I've often said, and am a firm believer that, until you have personally experienced something you may never truly know the real emotions behind it. And you certainly share in the growth that comes from it.
Before this pregnancy, I had two beautiful and healthy boys. Both were born a few weeks early but extremely healthy. My second pregnancy was considered high risk and there were meds involved at the beginning, restrictions in place, and modified bed rest from 34 weeks until I had him at 37.5 weeks. But still a pretty good pregnancy.
As a mother, your worst fear is that something will happen to your child. That extends beyond pregnancy and birth. And it is a true and legitimate fear. The thought is always in your head that your children are gifts and that they can be taken from you for any reason at any time. That's' why we do everything in our power to protect and care for our children. It's why we live and breathe from the moment they come to us.
And while we are aware of this gift and that others are not so lucky to experience it, we really can't truly grasp the sacrifice that some families make in their effort to live this dream of family. Sure, we are all aware that some women get put on bed rest. That some babies are born premature. That some babies don't make it past birth or are given a death sentence before they are ever born due to development or genetic issues. And it registers to us as sad. But our lives go on.
With this pregnancy I walked through a door. I have been placed in a classroom with other parents who are learning some major life lessons. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not appreciative that God did not take my baby at 13 weeks when we were rushed to the ER bleeding profusely. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't realize that we are one day closer to a healthy baby- but that it's not a given until he is here. And there most certainly isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of all the other mommies and families who are making the same sacrifices my family has had to make.
During this process I have joined a community of women who have been through the things I have been through (and more) and have felt the things I have felt (and worse). I read their updates and their blogs. I cry for joy when they make it to term and deliver their healthy babies! And I weep when one of them looses their beloved child. To see pictures of these tiny miracles for the time they are here, and to hear their stories is earth shattering. I can't imagine what it would be like, or the kind of strength it would require, to have your child for just a few short days or hours. I hope I never know. I hope I never find out how you come back from that and become normal again. I pray that my baby makes it out healthy and joins our family just like every one of us plans.
These women and their families exhibit a type of strength that few will ever know. They are my heroes. Every woman who has literally put their life on hold to sit and create a life, who has lost their job, not been able to care for the children she already has, had to rely on other people to care for her, laid in bed each morning scared to move until she felt her baby kick, and lastly anyone who has had to hold their child in their last moments. It's a whole other world that few will ever enter and few can relate to. I keep each of my fellow bed rest mommies and any NICU mommies in my prayers.