Thursday, November 24, 2011

In Gratitude - Part 2

“I'm thankful for two beautiful smiles that I almost never got to see.  I'm thankful for every kiss, every hug, every word, every step, every 'first'- because they all mean so much.  I'm thankful for having a greater appreciation for life, for love, and for my children.  I am thankful for the ability to find a huge amount of joy in the smallest, everyday moments.  I am thankful for the doctors, nurses, researchers, etc. who have worked so hard to give me the beautiful, happy babies I have today. I am so thankful for miracles.”  -Alyssa

“I am thankful for a great first day with braces for our little guy!  I was up and down all last night worried about how Ryan was going to handle the initial “first steps” in his new braces!  He did so well……I almost cried.  No arguing from our little head strong boy….”  -Amy

“Born at 25 weeks, 3 brain hemorrhages, non-communicating hydrocephalus (with 3 shunts), subglottic stenosis, tri-plegic cerebral palsy, infantile spams, epilepsy, cortical vision impairment, and 35 surgeries so far.......I am thankful for every single second I get to spend with my daughter, every giggle she shares with me, every temper tantrum she throws, every poopy diaper, every sleepless night, every trip to the clinic, every stay in the hospital.  I am thankful that unlike so many other moms, I got to bring her home.  I get to watch her grow.  I have been given the precious gift of time.”  -Shannon

“It's hard to know where to start with the things that we are thankful for this year. We are thankful for our twin boys, Cohen and Carter, born at 25 weeks. One at home with us and the other in heaven with Jesus. After 130 days in the NICU we are so thankful to have Cohen home with us. We are thankful that we can dress him, change his diaper, and snuggle him whenever we want. We are even thankful that we get to get up during the night with him. We are thankful for every single obstacle he has overcome from kidney failure, premature lungs, being on a ventilator for 2 months, infections, chronic lung disease, and an enlarged heart. We are thankful for all of his progress, whether it happens according to what he "should" be doing or not. We are thankful for everything he does. We are also thankful for our other son, Carter, who gets to be with Jesus. We are thankful for the time that we got to spend with him, counting his fingers and toes and talking about how perfect he was. We still have an ache in our hearts for him, and we miss him every day, but we are thankful that we have the hope of seeing him again some day. We are thankful that the Lord gave up his son so that our son gets to be with him in heaven.”  -Janna

“We are thankful that our son Zachary, a former 26-weeker, is happy and getting healthier every day.  Although we were told numerous times that he wouldn’t survive or could have severe physical and developmental problems, he has proven everyone wrong and is home and thriving after 249 days in the hospital.  We’re thankful for the talented and compassionate doctors and nurses who cared for him and for his toughness and determination in the face of such long odds. We’re also thankful for all the support we’ve received from family, friends, and strangers who have helped us navigate this strange and difficult journey called prematurity.  We pray for all of your preemie miracles out there and give thanks for their perseverance and courage in continuing to overcome their early births.”  -Erin and Jerry

“We are thankful for the amazing care our girls received while in the NICU.  We are thankful for the Ronald McDonald House that was available to us during their stay.  We are thankful for the other preemie parents we have met on this journey.  We are thankful Madyson and Makayla are here!  They have taught us so much.  To live each day to the fullest.  To celebrate every milestone, no matter how small.  We are thankful for all the love, support and prayers from our family and friends.  Our preemies changed us forever in a good way.  We are better parents because of them.  God Bless!”  Stacey

“My son Noah was born at 26/4 weeks gestation and I am so thankful for the way he has single-handedly changed my life. I am thankful for the way he fought (and continues to fight) like hell each and every day of his life for what happens effortlessly and naturally for others. For his laugh and cheerful, curious, perseverant personality. For his kisses & hugs, his handful of signs, his chubby thighs, how smart he is, the way he loves baths, our cat and reading books. For the people that his prematurity has brought into my life - doctors, nurses, therapists, support group members and new friends. For the way he has made me a more accepting, patient and creative person. For the way he has forced me to become a fierce advocate for everything he needs and deserves. For the excitement and celebration that each new milestone and discovery brings. For the way he has made me aware of what's really important and for being able to stay home and raise this precious gift and miracle.”  -Erin

“I am so thankful to God, for giving me the best gift ever:  My preemie, Oswin.  Before he came into this world I knew what love was, but didnt realize just how much you can love someone until I held him in my arms for the very first time; He was so small and so fragile; yet so strong as he survived being born 2 months early. He inspires me.  I am thankful for having him in my life and each and every day I look at him and realize how lucky I am to have him, because he has made me a better person, he taught me how to be strong, how to be patient, and that its okay to fear sometimes.  My son gave me the meaning of life.  I love him with all my heart, with all my life.”  -Keila

“I am thankful for NICU nurses.  They make the world of a difference with a NICU stay and can really be an uplifting presence.  Both of our boys were in the NICU and both times it was incredibly hard.  The nurses are truly amazing.  They were helpful and encouraging with breast feeding and even washed pump parts on occasion for me, they brought me juice or water when I was parched, became my best friends for that period of time, told me about their lives and provided a distraction, and always had a friendly smile! Most of all, they took great care of my babies and I never had to worry about them while I was away.  I will always be thankful for NICU nurses and they will always hold a special place in my heart!”  -Gaby

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marcie said...

Well done, Jessi. Thanks again for sharing these amazing stories. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sarah Pope said...

Such beautiful babies...what a blessing they all are. :) Happy Thanksgiving Jessi (and Jack!)

Shannon said...

Tears - just beautiful, Jessi - thank you!