A Preemie's Journey
I remember the first time I held you-
I can still feel your soft warm skin.
Your fragile little body was so tiny and so thin.
Thinking about that moment still takes my breath away.
I can’t believe how much time has passed -
It still feels like yesterday.
The commotion all around me -
It was like I couldn’t breathe.
One last time I hold my stomach for in a moment you will leave.
The needle is in -
I close my eyes –
It will be my only relief.
Two pounds two ounces your daddy says as I wake up from my sleep.
They role you in to see us –
And your daddy strokes your hair.
Then a minute later they take you away and we’re left feeling the despair.
Through the night I clutch your pictures –
And ask God for the answer why.
Meanwhile I hold my ears because I can hear another baby cry.
Two days later we drive to Children’s Hospital –
My feeling of intimidation is extreme
As I lay my eyes on the place that keeps you alive –
It looks like the biggest building I’ve ever seen.
For four months the NICU will be your new home.
The clear plastic box you lay in is your new high tech womb.
I’ll never forget that feeling as I look around the room –
Sick babies laying everywhere fills my heart with gloom.
Then your dad points to you –
And to your bed I creep.
Underneath those bright warm lights - so peacefully you sleep.
The nurse hands you to me –
And we lay there skin to skin.
I feel your little body wiggle on mine just like it use to within.
I stroke your head so softly.
You are so tiny and so frail –
But as you snuggle in so tight to me –
I finally exhale.
That moment of relief was fleeting.
The ride had just begun.
For the next four months in circles our lives were going to be spun.
“She needs to gain weight and learn how to eat”.
It seems so cut and dry –
But little did I know that every day she’d give me another reason to cry.
She might me up five grams today –
But tomorrow she’ll be down fifteen.
I just sit there holding my baby tight
As her alarms continue to ring.
Is the needle in her hand today?
Or in her head or in her foot?
So many bruises everywhere
I’m almost too afraid to look.
The worse is yet to come –
A nearly fatal disease they find within.
Thank God they caught it early
Or her prognosis would be grim.
The surgery fixed my baby.
And our angel continued to grow.
Then one Sunday afternoon they said
“Tomorrow she’ll be ready to go.”
That day we walked out of the NICU and never looked back.
Our only reminders of it are the scars that we both have.
The ones on our stomachs –
That the whole world can see.
And the one on my heart that only holding you can ease.
This is beautiful. I came across this poem and it brought the memories of being in the NICU with my precious twins back vividly. I know the words in this poem will ring true for so many of us.