How Having a Preemie Changed Me
It dawned on me the other day when I was talking with another preemie mom that I am not the same person as I was before. Our experience changed me. I think mostly for the good...
1. I'm better at rolling with the punches than I thought. Before Jax was born, I really liked plans. I liked crossing things off my list. Having a preemie threw that out the window! I learned right away what it meant to literally take it one day (or even one minute) at a time. Now, I'm able to just be with the people I love, rather than worrying about what comes next.
2. It's really hard for me to accept help, but I'm so glad that I did. When Jax was born, I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other. I wasn't used to this. I was always the "strong one." But, I needed help. And thankfully my best friend and my sister saw that and they organized an entire community of support for our family. And suddenly, we had food to eat and our dog was walked. And our friends and family organized a benefit for us so we wouldn't worry about how we would stay current on our bills. And I stammered and hemmed and hawed and I finally said... thank you. And a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Now, I'm more willing to give and receive help.
3. It really bothers me when people say things like, "Well, you should be happy he's alive!" And, "At least he's here now." And, "What's the big deal? He's fine now!" When they say these things, it feels like they are discounting our experiences. I know people are probably trying to focus on the positive future, but it makes me shut down. When someone says something like this, I truly know they will never "get it." Now, I understand that not everyone has to get it.
4. I believe in Guardian Angels. I'm convinced that Jax's guardian angels were with him every step of the way. Science, technology, and skill all played a huge part in saving Jax's life, but there were days that I could feel them. Now, I see my mom and father-in-law everyday in the rays of sunshine.
5. Being a parent is the hardest job I've ever done. I worry. A lot. Now, I know that karma is a bitch and that I put my parents through hell!