But I know.
Each moment of 46 days in the NICU are burned into my brain. 46 days where the concept of joy, fear, pain, sadness, and wonder merge into a super emotion both exilarating and exhausting. I don't wish a preemie or a NICU experience on anyone, but whenever I meet one I know that I can relate. I know the language, the panic and the hope of the place.
Baby goat was born at 33 weeks - 7 weeks early. He wasn't ready to come out but my own body made it necessary. Even so we were so lucky. My blood pressure could be controlled long enough to give him steroids. Baby goat hadn't stopped growing at any point. My doctor had pre-eclampsia herself (3 times) and knew just what to watch for.
I didn't have the birth story that anyone plans for. Baby goat didn't have the beginning I planned for him. 1 in 8 children don't. I didn't hold baby goat until he was 2 days old. I know parents who had to wait even longer.
Holding baby goat for the first time
A friend of a friend lost her baby at 23 weeks today and I've thought about it all day. We know so little about what triggers labor or illness or any of the emergencies that can require babies to be born early. Too many people know the sorrow of losing a child. And too many know the joy of watching a too small child grow and thrive through overwhelming odds.
It is imperative to keep supporting the research on prematurity. It is not that long ago that baby goat and I never would have survived my pregnancy. And there are still mothers and babies who do not. That needs to stop.
My child is my daily miracle. All children are whether they have his beginning or not.
Baby goat went from this:
But I pray for a day when no one has to endure the NICU, the wires, the fear.
Every year, 20 million babies are born too soon, too small and very sick-half a million of them in the U.S. November 17th is when we fight!
I fight for baby goat.