We purposefully take things slow and try not to over-plan our days. In these quiet moments, I've been thinking a lot about where we are and where we are going. Specifically as it relates to Jack, I've been thinking about his story. And about prematurity in general. Being born at 23 weeks is a huge and integral part of his miraculous beginning.
It will always be a part of us, a part of him.
But somehow, I'm not connecting to it as much these days. As time goes on and Jack grows up, I am able to look at our story and see a bigger picture. Somehow (and thank God for this), we have left the day in and day out rigors of preemie land. I can see beyond the struggle. I can see the light, for a better term, and I am so thankful. Cause preemie stuff is hard, ya'll!
Let me try to explain further, because I am not saying that our lives aren't affected by Jack's early birth anymore. The contrary (we still have a medical team of a dozen people helping us in this). But I no longer have the desire to write about each and every little thing preemie. I have plenty of moments where I think "wow, this would make a great blog post! You should have heard what this person said or what I found out!" But Jack is no longer a fragile baby and my emotions aren't as fused to his early birth as they once were. Although Jack is still "medically fragile", it's just different somehow. We are four years out.
The NICU is becoming a fuzzy memory, really. Last week a fellow blogger posed the question to FB fans - how many days was your preemie in the NICU? I had to go back into the blog and look it up. Seriously. I just could not remember. Thank goodness we have been writing through all of this, because my attention to detail is getting lost as the days/months/and years pass.
Maybe what I'm trying to say in all this is that I am finally moving beyond that experience. Will I still write about it? Sure, I will absolutely write about it. But I also feel a great connection to all parents of special needs kids. Let me explain - we are part of the micro preemie community, first and foremost. I have found my best micro mommy friends through this group. But I am now a part of a larger group of special needs parents dealing with issues and doctors, and therapists, and such.
Beyond it all, Jack is just my little boy. And I am just his mom. I can relate on that level, too.
What does this mean, really? I don't know. Maybe it's that I've finally come to acceptance and have moved on to, plain and simple, enjoying our life. I am learning to let things go. I still worry about Jack's health, about his development. But I also sense I am in a much healthier place in my own psyche. I no longer deny the issues that Jack is facing or feel embarrassment, hurt, or anger rise up. I am so proud of where my boy is and don't shy away from any of it.
It's a new day.
P.S. Have I mentioned lately how beautiful my boy is?