Monday, November 18, 2013

On Raising Awareness

So guys.

There is on average about one awareness campaign a month that Jack could take part in, having certifiable membership.

Tube Feeding awareness
Hydrocephalus awareness
Cerebral Palsy awareness
Sensory Processing Disorder awareness
Vision Impairment awareness
...and on and on.

You see where this is going?

Sometimes it starts to feel a bit old. As in, these labels that are assigned to my kid are on a constant pedestal, demanding attention and awareness building and blogging and tweeting and instagramming. Sometimes I really don't feel like it.

Sometimes I just want to blog about how cute Jack is and what he means to me. I normally stick to that. I don't have any grandiose plans to use this space as a platform other than "yeah, my kid is a micro preemie... but look at how flippin' amazing he is."

I used to blog a whole lot more about prematurity. Maybe some of you found this blog through a search on preemies. I had a whole lot to work through and I wrote a lot because the premature birth of my son changed the whole trajectory of our lives.

But guys, truthfully, I didn't remember it was World Prematurity Awareness day until I logged into FB and saw some friends posting pictures of themselves dressed in purple. I had a moment where I was like "already another one of these?"

I debated saying anything about it. I ended up posting a photo of Jack's little hand, reaching up to me. The first time we touched, really.

Friends, I hadn't looked at this photo in years. Maybe the last time I updated my blog layout. Yesterday after posting this photo (maybe just another instance of Preemie Mama Guilt), I remembered how much of a significance this photo meant to me in the past. The power in it. The truth in it. The beauty of it. The remembrance that 1 in 8 babies are still born too soon. Of the amazing work of Embrace. Of how far medical advances have come, but how much further we have to go (especially in the developing world).

But I only offered up Jack's hand. I know some day I will do more.

Then late last evening the March of Dimes posted a photo of our very own Capitol building lit up bright purple. The lawn on which our picnic spot resides. This place, you guys.

You got my attention, World Prematurity Day.

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MrsRoss said...


I found you blog after searching for something to share with my friend who had her daughter at 29 weeks. She is doing great. She is a miracle.

Your son is a beautiful miracle too. On November 12th, 2010 I went into labor at 23 weeks 2 days. I gasped when I saw your son was born at that gestation. Unfortunately, her cord prolapsed and she ended up cutting off circulation. I have a full term daughter that just turned one. She is my world.

I want to tell you that you are wonderful. You are an amazing mother to Jack. I don't even know you but I can tell. He is so blessed to have you. I think you are strong and are doing a wonderful job. Don't listen to those who don't understand. Your son is your first priority and that is what matters.

Blessing to you and your family,

Elicia Ross

Jessi said...


Thank you for such a wonderful and sweet note. It was so thoughtful of you to take the time to write. I love hearing from you.