Right now you are hurting, confused, overwhelmed at the birth of your premmie baby.
You don't know what you did to deserve this happening to you. You are scared, and would do anything to turn back time.
From one premmie mum to another: I know how you feel.
And I can tell you this: One day you'll be so proud.
You'll be so proud of how far he has come. From tiny, sleepy infant to a whirlwind toddler. One day you'll look at him and be amazed.
One day you'll forget what the NICU beeps sound like, even though you hear them in your sleep at the moment. One day you will no longer be attached 24/7 to a breast pump, you won't have to worry about germs and weight gain and feeding.
Right now you probably feel like you're in limbo land. A mother who can't fully mother her baby. A baby who is grown by machines instead of you. You feel at a loss in this space. You wonder about attachment. When you cuddle him you send all your love through to him with all the strength you can.
I can tell you this: one day these feelings will be a distant (but painful, yes) memory. Although your journey started differently to many other mothers, you are still his mother, and no one could be more important to him. One day, when he is older, he will say 'mama' and snuggle into your shoulder. You will know that all the struggle was worth it.
You physically ache at the strain on your body from a shock early exit. And you yearn and yearn to hold your boy when he is not with you. Tears are not far from your cheek. Be kind to yourself, mama, don't forget to look after yourself too (although that is the last thing on your mind). Let your friends and family care for you and your family so you can focus on your recovery and spending time with your boy.
As he grows, milestones that others may take for granted will give you such joy. Because you know how much further he has had to come to reach these 'normal' milestones, you will be proud as punch as he grows.
You will never forget the pain of having your baby so early. But you'll be able to look back and see how strong it has made you and him. This is not a journey you would have ever asked for, or would wish on your worst enemy, but one day you'll be able to stand proud, looking back and say 'We did this. We got through. We are amazing.'
Today is not that day. Today you are all caught up in the minuate of having a new premmie. You are just putting one foot in front of the other and being the best mum you can for him. That's all you know how.
Keep going mama, one foot in front of the other, and you'll get there. One day you'll stand where I stand. You'll look at him, and you'll be so proud of your fighter all grown up.
And premmie mum, I am so proud of you right now. You are a fighter. You rock. You can do this.
another Premmie mum