How has being a preemie parent changed you?

Being a preemie parent has taught me so much and I am sure I am not alone, so what have you learned?

I learned:
-What a true emergency is, not the pseudo emergencies that I had with my first(congestion, 103fever, etc) but TRUE LIFE OR DEATH EMERGENCY

-My own strength, I never thought I could deal with a special needs child or an extended hospital stay with a child, turns out I can ;-)

-that my child is happy no matter what, he smiles and enjoys life no matter what he has been through, how can I be sad or sad for him?

-that I wouldn't have it any other way, despite not wanting this outcome, I am very lucky to have such a special little guy.

-not to judge others, you don't know their circumstances, that even if their child LOOKS normal, they may not be.

-that people ARE idiots and will judge and criticize your parenting despite not knowing what goes on in your life

-that no one truly knows your struggles, only another preemie mom in your situation knows where you have been and how far you have come.

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So true! I've also learned how mean and judgemental adults can be towards children.... I've learned from those situations that I can control my anger better then I would have ever thought I would in that situation!!!!
Patience is the big one for me! That was a learning curve!
Strength! To push my child more then regular children get pushed in day to day activities!

I had always hoped to be a great mother.... And I think that raising my very special little guy has made me an amazing mother.... Preemie moms/ kids with disabilities moms put in a whole new kind of effort.... Hard to explain but it creates a bond with your child... So special!

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To walk humbly

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what I learnt that do not take life for granted...enjoy each day as it comes..I liked all the points...

Got to know my strength....got a lot of support from friends esp. emotional support...then realised that world is not too bad...

Also some people really do not understand the time we faced....so I have stopped telling my son's premature birth ( he was born at 24 weeks 4 days)...Just recently I was telling someone and she was like...oh its so common ...not a big deal (I would always pray that such things so not become common at all)..
.And yes the most important lesson...do not comment on someone else's childs weakness...the most hurtful thing u can do to a parent...If u do not have something good to say..DO NOT SAY ANYTHING...

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To appreciate every moment more. Life is so random.

An even greater appreciation of my husband, he really stepped up as a parent to our other kids after our preemie was born, as well as being my emotional 'rock' through the roller coaster <3

Be kind to everyone you meet on the journey, even if they are not: who knows what load they have to bear.
If you can't be kind, say nothing & stay away from them :)

Not to be a whiner. There's always someone worse off than you (especially in NICU!)

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That life isn't always as easy at is seems...that this beautiful little girl was brought into my life for some reason unknown to me, except for the fact that I am learning from her everyday.
That preemies aren't just small babies, they are something entirely different and need to be treated as such. That things you never thought you could make it through you can and will because someone is depending upon you with her life.
That babies won't eat, even if they are hungry. That my tiny little girl is the strongest little girl I know and she will teach us all in volumes! That God has a sense of humor. That words like FTT and IUGR would become my everyday conversations. That there are more drs than I could ever have imagined going to in my liife.
That fighting for someone makes you a stronger person and I used to be a good mom, but now I am an informed mom who can stop drs in their tracks when I know more than they do...That my husband can surprise me.
That overall, there ARE always worse senarios then what is in your life right now and to count my blessings everyday. That there are amazing moms out there in the world who are wonderful inspirations and I can grow more strength from them.

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I've learned that the little things are just a great as the big things.
Love with all your heart
Miracles do happen
The greatest gifts in life's are those that touch your heart

I never thought about having a preemie until I did. He is my everything and has changed my life for the better. I never though I could find the simple things in life so amazing. His smiles melts my heart and I don't I ow what I would have done without him. I needed this change and it has brought close to my family again and close to God. Ethan made me a better person who wants the best for him.

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Every moment holding a baby is special and should be relished in, even if the kid is screaming its head off.

You cant judge a book by its cover (or determine a babies future by his birth). These little guys maybe start out so fragile but they won't let the stars be their limits. :)

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I love it!! Thanks for sharing your moments, there is so much about being a preemie mom that changes us and makes us better. I think we all go into this thinking "why me" and end up being grateful that we were chosen to be the parent of such a miracle. I would have never picked this life but now that I have it, I wouldn't trade it for anything, this was the path chosen for me and although I may never know why, I have learned so much from it and grown in so many ways! I think that we are the lucky ones!!

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I still feel like a broken woman, I feel much weaker after going through the preemie experience rather than stronger. I did learn a lot about preemies problems etc. I learnt how strong a tiny baby is, the will to live overrides everything else. I learnt how painful it is for a new mother to be seperated from her baby, that animal instinct that all humans and animals have. I learnt to never judge another family, because I have no idea what they might have been through. I learnt what real fear is.

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@Sarah, I am so sorry that you feel broken :-( I truly hope that you are able to find something that makes you feel better...I know that at one point I needed counseling, maybe that would help? Know that you ARE a strong woman, if you weren't, you would not have made it this far through your journey. ((((HUGS))))

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Thanks Quinsmom. There are a couple of reasons that have brought back all the old anxieties, one is that I'm pregnant again, and have just reached the week that Kate was born in, and the other is that I've been having to relive the worst moments of Kate's near death experiences as we prepare for a possible court case for negligence against one of Kate's doctors. I think that I will eventually be stronger for the whole experience, but it is still too soon for me. I have considered counseling, but I won't put Kate into daycare yet. I function pretty well on a day to day level, I do feel strong now (not as strong as before), but overall I can't say the preemie experience benefited any one in my family.

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