When I woke up this morning, I had an entirely different direction this posting would take in mind. Then I attended the Newborn Hope fundraising luncheon, and it was headed a different direction. And now again at nearly midnight on the eve of Struthers’ birthday, it has yet again changed direction. But I guess that summarizes the last year altogether and is rather appropriate, as emotions and directions and physical condition change rather quickly when you have a preemie.
So the things I was going to tell you this morning: I was going to tell you that I’ve been struggling. Struggling with the fact that everyone who finds out we have a preemie asks the invevitable questions surrounding going into labor. I never went into labor. My water never broke. I wouldn’t know what a contraction feels like. We made a decision to essentially rip my son out of my body because he was better off out than in. It was that or… So until now I’ve felt quite separated from the majority of preemie families and stories. The circumstances make it feel like we had a choice…and that allows for wondering whether the right one was made as I watch the ‘ramifications’ unfold. And I blame myself for my son’s suffering. I can know in my head that we really didn’t have a choice if we both wanted to survive, but I still wonder. But my realization through this is that perhaps it’s not that different from every other preemie mom or even every other mom. We will all spend motherhood second-guessing and what-iffing. And that’s just what motherhood is about. At the end of the day, my body failed me and brought our son into the world way too soon. But the emotions of that are exactly the same as every other preemie mom, even if circumstances were quite different.
And the emotions during the lunchtime fundraiser: I unexpectedly “lost it” twice…Once when these cute little girls went skipping down the runway. Skipping. And I could actually for the first time imagine Struthers doing just that. The overwhelming emotion associated with the realization that we escaped so much…well, God has spoken mightily and no words I have can add to that. The other moment was when one our favorite NNP’s was honored. A family summed it up by pointing out that she made everyone feel that they were the only family in the NICU. No truer words were ever spoken and to hear that another family felt exactly the same way was amazing.
Tonight: After Struthers was asleep I began preparing for his birthday party tomorrow. And I went to hang the STRUTHERS banner that I made for his NICU bay. And it kept falling down. Four times I rehung it, and four times it fell. Then I noticed it still had the medical tape on it from our NICU days. And I recalled that we always had a hard time getting it to stay up. It took layers, different methods and a whole team to pull it through. And there you have it…perfect symbolism of this last year. I’m continually amazed at what God has orchestrated.
Tomorrow we will celebrate what we didn’t really get to last year, and there’s overwhelming gratitude but also sadness and ‘processing’ in that. Your prayers are always felt and appreciated.