Sometimes, the spirit of thanksgiving almost topples me over. I am the proud preemie mom of a 24 weeker miracle, and like most “PMs”, I once spent months of my life staring at my heart through an incubator. Before my child had the chance to experience the world, he had the task of fighting like heck to stay in it. It was hard to watch, and hurt me to the core of my soul. Prematurity is a pathway into parenthood that no mother or father ever expects to travel. I only experienced 24 weeks of my first pregnancy, and I longed for the other 16. In the first few days after he was born, it was impossible to see the good in any of it. I fought to get up and out each morning, in spite of my sadness. It was the lowest point of my life.
After five long months, mountains of sickness and a few surgeries, my son Jharid finally came home in September of 2012. Those first two Thanksgivings and Christmases after he came home were difficult holidays; he was in isolation for RSV season and therefore so were his dad and I. Honestly, between his early birth and where we are now, 2 and a half years later, there are a plethora of things I could be bitter about. I am sure most preemie parents can make a list longer than Santa’s. The last thing a parent wants to do is see their child struggle. But that is not the way to properly raise a miracle.