When Jacob was born the first thing I did after I recovered from an emergency c-section and visited him in the NICU was start Googling.
I typed "preemies", "24 weekers", "survival rates of micro-preemies", etc. into the search engine and searched feverishly for the magic words that would make everything all better. I never found those magic words, but what I did find was an amazing group of women who were going through exactly what I was going through.
We had all experienced a pregnancy that ended too soon.
We were learning how to handle babies that weighed under 2 pounds and were no bigger than our hands.
We were learning how to handle our babies without disturbing their feeding tubes, ventilators or CPAP machines.
We learned how to "care" for our babies every three hours which consisted of changing diapers, taking temperatures, repositioning them, turning on their feeding pumps and bundling them up until the next "cares" 3 hours later.
We were learning about things called NEC, ROP, CLD and BPD.
Many of us had to watch helplessly as our tiny babies spent most of their days laid out in isolettes since we were only allowed 30 minutes a day to hold them kangaroo style.
It was nice to log on to the message boards each day with a new question and find a mother who had faced the very same ailment, surgery or procedure that you were currently facing. It was also a joy to look at the pictures of former preemies, now thriving toddlers, who had "weathered the storm" and were perfectly healthy and thriving at 3 and 4 years old. Next to my faith in God, these women and their preemies were the only thing that gave me hope and kept me going each day.
These amazing women are always there to offer a helping hand even though most of us have never met in real life. They are always willing to cheer you up on the darkest of days and the kind words and encouragement I have received from my internet friends has made me a better person.
Earlier this week, Jacob received a package in the mail from a group of moms and their preemies who knew about his current plight and wanted to help. We arrived home from Jacob's doctor appointment to a box on our front porch which contained 2 movies, a magnetic fishing puzzle, a coloring pad and a sticker book. Jacob's eyes lit up when I pulled everything out of the box and every time I watch him play with these toys or watch A Bug's Life I will think about these amazing women and Jacob's preemie buddies and smile. They are a strong willed and amazing group of "survivors" and I am forever grateful to be a part of them.
Thank you Sara, Martha, Christi, Karen, Marino, Campbell, Greyson, Gunner and Brandon!
May Photo A Day Challenge 2017
20 hours ago