The parents of the premature child face a host of challenges. From time on bed rest to a fast track of research and education as to how to assure the survival of and provision for an early arrival. From scrutinizing doctors’ reports to learning to read the infant’s cues and comfort ranges, you are invited to showing up in real time as never before.
Some preemies will be born with developmental, sensory or physical challenges and may need the help of occupational, physical, or speech therapists in equipping them for the world and the many vicissitudes of living here. Parents will inevitably learn from and work alongside these professionals, when utilized. Some may be extraordinarily intelligent or gifted, as was Einstein or Churchill, Darwin or Newton, and come into the world in a hurry with an insatiable energy for life and all they were born to accomplish here. Siblings may feel some loss of both parents’ abiding presence and attention during hospital stays and through transition home.
The mission of ensuring the best for a new arrival to the NICU and life beyond is all consuming, eclipsing daily life and its demands (though they fail to disappear). Parenting the premature child and his siblings is at once daunting and a privilege.