Some days I want to move past this. I want to be over it. I want to pretend it never happened and that it has no hold in our lives anymore.
Our last three and a half years have been consumed with prematurity. We have lived it in hospitals, we have lived it at home, and we still deal with the consequences of it today.
But just when I want to stop telling our story, I remember the reasons why I keep sharing. We are not the only family affected by prematurity, nor are we affected by it the most.
1 in 9 babies is born premature. Each year 13 million babies do not get the start at life that they deserve or need. Countless families are dealing with, or will deal with, the emotional toll that comes from watching a child struggle for days, weeks, or months in a hospital.
Believe me when I say that the emotional toll can be great.
For a lot of families, it doesn't stop there. Many former preemies (especially micro preemies) face lifelong health issues - including cerebral palsy, asthma, vision problems, hearing loss, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities.
I bet you just skimmed over that didn't you?
Those are real babies, real people, and real families.
Today is World Prematurity Day. Today you can read any number of posts with the statistics I've mentioned. Prematurity has consequences. Preemies are not just 'little babies' that need to grow.
But what I really want to say has nothing to do with statistics, and has everything to do with these little lives.
They are worth it. Health issues, developmental delays, learning disabilities included.
My intention for this blog has never been to see how many page views I can get in a day. I don't want to be a 'hub' for the preemie community. I just want to share our story. This crazy, beautiful story of God's grace and healing...a story that sometimes looks pretty and sometimes doesn't.
And that's ok because, maybe, by sharing our story we are giving those who know very little about prematurity, a really good look at it.
These babies, the ones who have been born early, and the ones who will be born early, are important.
They are worth it.