://www.amazon.com/Stronger-Than-We-Thought-Preemie-ebook/dp/B00PKX0RDC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1415997581&sr=8-1&keywords=kaleena+berryman Stronger than We Thought3 Download onto any computer or electronic device

Poetry from Praying4MyPreemie At Praying4MyPreemie, we specialize in poetry written to celebrate the miracles that come with our children, through our personalization poetry service, Poetically Yours. Give us your story, sentiments, dedications, and we will create a beautiful poem to honor your child, at a reasonable price. There are no cards that tell our story, this poem will live on forever! First birthday – Coming home from the hospital – birth – even loss, we can capture the words of your heart. Email us at kaleenaberryman@gmail.com or call Kaleena at 9735176581 for more information. If you would like this poem tailored for your favorite NICU nurses, contact us as well!

Between My God and I (A Preemie Mother’s Poem)

Between My God & I (A Preemie Mother’s Prayer)

momandme (2)kristinadanielle

I’m coming to You Father, heartbroken and alone
My child was born unto me, with a struggle all his own
This mom’s requesting mercy, with not much strength to give
My burden lay before you Lord, please will my child to live
Please Will My Child to Live
Please Will Our Child to Live
They say that Your intentions, we’ll never understand
I pray my child’s survival is somewhere within Your plan
This gift just given to me, I’m not prepared to mourn
This child is extra special, this child is my first born
To carry him much longer, they said it wasn’t safe
You saved his life through early birth; the rest is left to faith
His home is now a NICU, under a nurse’s care
I ask that You be present, and cover his stay there

  • verolucerokellyala
     They keep poking with needles, his newly forming skin
    His warmth controlled by the small bed the doctors keep him in
    A machine’s breathing for him; his heart is just so small
    A surgery is scheduled, we’re waiting on the call
    Surround him with his angels, no longer here on Earth
    Grandparents, aunts and uncles, assigned to him at birth 
             Bless him with Your glory, healed supernaturally
    Please give him as much favor, as You have given me
    This journey’s just beginning; please give us strength to cope
    Each day I’ll whisper prayers, in the sweet key of hope       
  • Please Will My Child to Live
    Please Will My Child to Live
    Please Will Our Child to Live…

mommys arms (2)kaylabeth
Send new ways to pass the time, best-selling books to read
And send a friend to hold my hand whenever I’m in need
Comfort our parents, this is a trying time
They’re praying over their child, desperately needing mine

daddyandi (2)raeanna
My husband – keep him focused, forgiving and sincere
Don’t know how I’d survive it, without him standing here
Help my child fight for his life, teach my child to soar
Make it so he doesn’t need this IV anymore
Make his lungs much stronger, move barriers away
That might keep us from celebrating on his first birthday
Same God who blessed dear Noah, and parted the Red Sea
Preserve just one more miracle, for our family
Give us peace surpassing, with every tear we cry
Life’s most important prayer,

Between My God and I

reaching (2)
 Please Will My Child to Live
Please Will My Child to Live
Please Will Our Child to Live
Please Will Your Child to Live.

A poem from the book Stronger Than We Thought: Poetry for the Preemie Mom’s Journey. Download from Amazon onto any computer or electronic device!

Poetry from Praying4MyPreemie
At Praying4MyPreemie, we specialize in poetry written to celebrate the miracles that come with our children, through our personalization poetry service, Poetically Yours. Give us your story, sentiments, dedications, and we will create a beautiful poem to honor your child, at a reasonable price. There are no cards that tell our story, this poem will live on forever! First birthday – Coming home from the hospital – birth – even loss, we can capture the words of your heart. Email us at kaleenaberryman@gmail.com for more information.

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