Monday, August 27, 2012

when you find your people

When Jack was born, I didn't know where I fit in anymore. I suppose this is normal for any first time parent. But my learning curve, with extreme prematurity thrown in, seemed to last forever. Some days, I wonder if I will ever learn how to properly navigate the waters of special needs parenting. When people are cruel, when Jack is mistreated or left out, when I stumble on my words and don't stick up for my boy quick enough, when I am utterly exhausted, and when I worry, worry, worry about my son's health... these are the times where I know I have a lot of work to do.

Last week, I had a couple experiences that left me with a lot of hope. Since I live in such a small city, it is easy to feel lonely in this special needs world. Add in two years of RSV isolation, where I didn't make it out of the home more than once or twice a week, I just didn't get to meet many who are in the same boat as us. And frankly, there are not a whole lot of 23 weekers in my state. Maybe one or two more? It's a very isolating feeling.

I am happy to say that in the span of one week, I got to meet up with three other moms who have kids with varying health issues.

And it felt so good.

Just to talk together. To laugh. To cry. These woman have all dealt with a "new normal" and suddenly, my own experience didn't seem so unique. I felt like I had found my tribe. Like they immediately understood this crazy world that I come from. I didn't have to explain things. I didn't have to put up a protective guard. I could just be.

If you are one of those ladies, thank you. I really needed it.
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Samantha said...

Really needed it and really deserved it! So glad you had that opportunity!

Joanna B said...

That's so wonderful...I have a couple friends like that myself, and it has made all the difference in the world. It is especially nice now that we are getting ready to adopt again, and expect another isolation year :-)

Marcie said...

Happy to hear this, Jessie. I know I am incredibly blessed with Veronica's health and progress, but I still find myself wishing I had someone close by who can relate to having a micro preemie in the NICU. It's something I still think about every day......

Michelle said...

I started a dinner group with moms I met in our NICU. They told others and we now have a pretty consistent support group. We meet once a month, and it is so nice to talk with others who understand the concerns you have. I wish all of our blogging buddies had similar support groups.

Robyn Adams said...

Love this! It is a lonely place! I am entering my first RSV isolation season with my 23 weeker who is 7 1/2 months old (3 1/2 corrected). I am blessed to have been connected to a few preemie moms since having Asher. I would love to somehow create a preemie mom support group! It feels like a small club-- but the more I have been in this "world", the more I have been connected to more and more with a similar story. It's a blessing. And I love reading what you've learned about parenting a 23 weeker as we are just getting started! We have a blog as