Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Changed For Life

Munchkin is home now and it's marvelous, scary, exciting, and beyond what I ever could've imagined. But don't assume just because he's home, everything is better and I'm just a regular new mom. We have two reflux meds we have to give him; one is once a day by oral syringe that has to be expertly timed between two meals, the other is 3 times a day. One of the meds makes his extremely gassy so he's on gas drops as well. He's on a multivitamin with iron because he's somewhat anemic because preemies grow too fast for their red bloodcell count to keep up. He has to stay upright for 30-40 minutes after a feed so he doesn't spit everything back up.

Since his system is still underdeveloped, any small cold could go right to the lungs and land him back in the hospital.

But what I know is that he's an amazing kid, stronger than I ever imagined or could hope for.

I also know that I will never be the same after the start my son had. I have an eternal soft spot for sick babies above and beyond just normal concern. I personalize every time I hear of a baby sick, especially a preemie or one that ends up in the hospital. I cry every time I hear someone is having their baby way too early because it brings back my own terror and I literally hurt for what they're about to endure.

I will always be the mother of a preemie, always. Even if he's 6'1 and 30 years old, he's still my 2lb 7oz feisty 29-week preemie.

I look back at pictures of his first few hours, days and weeks on this earth and realize just how early he was, just how small and fragile he was, and just how close the two of us were to losing everything; both of us were in peril and it could've gone either way.

But the little Munchkin is almost 4 months old and currently weighs in at 8lbs 14oz, 6 1/2 pounds more than his birth weight. We're still battling his reflux; he's on a new medication which makes his super gassy but some other moms with babies on this med said that passes after the initial few weeks. He's been a little under the weather the last day or so but we'll see how things pan out.

He's a fighter and getting to so big.

He can hold his head up pretty well, if you hold him up he can flex his legs and stand up on your legs. He likes basketball, loves being held and loves his tummy time. He's on the verge of smiling; any day now. He has several chins, huge blue eyes and his hair in any given light is dark brown, auburn or blonde, lol. He loves to feel soft things like blankets and sweaters. He loves the skylights in our bedroom.

I will never be the same after the last 4 months; not just because I'm a new mom but because of the way it all happened. It wasn't the fun way or the preferred way, but it was our way and it's made us who we are now.

 45 minutes old. Notice the pacifier in relation to his tiny head.

 About a day old.

Munchkin at 3 months. :) My big boy. Notice the size of the pacifier to his head now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Preemie Moms

How Preemie Moms Are Chosen~*~(Erma Bombeck)
Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia. Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity.

"Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie."The angel is curious.

"Why this one, God? She's so happy."

"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."

God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect She has just the right amount of selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see-- ignorance, cruelty, prejudice-- and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."

"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."