Monday, April 20, 2009

The Preemie Reality

Have you ever had one of those days where things are going great and then all of the sudden one thing changes your mood? Yah, well, me too, and that was my Friday.

Friday I got a call from P-town's* occupational therapist. She is a sweet lady and has been following Parker's development since day one! We went in a few weeks ago for his most recent follow up appointment and she was impressed with how well P-town was doing. He was in the average points value for his adjusted age! That's good! But she was concerned with his muscle tone and how he has a tendancy, ok, not a tendancy, but a almost consistent way of tensing his legs and body. Now, don't get me wrong, he can bend his legs, arms, ect, but more often then not, he will tense up while sitting, standing (he does this with support) and such. For example, most babies, when they sit, will sit with their legs bent in some way, Parker automatically puts his straight out and tenses them. Anyways, like I said I got a call from "K" friday, she was reviewing his file and writing his letter to Dr. D and to "S" our Help Me Grow case worker. She said that she wants him to be evaluated and start some physical therapy for a few months. It's really to help with his tone, but when I heard that, I became negative Nancy and worrisome Wanda and now I am in a mood.

For whatever reason, I can't seem to get out of the haze that is my Nancy-ness and my Wanda-ness. If I really think about it, this isn't that big of a deal, he's not getting speech therapy or physical therapy because he can't walk or something. It's just to help him loosen up and such. I should be happy and thankful that he has this opportunity, but the Nancy in me is thinking it's the end of the world and that my son has issues and the Wanda in me, well she's just a pain in the rear! She has me thinking that he will never be "normal". What a liar that wanda can be! And the Denise in me, the Denise and me knows that hey, this is the reality of a preemie, some have more challenges than others and I am thankful that his seem to be little in comparison to other preemies out there. The Denise in me know that this is my reality now, my focus, the focus of other's is helping Parker to be the best he can be and to catch up with his actual age.

The reality is this: preemies face challenges, big and small. Some preemies spend time on oxygen, some have heart problems, some need speech therapy, other's deeper physical therapy. It's the life of a preemie parent to focus on you child, head to appointments, remember you child is only "this" age developmentally, ect. The reality is, our children, our beautiful preemies are special and require more care than children born at full gestation. My hubby's brother was born with many physical disabilities and his mom and dad's reality was taking care of a son who was confined to a wheel chair, with few words, a little movement and had many many hospitalizations. Like them, I have a reality too, the reality that, my son is small for his actual age, is viewed as an (almost) 11 month old, but developmentally is 8.5 months old, he requires more "work", he has 1 tooth and he will be one next month, he takes meds daily...ect.

That's my reality - I am a preemie parent - A PROUD ONE! I love and adore my son. Of course I wish that he had been born in August and that I didn't have this reality, but can't change that. God blessed me with a son born 11 weeks early, a son that will require some more attention. Most days, I feel blessed and humbled by this reality, some days though, like friday, I feel cursed. I cry sometimes realizing that this is what I will be working with for a while, but the truth is, Parker WILL catch up and years down the road, I will be able to tell him his story and share all that I was able to learn. God knows what he is doing and why, I just need to trust that. God has taught me lesson thus far and I can only imagine what He has planned for me.

Parker - if you read this many years later, know that I am honored and blessed to be your mommy. I love you more and more each day. I am only human and I have unfortunately human emotions that can challenge me. I am proud of you an all you have overcome in these past almost 11 months and I can only imagine how much you will overcome and accomplish many years down the road. You teach me every day, you make me smile and you are worth it all!

I really hope this post has not come out insensitive or whiney or negative to any of you. I certainly didn't mean it that way. I think it may be a way for me to vent, to let my emotions work themselves out. I am thankful that Parker has not had some of the challenges he could have and I certainly do not want to make those who do think I have it worse, I know I don't!

Just a reminder, our March of Dimes walk is this Sunday, there is still time to donate! Click the purple box on the right side bar to donate!!!

*P-town is turning into Parker's newest nickname thanks to my friend Amber! I have been saying it more and more recently!


Heather and Travis said...

I know how you feel Denise. When our early interventionist mentioned that she wanted a PT eval for MK I was so upset. Any parent wants only the best for their child and they want their child to do well and meet and exceed all "those milestones". We have since started PT and it's been great. I just try to look at it as a quick way for MK to catch up. I should feel fortunate that she has all these services available, but it is still hard at times. Just know that you are doing what is right for Parker and that he is so luck to have you as his mom!

Heatherlyn said...

All children are different and come with different trials. I'm sure that physical therapy will be a really good thing.

Two of my daughters did not get even one tooth until they were 14 and 16 months-old, respectively!

Carrie said...

Thanks for sharing this -it's a good reminder for those who don't have to deal with those struggles every day - how blessed we truly are. And I think it's neat how God has worked in your family and in your life since you've had Parker - He really has!

Anonymous said...

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