I knew it could happen, I just didn’t think it could happen to me...Meet Micro Preemie Mama Heather

Hello Project Preemie World! I am so excited to be blogging with Project Preemie and sharing my story with you. I’ll give you a quick intro about myself before I get into the nitty-gritty of our NICU stay and the two years we’ve since had in the preemie world.

I am a glass-half-full person. Always have been. Even when faced with hardships, I’ve always thought, it’ll work out. It’ll come around. I had never had a lot of bumps in the road, until it came to my pregnancy. Hopefully, I got all my bumps at once. 

My daughter, Holly, was born 16 weeks early, weighing 1 lb. 5.2 oz., and was 11 inches long. I had good friends and acquaintances who had preemies before — I knew it could happen, I just didn’t think it could happen to me. When my pregnancy began to head south, I felt like someone had taken the movie of my life — you know, the one we all imagine ourselves to be in — and pressed stop. They took my movie out of the player, threw it away, and put in someone else’s. A horror movie. A disastrous, terrifying, so-scary-you-can’t-even-focus type of movie.  Compounding the terror of our daily life was the feeling that no one else understood what we were going through, and the isolation that creates.  And while it got better, it never felt like I went back to my old life. I mean, your life does change, no matter what, when you become a parent. I just didn’t anticipate the seemingly never-ending trials, or the person I would become. There were a lot of days I wished I could be anyone else, to have a “normal” pregnancy or a “normal” delivery. 

Ultimately, I’m glad my husband and I went through what we did. It was impossibly hard, but I also know I’m a better mother, a better person, for it. I hate the phrase “everything happens for a reason” because it feels like a huge cop-out, like we don’t have any say in our lives; but I do feel like I am responding to our family hardship in a way that makes me proud of myself, and proud of my family. Two years later, I still consider myself a glass-half-full type of person, although now I am looking at what’s in the glass much more closely. 

Over the coming weeks, I will share our story from the beginning — guts and all — in the hopes that no one else going through this must feel alone.