Having a premature baby can be a scary experience. Actually, it’s terrifying! It certainly was for me. Holding that beautiful baby that fits into the palm of your hands at just three small pounds, thinking “wow, what a miracle.” Truly God’s miracle. Nothing matters in that moment as you gaze into the eyes of your beautiful child.
Then the doctors enter the room, and so does the guilt. They inform you that your precious baby has a long road ahead of them but they need you to be strong. That’s definitely easier said than done in these circumstances, especially when your heart literally stops at the sound of every beep the monitor makes that has your precious baby hooked up to it. You will start to question yourself. Is there anything I did to cause this? Or is there anything I could have done differently to prevent this?
I’ll be the first to tell you the answer to both of those questions is NO. I’ll also be the first to tell you forgive yourself. Use this time to build yourself up. Then you will be physically and mentally strong so that when your baby is ready to come home you will be rested and ready! Understand that the doctors and nurses are amazing at what they do and your baby is in good hands because your baby was in God’s hands first. Understand and educate yourself in the aftermath of it all on how to handle your preemie moving forward.
Try not to “compare” him or her to the “ full term” babies. Their journey will look somewhat different and that is OK. In the end, your baby is nothing less than perfect! I sat in the NICU with my son everyday and on day 21 I decided to pick up this book that had been sitting there and decided to read it. It was a book from previous NICU parents and their inspiring stories of courage that had come and gone before me. It really helped me through those last couple of weeks. I truly hope my words of encouragement can help the next woman whose baby is born premature. That book encouraged me to stay strong, but most importantly it made me realize I wasn’t alone. And neither are you.