Both of my children are, and will always be, the most precious jewels I’ll ever own. My son is a rough diamond, his temperament can be spiky and at times, his wild and ragged ways can hide his true beauty. However, it’s unmissable. He sparkles and shines, dazzles and astonishes. His true worth is undeniable. My daughter is polished, perfectly formed, radiant and breathtaking. She’s carved, hand-made to perfection. Her true worth is showcased with every edge of her being. They are, quite simply, divine.
Most days, I find myself feeling so blessed and grateful for the cards I’ve been dealt (even throughout the tantrums…and there’s plenty of those). Some days, I just can’t believe my luck.
My son arrived easily (not the labour, that was bloody hard). At 37 weeks, I was tired but not worn out. I didn’t experience those final days awaiting our due date or going overdue and the torture that must bring. He arrived Three weeks early, perfectly healthy, perfectly fine.
But this blog isn’t about him, it’s about my little miracle. My Warrior Princess.
When I went into spontaneous labour at 31 weeks, I was petrified at what the future could hold. I knew of premature babies but I didn’t know enough to comfort me in those few hours before Siena was born. It was the worst possible feeling. There was every real possibility that I’d lose her, that our ending wouldn’t be so happy and that’s why I feel lucky.
Some Mothers would cry at the prospect of a premature baby and it’s something, in truth, I would never wish upon anyone. However, all those Preemie Mammies out there, I hope you feel as proud as I do.
All Preemies are miracles, they’re hand picked Angels sent to us to remind us just how precious life is. They show us strength beyond recognition, fight for something we could never comprehend having to, grow and flourish and allow us all to witness the special journey they take.
Siena arrived with dignity. She saw what battles she had to overcome and pushed them aside. She fought to breathe on her own and, when her lung gave up, she promised herself that she’d survive and that’s why I feel lucky.
I feel lucky because my daughter had the determination to get better.
When it came to feeding, Siena was four weeks actual before I was allowed to try. I was anxious and worried as my son had not taken to breastfeeding. I wasn’t what he wanted and I feared that I wouldn’t be what Siena wanted either. It took her two very short minutes to decide that she wanted breast. She fed as though she’d been waiting for it for the 28 days she’d been deprived and that’s why I feel lucky.
I feel lucky because my daughter had the determination to grow.
When it came to leaving Hospital, Siena was 5 weeks actual. I solely believe that our short stay in the NICU was due to her ‘Diva’ personality. As I’ve watched her grow, I can imagine her as a teen and then as a woman. She’s confident/bordering on cocky. She’s daring and independent. She’s strong and in control and that’s why I feel lucky.
I know our journey has been relatively easy but we’ve still faced the everyday heartache of having a Preemie. We missed her when we couldn’t be near her. We’ve cheered at every ounce gained and cried at every ounce lost. We’ve fretted about germs and tried our best to protect her. We’ve obsessed about her lung and live in fear of it collapsing again. Illness is not allowed to happen but THIS is why I feel lucky. I feel lucky because I was blessed to see my daughter grow so strong. I’ve felt what it would be like to lose her and now I know I need to appreciate her so much more. I’ve seen her fight to breathe and now can’t help but watch her do it so seamlessly. I’ve held her translucent body and watched it transform into beautiful silken skin. I’ve fed her through a tube then watched her route for milk. I’ve lived through the brain bleeds and rejoiced as she’s hit milestones. I’ve listened to her irregular heartbeat and watched her take it all in her stride. I beam with pride from my fingers to my toes.
Being a Mother is hard. Being a Mother of a Preemie can be all the harder but it’s also more rewarding. I don’t want pity for the ride we’ve had. I want people to praise my daughter for the miracle she is. She’s my gift, my lesson learnt that I’ll never take her life for granted…or her brother’s.