Thursday, January 28, 2010

All Preemies Are Not Created Equal

I've wanted to write this post for some time now... pretty much since this blog's inception about 18 months ago. I've held off until now because it's important to me not to alienate or offend anyone, particularly another preemie parent.

But here goes:

All preemies are not created equal.

I know no other way to say it. There seems to be this unity among preemie families that is an absolutely beautiful thing. I cannot begin to explain how much I enjoyed the community of spirit that I was a part of on this past Prematurity Awareness Day, November 17, 2009. I absolutely love to hear other preemie parents tell their stories and it warms my heart when I get emails from other moms and dads who are parenting precious children born too early.

But there is more to it than that. I have to be honest with you all...

It bothers me when every other parent of a preemie tries to equate his or her story with mine, especially those whose babies were born, well, somewhere in "the 30's"... 36 weekers, 34 weekers, even 32 weekers...

That sounds petty. Or like it's a competition. It is NOT.

But just consider this for a moment...

If your baby is born 7 weeks early, at 33 weeks gestation, she is most certainly a preemie. You likely view her situation as being very different from that of a full-term infant. And well you should. Realize this... your 33-weeker is closer, in fact, to an absolutely full-term 40-week newborn than she is to my barely 24-weeker. Your baby was 7 weeks early. Mine was born NINE weeks before that.

I started this blog because I don't think there's enough support out there for parents of MICROpreemies- those preemies born before 26 weeks. I remember searching for an online support system and all I could find were general "preemie forums". I'm glad those forums exist, but I think it's important to recognize the unique challenges that very, very premature babies face compared even to their later-gestation preemie peers.

I blog about a whole lot of things now and much of it has nothing specifically to do with a micropreemie. I don't intend to stop that. But I do promise to make sure to talk about "micropreemie stuff" at least once a week moving forward. If you happen to be the parent of micropreemie, please chime in and let me know! If you're not? Please read these posts if you get the chance. I'd love the opportunity to tell you more about these precious tiny inspirations...

No comments: