So you are a member too?
I know you never wanted to join. You were probably devastated when you joined us. You had no choice, no opt out for membership, no unsubscribe.
There are no member cards or secret hand shakes, only our own language and abbreviations that immediately bind us as members. PDA, PIP, PEEP, CPAP, NEC, BPD, TPN, and ROP all roll off your tongue. Just saying the letters may trigger PTSD. You can count in cc's and can easily convert grams to ounces. You have willfully pleaded for O sats to go up, heart pressures to go down and blood gases to stabilize.
You have had a crash course in neonatology and semesters in cardiology, pulmonology, nephrology, gastroenterology and early intervention. This is knowledge that you never knew you would need, but have embraced it in order to be a better advocate for your child.
You know simultaneous joy and heartbreak. You have felt bitter and angry. You know that unique torture of leaving your child each night. You know the immense core shaking fear of watching your child straddle the line between life and death.
Your child may have "caught up." Your child may never "catch up." Or you may still be waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Like it or not you are a member of this club.
As a member you are strong, you are mighty, you are resilient, you are your child's voice, you are their best advocate. You are forever changed.
For one day relinquish the fear and guilt. For (at least) one day celebrate you. Celebrate the tremendous person that you have become and the tremendous person that has made you who you have become. Be proud of yourself - the caregiver, the pseudo MD, the advocate, the home nurse, the expert, the short order cook, and most of all the parent to an amazing preemie.
Please celebrate your membership in this club that you never wanted to join.
Wishing you a Happy Parents of Preemies Day on May 4th and every day.
Please support Parents of Preemies Day, a worldwide day of awareness produced by Graham's Foundation. Parents of Preemies Day recognizes the courage and commitment it takes to stay strong and resilient when premature birth turns a family's world upside down. Each year, 13 million babies are born prematurely across the globe and though medical breakthroughs continue to improve outcomes for preemies, experts are only now beginning to understand the intense psychological effects that premature birth has on moms and dads.Here are just some of the ways you can celebrate Parents of Preemie's Day, whether you're a preemie parent or someone who cares about a family with a preemie:
- Check http://parentsofpreemiesday.org/events.html to find out if there is an event happening in your area and if so, register. May 4th is going to be a great time!
- Share your family's story on the
- Connect with other parents of preemies at the next #ParentsofPreemiesDay Twitter chat! Jump into the conversation using hashtag #ParentsofPreemiesDay to talk about how moms and dads can celebrate being parents of preemies.
- Bloggers, visit the
- Parents of Preemies Day website and grab a badge for your sidebar – then create a Parents of Preemies Day post to tell the world why you're proud to be a preemie mom or dad. Email a link to your post to christa @ grahamsfoundation.org and we'll post it on the website!
- Visit the
- Parents of Preemies Day website for ideas about what you can do to support moms and dads of preemies.