You are probably wondering why I am posting a picture of Anastasia next to a jar of peanut butter. This jar of peanut butter weighs 2 lbs and 8oz. Almost 8 months ago Anastasia was born weighing only 7oz more than this jar(2lbs 15oz). In fact, in the first few days of her life her weight dropped until she actually did weigh as much as this jar. Since today is World Prematurity Day, Let me tell you a little bit of what it’s like to have a premature baby.
Every day out of the 84 days in the NICU you ask yourself what you did wrong and what you could have done to prevent this
Every day your heart breaks when you have to leave your baby at the hospital while you go home.
Then you get the phone call at 3 AM telling you that she was going to need a blood transfusion. One of the most terrifying moments of my life was seeing my caller ID at 3AM say Duke Hospital and not know what they’re going to say.
Then you go to visit her and you see this tiny thing with a big IV needle in her scalp because her veins are so tiny that’s the only place they could put it.
You jump every time the alarms go off because her heart beat drops below 80bpm. You have nightmares of that alarm.
You go with her to the MRI room because she has fluid in her skull and the doctors don’t know what it is or where it’s from.
You watch as she fights for her life and all you can do is pray. You pray as she learns how to breath. Pray as she learns to eat.
Then you’re told she can go home and you go to the hospital excited thinking today is the day. But minutes before you get there her heart beat drops to 30bpm and when you get there you’re told she has to stay and your heart shatters and you weep. This is what it means to be a preemie parent.
Now let me tell you what Anastasia has taught me. She’s taught me that you don’t know what life has in store for you. The things that you see happening to other people can very easily happen to you.
She taught me not to judge parents’ attitudes if you don’t what they’re going through.
She taught me to be a better person.
I saw a picture this week that said this:
The walls of a NICU have heard more prayers than a church.
Let me tell you. I dont think I’ve prayed as much my entire life as I did when Anastasia was born. And now, I get to watch her grow and learn more every single day.
She has no vision issues.
No hearing issues.
No more fluid in her skull.
No more heart murmur.
No more reflux.
No more kidney stones (yeah she had them)
No more any of the issues that she had when she was born.
She truly, without a doubt, is our miracle child. And we thank God every day for giving us the honor and priviledge of being her parents and we ask him every day to guide us in raising her.