I love blogging. I saw a banner on another blog that said, "Blogging is cheaper than a therapist." Isn't that the truth? I started this blog to keep everyone updated with the progress of the babies. While it still serves its initial purpose, it has also become my therapy. My sister says I should seek a real therapist. I'm sure that wouldn't hurt, but honestly, when do I have time for that? I know that I am still traumatized by their birth, but I don't see how a therapist is going to make that any better. Most of the world has never even seen what a baby looks like that only weighs one pound and whose skin is so transparent that you can see through it. Anyone who can go through seeing their baby like that and isn't traumatized by it needs a therapist. I'll stick to blogging.
I can thank my blog for helping me find a way to get Medicaid for Cade. An old friend saw my link to the blog on Facebook. She read one of my posts where I was complaining about how insurance wouldn't cover enough therapies, etc. She is a nurse and told me how to go about applying for the Medically Dependent Children's Program since Cade had a g-tube. Thank you, Renita! Our NICU social worker should have told us about this program when we left the hospital, but she didn't, and it ended up costing us about $20,000. (That's a whole other story.)
In this big blogging world, I've met so many amazing mothers of micro-preemies. I follow several blogs. I love reading blogs more than I like to post on my own. Reading blogs is like reading a live, unedited memoir. It's real, it's impactful, and it's comforting. When I read posts from other micro-preemie moms, I feel like I know them well - like we are old friends. Sometimes as I read the words, I feel like I could be writing the exact same thing. Here are a few examples from my blogging friends:
This is written by Sarah, mother of Samuel (24 weeker), on her blog www.samuelpope.blogspot.com "Not too many months ago, I found myself surrounded by pregnant women. Surrounded. Suffocated. Smothered. Overwhelmed by. I didn't know how to cope with the jealousy I was feeling. I prayed about it a lot. I tried to force myself to 'talk baby' with my pregnant friends. When that didn't work, I resorted to putting distance between us so that I could avoid feeling jealous altogether." She goes on to say that she had overcome this jealousy with the birth of her beautiful niece.
I hate to admit it, but I have avoided baby showers, and I cry when I see pictures of joyous full-term births surrounded by friends and family holding big, healthy newborns. It actually looks strange to me that all those people would be touching a newborn without first "scrubbing in" at the scrub station. Of course, I am happy for them; I wish all babies could be born big and healthy; however, it still hits a raw emotion for me that I hope will fade in time. I almost feel selfish saying that because I had that joyous birth experience with my first daughter; is it being greedy though to want the birth of all your children to be joyous?
When the babies were in the NICU, I often thought about how strange it felt that the world was going on as it always does even though I was walking through life in a permanent zombie-like state. Katrina, in her blog www.brycemoline.com writes, "I'd stand there in line and smile vacantly at strangers wondering maddeningly how all these people could go about their lives so nonchalantly, how could they go for coffee, laugh at dumb jokes and worry about their petty problems. Didn't they know I was losing my baby boy!? Didn't they know that as we stood there he was fighting for his life!?"
There are countless other posts that I have related to in many ways. We have a "blogging circle", so to speak. They follow all the trials, appointments, therapies, complications, and eventually triumphs of Camdyn and Cade just as I follow their kids' accomplishments. I feel like I know Samuel, Charlie, Jack, Bryce, Eliza, Harper, Sofia, Olivia, and so many other preemies. I cheer when they accomplish new skills. I know how hard they had to work and how much therapy they had to do to meet those milestones.
Alyssa says it so well of her 24 week twins on her blog, www.miikkifamily.blogspot.com., "Love, happiness, pride, joy, and a huge dose of *relief* as every new skill is learned. /When your babies start crawling around and standing up after you've spent days, weeks, and months wondering if they are going to spend their lives in a wheelchair....words cannot explain the feeling. /Some people might wonder why I keep dwelling on the fact that the girls were preemies. Well, the fact is that they are still preemies. It's not a condition that goes away. . . . I will dwell in the fact that my babies are miracles, because they are and always will be. Every single thing they do is amazing."
I have created a support network of local preemie moms through Hand to Hold. We get together once a month for coffee or dinner. I hope it grows to reach out to more moms. Being a preemie mom can be isolating at times. Another twin mom in our group said it was nice to have a place to share stories/advice with other preemie moms. She said she had joined a multiples group, and their problems were just not her problems. I knew instantly what she was talking about. It's hard to listen to other moms complain about their babies' sleep schedule when your cribs are empty because your babies live at the hospital or listen to them worry about their babies not eating vegetables when yours is tube fed, etc. I've met some of the most amazing women through this group.
Back to blogging - I've searched high and low to find other blogs of surviving 24 week twins. I know that several people do not blog and there are more 24 week twins out there, but as much as I have searched and searched to find it, I have only found two other blogs of surviving 24 week twins, and one lives in Finland! Interestingly enough our stories are very similar (see 24 week twins link above). Who knew that a girl from Texas had so much in common with a mom in Finland?