Let's be honest - having a preemie sucks.
Don't get me wrong. I love preemies. I adore them. I enjoy caring for preemies at every stage of their young lives - from the touch and go fragility of newly born preemies, to the hard-earned celebrations for accomplishments like taking a full bottle or having no apnea during a kangaroo care time. These are wonderful feelings, and it's really incredible to be a part of helping them thrive.
But it sucks. No parent wants the stress, the worry, the separation, the anxiety. I watch parents time & again struggle through this awful experience, hoping they come out on the other side of the NICU with a healthy child and an intact emotional foundation.
Because it is not easy.
Here's my perspective on just how hard it is (from this article on VeryWell.com)
What is prematurity?
It is not what any parent wants. Ever.
It is a frightening ride into unknown territory.
It is being thrust into the hardest possible parenting struggle, before you've even met your child.
It means a birth surrounded by fear and uncertainty rather than excitement and celebration.
It means NOT being together, parent and child.
It means NOT holding your baby.
It is feeling disconnected from the one person in the entire universe that you've been waiting to connect with.
It turns joyous expectations into unbelievable decisions to make.
Can you relate? Did prematurity suck for you?