I Was A Preemie Too!

I’ve waited almost as long to write this post as I did to proudly exclaim We’re home! For seven long months, Don and I would walk into the NICU every day—two or three times a day sometimes—and walk past the I Was A Preemie Too! wall, a bulletin board plastered with smiling snapshots of other families’ successful journeys. How badly I wanted to proudly display Nyana’s photo up there; partly because I wanted to share Ny’s story with someone else experiencing it, but mostly because I knew that if we were displayed on that wall, we weren’t still confined within those walls.

Some of the displays on the wall were simple handwritten notes of thanks with a photo pinned to it; others were elaborately designed with heaps of photos of the days and weeks spent healing. Older children—teenagers, even—smiled out from their school photos, the details of their tiny and early arrivals penned on the back. These families, all of whom walked before us and none of whom I’d ever met, were such an inspiration to me during our darkest days, and I sat down to craft Nyana’s announcement this week.

Having been home for more than a month now, it really is surreal to realize how long ago it all feels. The NICU almost feels like a bad dream now—although the emotions are still quite fresh and are very real, the whole journey almost feels like a distant memory just out of reach. So in crafting her poster, looking back through all the photos we took, I was flooded with the same emotions I felt in the moment the photo was taken. My C:\Users\KPad\Pictures\Nyana folder has 4,200 files and takes up nearly 8 GB of space on my hard drive. The photos are sorted into eight folders by month, and starting in September, photo by photo, I relived the entire experience all over again. The first photos we ever took of her, so tiny and fragile in her first hours. A photo of me in my wheelchair, still wearing a hospital gown and still with an IV drip in my wrist, reaching into her solarium to stroke her tiny head. Five days later when I held her for the first time. Her PICC line coming out. Her first ‘bath’ in a stainless steel mixing bowl. Extubation. Christmas Day. Our first outside time. Four thousand photos, four thousand memories. And an emotion attached to each and every one of them.

Today the sun is shining and we’re preparing for a stroll in the sunshine with our babygirl. We’re doing normal family things and experiencing normal parenting dilemmas. Nyana and the NICU made me want to be a better person; reliving our experience made me remember all over again just how far we’ve come and made me grateful, yet again, that Nyana was a preemie, too.

I Was A Preemie Too!

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About Mrs. B

Wife, mother, marketer--not always in that order. Lover of fine food, good company, and exceptional grammar. Mother of one former micro-preemie and one full-term monster baby. Building childhood memories in Vancouver's suburbs.
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17 Responses to I Was A Preemie Too!

  1. Juju says:

    Nice to finally get up on the wall, eh? Congrats.

  2. Heather says:

    Beautiful work Karen. I love it and I know it will inspire the babes that come along next.

  3. Kim says:

    You amaze me ❤

  4. Twiggy says:

    Yay!! She’s on the wall! I also hope she inspires other parents, too!

  5. Max's Mum says:

    Great work Karen!
    She definitely earned her spot on the wall!

  6. Diana says:

    Gorgeous poster. I know other parents will appreciate it!

  7. Olivia ♡ says:

    That’s so awesome. Our picture we put up on the NICU wall was a low-grade print-off of one of his “2 month” pictures, where we handwrote his name, birth date, a quick spiel on his condition, and then put “diagnosed with HIE III on December 23, 2010”. We’re so ghetto, LOL.

  8. Carmen says:

    The poster looks awesome. I’m sure it will inspire other parents too!

  9. Anne Brackett says:

    Beautifully done Karen….

    Love to all Mom

  10. Janice Taylor says:

    It looks great Karen! Now I want to make one for Ben 🙂

  11. Naomi Jesson says:

    Beautifully done! I love it!

  12. Linda says:

    This announcement is such a beautiful legacy for all of the families of future preemies who will have to make the NICU their homes away from home. You will be giving so many people the power of hope and a reason to believe that their precious preemie will one day come home, just as Nyana did. Your announcement speaks volumes. If only one family or one parent walks away from reading Nyana’s story with a feeling of peace and calmness about them, knowing that if Nyana fought and won her battles then their courageous preemie can do it too, then you have given them a wonderful gift. Families that came before you and Don gave you hope and comfort with their success stories and now you are paying it forward to those who follow. The powers of a one kilo baby girl are truly amazing!!
    I am so very proud of the three of you!!
    Love
    Mum/Grannie

  13. Tom Wiebe says:

    A great addition to the bulletin board Karen. Especially the advice to parents at the end. Lisa and I have been debating our ‘I was a preemie’ notice, I think we’re going to wait until Trajan’s first birthday to post ours. Tomorrow, we’ll have been home as many days as we were in the NICU (118). It’s amazing how quickly time passes outside those walls. Seems like a lifetime ago already.

  14. RoxiP says:

    Your ability to put your emotions into written word is extraordinary, and I love your poster! You especially know how much it will help others and I know you can’t wait for the day when Nyana can look at it and know how much she was loved.

  15. Kaili says:

    It does look great- well done. But you know there is a typo in the “Have Fun” blurb right? I’m sure you’ve noticed by now. 🙂

  16. Duncan & Dorothy Gillies says:

    Dear Don, Karen and Nyana
    Loved the poster – what a creative family you are – for creating your little princess and then being able to express your thoughts and feelings so eloquently.
    I expect your story is an inspiration for many families coming after you.
    Take care all. Love Duncan & Dorothy

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