Oct 23, 2014

share your passion: How Are You Doing?

October is crunch time for my dissertation and I'm really feeling the pressure! My defense is on Monday.  (Are you tired of me blogging about this.  Too bad. ) To help lighten my load, I'm bringing y'all some amazing guest bloggers. These folks will be taking over my blog every Thursday to share their passions.

This week, we have a great blogger who blogs semi-anonymously. "P" was pregnant with her son "V" at the same time I was pregnant with the twins and our due dates were only a month apart.  P had an incredibly complicated pregnancy and V came early. Like really early. V was born at 24 weeks 5 days. 

P is an amazing mama of a medically complicated child and she and her son V are inspirations to me.  They have survived some tough stuff and are both superheroes in my mind.  You can learn more about them and their journey at her blog, Handpicked Miracle. As y'all know, the twins were born prematurely (defined as any baby born PRIOR to 37 weeks -- so James born at 37 weeks 1 day is not premature) and we have had a journey. Life with a preemie is different than life with a term baby. Life with a micro-preemie is EVEN more different. 

I love talking to other moms about my high risk pregnancy and my experiences in the NICU and with my preemies, but P takes it to a whole new level. P has combined her professional training in clinical psychology with her personal experiences and now offers health and wellness consultations to individuals and couples dealing with infertility, high-risk pregnancies, and preterm birth. If you are interested in these services please leave a comment on this blog post or reach out to me via e-mail and I will help get you in touch with P.

How Are You Doing?

They are just four simple words but the answer to them often evades me. Raising a toddler who was born 15.5 weeks early comes with wide range of emotions that ebb and flow daily.

Sometimes I'm exhausted by the constant doctors' appointments needed to monitor almost every major system of his tiny little body. Sometimes I'm frustrated that most of our time during the weeks is spent in the car to doctors instead of play groups. Sometimes I'm angry that social activities like playgroups are not an option for us because his lungs need to be protected from respiratory viruses. Sometimes I'm jealous that other families have healthy babies. Sometimes I'm lonely, unsure of who can relate to our life. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty of my son's future health and development. Sometimes I feel helpless that I cannot take away his struggles. Sometimes I feel scared that he could get very sick and we could almost lose him again. Sometimes I feel guilty that my body could not protect him the way that he needed. Sometimes I feel resentful that he has to suffer for something that my body could not manage properly. Sometimes I'm tired of prematurity and don't want to deal with it anymore.

Most of the time when someone asks me "How are you doing?" I answer "I'm ok" or "I'm fine". As you can see, that could mean any number of things. But most of the time it means "I don't know." I don't know which of the many, many emotions I am feeling more at this particular moment. I don't know if I even want to think about it to figure it out. Or if I do know, I don't know if I want to get into it.

But every single time someone asks me "How are you doing?" I feel I have just been given a great big hug. Because I know that through the fog of medical diagnoses, fights with insurance and stress about caring for my medically complicated child that I live behind, I know you see me. I know you care. And I appreciate it more than I can ever say.

Tripp and Davy. In the NICU at one day old. 

I felt like the post needed a picture, but P and V are semi-anonymous.

So y'all get pictures of these preemies instead of her beautiful micropreemie.

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