I found this poem years ago about prematurity and it has stuck with me ever since. I did not write this but the words sum up the experience entirely.
"There’s something about prematurity that once you’ve experienced it in your life, YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.
Prematurity shatters your dreams of a healthy newborn experience.
It causes you unthinkable pain and anguish, both physical and emotional.
It has the capacity to literally exhaust you.
It robs you of your peace…it takes your illusion of having that precious and awaited bonding time with your newborn baby.
Prematurity steals the feelings of joy, excitement, anticipation, enthusiasm, and happiness. And replaces them with fear, anxiety, distress, sorrow, and grief.
Prematurity makes you leave the hospital without your baby.
It forces you to leave your baby in the hands of strangers, who get to make decisions about his/her very life.
It robs you of the experience to breastfeed, bathe, and soothe your baby in his/her natural environment.
It makes you feel inadequate, inefficient, and unable to take care of your child.
It hurts your baby and ends your pregnancy untimely.
Prematurity abruptly breaks the natural bond that is innately created between a mother and her child.
It doesn’t allow you to celebrate the birth of your child with your friends and family.
It makes you mourn the unexpected loss of your pregnancy.
It fills you with fright, sorrow, worry and a mixture of overwhelming emotions.
It makes you feel guilty. Even when you know you’d give your life for your baby to reach full term.
Prematurity substitutes the fun adventures you have dreamt to experience with your child, with constant fear of your child getting sick and not being strong enough to fight it.
It deprives your baby from the natural, pleasant, and soothing contact with family and loved ones.
It imposes on your child needles, medications, unnatural equipment, unpleasant sounds, and the frequent and unanticipated touch of strangers.
Prematurity makes your child struggle to catch up with developmental milestones.
It affects your child’s learning capacity and his/her very future.
Don’t let prematurity also rob you of your faith, hope, love and determination to fight with and for your child."
I know this from first hand experience. My first born entered this world entirely too early at just 29 weeks and 1 day and my world has never been the same. This was prior to my picking up my camera and now, 7 years later, I wish I had a visual memory of our time. And now, I want to give to others something that I did not have.
I am so excited to announce that I am now offering complimentary NICU sessions to families currently experiencing a NICU stay in the Kansas City Metro area. Please take a moment to check out some of my previous NICU work and spread the word to your family and friends.