A letter to my babes for Prematurity Awareness Month…
November is prematurity awareness month. For moms of preemies, it’s a month full of articles, blog posts and social media stories reminding us of the painful start to our children’s lives. The March of Dimes wants to bring awareness to prematurity to help prevent it in the future, but let me tell you something: not all premature births can be prevented. Sure, some moms did drugs or other things detrimental to their babies. I sometimes go back over every little thing I did or didn’t do during my pregnancy to try to find an answer for why Porter stopped growing in utero. I didn’t eat lunchmeat, caffeine, caesar dressing (even though most of it is probably fine). I didn’t drink except a sip of champagne on NYE and one sip of a Woodchuck. I didn’t use products with parabens and tried to use as many natural products as possible, even if the smell of them made me sick. I indulged in ice cream. Is that what did it? Is ice cream to blame?
What I really want you to know is that being born prematurely is not your fault, and likely not mine. It’s not what will define you in life. It pains me to know that for the first two years, at least, you will be measured by your adjusted age (which makes you 7 weeks younger than you actually are). You can do everything that full term babies can do, on your own time. Which, by the way, is also how full term babies do things – on their own schedule, at their own pace. You’re not ‘behind’, you’re not ‘delayed’. In fact, you’re stronger than most. You have a fight inside you that most babies never have to discover.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, I was given 7 extra weeks to love you. You made me a mother and I’ll be your mama bear when I need to be. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
All my love,