Monday, August 6, 2012

Counting {Tiny} Blessings

There is no doubt in my mind that as parents of preemies, we would have loved to have a full term baby. No NICU, no roller coaster ride of fears and anguish…

It would be fun to grow a giant belly, have a baby the “normal” way, and take them home two days later. 

Yet for whatever reason, God in His infinite wisdom ordained otherwise for us. I am so thankful that He has a purpose in everything He does! 

While the NICU route is far from easy, here are some of the blessings I’ve enjoyed along the way:

Extra time to soak up the little days.  She came out little, and she has stayed little for a long time! Our daughter is still wearing 6 month clothes at almost one year old. Most moms say their babies grew way too fast, but I’ve enjoyed having a little baby for longer. Cherishing those sweet moments of snuggling… If I ever have a full term baby, I think babyhood will go by way too fast!

More wear out of baby clothes. Along the same lines, most babies outgrow their newborn clothes within a week or two. Our daughter wore hers for over two months! We definitely got our money’s worth out of them :)

Fresh perspective. Having a 27 week preemie opened my eyes to an entire world that I was previously unaware of.  It has taught me to never take life for granted, and to be thankful for everything I have (though I confess at times I still slip and complain, forgetting how much I’ve been blessed).  If I ever get the chance to carry a baby to 40 weeks, you can bet your buttons that I will be holding my tongue about my aching back and sleepless nights ;)!

A “womb with a view.” Not everyone gets to see their child develop outside of the womb. While it was certainly stressful at times, there is something truly remarkable about watching a tiny baby grow to “full-term.” Tiny stubs of eyelashes turning to long ones, fat filling in and puffing out a babe who was once so skinny, lanugo falling off, hair growing on top of the head… life is a miracle!

Opportunities to trust. Nothing makes you cry out to the Lord like watching your child struggle for life and breath. We learned to trust God with our little girls’ development, her health, and progress. We learned to trust Him with providing for outrageous medical expenses. We learned to trust His goodness when the answer to our prayers were “no,” and to rejoice when He said “yes,” and did exceedingly and abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think.

Awareness of the wonderful support network we have. So many friends, church and family members surrounded us with love, prayers, and support during our two month NICU ordeal. They called to check in, came to visit, brought meals, sent surprise checks and gift cards in the mail. It was so encouraging to know that we were not alone, and that people were rooting for us, and upholding us as we struggled. I am so thankful  for organizations like Preemie Prints that step in for families who may not have the same support network that we had!

A chance to serve others. Now that our daughter is well out of the woods, I love talking with moms and dads who are in the thick of the NICU. It is such a blessing to be able to encourage, pray with, and just listen to a group of people whom I never would have been able to understand before our experience. God gave us a preemie and brought us out to the other side, and now He has given us the opportunity to bless others.
What blessings have you experienced as a preemie parent?

 Guest Blogger - Rachel O'Neill is the proud mama of S, her little girl who came at 27 weeks weighing 1 pound, 15 ounces. She blogs about walking with Jesus, marriage, motherhood and housekeeping at The Purposeful Wife

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post! I agree so much with the blessings. Our peanut is still wearing 6 months at almost 8 months old...the boys are another story. While we didn't have any life or death scares with our preemies and they were only there for a few was quite an experience. The love and support of family and NICU nurses was incredible.