Three weeks ago we celebrated our coming home from the N.I.C.U. one year ago by going on a family vacation! That was so needed, and we made so many wonderful memories. I can't believe how much Michael has grown in that time! He has been through so much, and continues to teach me so much! Life outside of the N.I.C.U. can at times be so much more complicated, I am glad we have graduated, and still so happy to be home. Being home though has a whole new set of challenges, and it can be harder to find all the answers. At times I struggle with finding the right set of words to explain to others what we are facing. I know its because I am learning so much as I go, which has never been an easy thing for me, I have always liked having a plan of action. I am learning though that so much of parenting is "oh that isn't working, time to try this". I think that the milestones are tough on all first time mommies. I understand why they exist, but sometimes I think we make to much out of them. Sometimes it feels so hard to leave the house, because I feel like I am entering a battle field almost every time I step outside the doors. I know that people mean well, and family I excuse because they worry like I do from love. I am so blessed to have the family support that I have and I am thankful everyday for any advice and opinions they give. I am not directing this article at anyone in particular. I am just putting the feelings I feel out there, so that others know they are not alone to feel those feelings or for other micro preemie parents who may still be N.I.C.U. to realize the challenges out there. I remember being so worried about coming home with oxygen and all the would entail, and I want to laugh at how little an inconvenience that was. Maybe I will look back at all these things with the same smile. :) Everywhere you go it is amazing how everyone wants to know how old your baby is, it is the universal question, but one that I don't like to answer to strangers because of the path of conversation it takes us down every time. People get taken a back by Michael's age not because of his size, but because of the development delays, and I really feel the hurt there. We work so hard to "catch up" at home, that phrase brings such a mingled mesh of emotions to me. These little guys who fight so hard to live, now have to fight so hard to "catch up" to what other babies are doing, and that can be a struggle let me tell you, and one that we will probably be facing for the next two years! But it also brings a hurt to me, because it was a complication with me physically that brought him into this world earlier and brought so much struggles for my little guy to have to face. That is a lie that goes through me, and I have to remind myself of the truth. God has a plan bigger than all I can see! Then it hits me the last conversation we had with the doctors and nurses when they were releasing us from the N.I.C.U.
Every morning at rounds they would go through what I called the "day of life" lecture. A nurse would read what age he was born, what happened on days of life, and what day of life he was currently at, and what there next plan of action for the day or week was for him. On the 83 day, the day we got to go home, his room was filled with nurses as they read his chart, and there wasn't a dry eye in that room as we got to that day, at all the miracles God was able to accomplish through his life in those 83 days! It was then the doctor put his hands on my shoulders and told me "Mommy I truly believe this baby is meant to accomplish something great!" "He has been such a rock star, and God must have big plans for this boy." ! That conversation I don't think I will ever forget. But sometimes I just have to stop all the worries and daily battles, I struggle with, and remind myself that he is right. I don't know what God's purpose is for my baby, but I know that He has one, and that He is using all these things to mold me and my little man for that purpose. My hands are so busy, and my schedule is so full with everything we have to do to catch up. But my hands are full of good things!! They are filled with the blessings of God, for choosing us to be here facing these things. AND we are RIGHT ON TIME, in His hands as he is developing us!!