Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Three Things You Should Not Say to a Preemie Parent

Last week, I shared three great things you can do to help the parents of a very premature baby. This week, I'd like to clue you in to three things you should avoid saying. For some of you, these may seem obvious. But- please believe me- they have been said. More than once.

  1. "Your baby was born two (three, four, etc) months early? You're SO lucky! All of mine were LATE... it was awful!!"
  2. "Do you ever wish you had made a different choice about, you know, keeping her alive?"
  3. "Well, I guess it was just God's will..."

Now, listen... I believe in God's will as much as the next guy. And, yes, I do believe that there was a reason and purpose for my daughter's early birth. But, here's the thing... when your child is struggling to live and her very survival is a giant question mark each day, well, it's hard to figure out how exactly that is God's plan when you're in the trenches. All preemie parents may not agree with me on that one but, for me, it felt almost accusatory... like, "God's plan for ME was to have four healthy, full-term births. God's plan for YOU was to suffer the near-death of your tiny baby." I'm just saying...

Lest you think you should just avoid speaking to the hyper-sensitive preemie parent, let me leave you with a bonus three things that we love to hear from you:

  1. "He's (she's) beautiful."
  2. "Let me know if you need anything."
  3. "I'll be praying for you."
It's really that simple.

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