Monday, June 13, 2011

The Micro Preemie Roller Coaster

I didn't want this weekend to end. It was just too good. Friday night started with Jack showing us his growing walking skills. He really amazes us. I feel like we are riding an emotional high, because Jack is just wowing us at every turn this month. We cherish, celebrate, and let ourselves enjoy each of his accomplishments, no matter how small...  because you never know when a dip in the roller coaster might occur next. This weekend was one of those "highs" that is hard to describe. One when the stars aligned and everything just felt GREAT. Jack was eating. He was walking with our help. He was happy. We could be out together as a family. We could spend hours in our grassy yard. We were enjoying each other so immensely that we really didn't need anything else in the world.

Jack loves to fly high with daddy's help.

Last night I was thinking about being the parent of a micropreemie. I was having a hard time sleeping and I got on one of the many preemie parent support websites. Someone asked if anyone else feels completely overwhelmed taking care of their micro preemie. She was referring to the intense schedule that most of us hold. The stress and the worry. How we spend hours and hours feeding, in therapy, and giving meds to our children. About the emotional toll that it all takes on ourselves and our relationships. She wanted to know she wasn't alone in her struggle. She was having one of those "lows" on the micro preemie roller coaster. And oh how I know those low feelings as well.

I thought back on the different seasons I've been through with Jack. How I've felt alone, like I was the only one in the world who could possibly understand what it was like to have a child with Jack's needs. How I was jealous of some who didn't have a care in the world regarding their children. How they didn't appreciate how good they had it... or appreciate how hard I was working and struggling. How no one seemed to understand. How I was operating in survival mode. One of the hard parts of living in a rural state is no support system. That is why many of us turn to the virtual support system. We can vent. We can uplift. We can dream together. We can experience the highest of highs and lowest of lows together. And we get it. We get that we MUST celebrate and we MUST mourn together. We are a family in that sense.

And so we celebrated this weekend.

And Jack flew higher and higher.

The lesson of the roller coaster is that unless you experience those lows, and know that you are stronger and better because of them, you won't ever truly appreciate the highs.

 And this weekend, we sure appreciated them.
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Sarah Pope said...

You succeeded in making me cry again! What a great writer you are. This post makes me wish (again) that we did not live on the other side of the country from you. It would be nice to celebrate the 'highs' together. :) May this 'high' be long lasting for your family!

Shannon said...

So true, Jessi; and no one can appreciate those highs like those of us who have experienced those extreme lows. Today, in my sleep-deprived state, after one of the toughest nights in a long time, I needed to be reminded that soon enough, we, too, will be flying high again!