My daughter was born eleven weeks early. My wife was diagnosed with preeclampsia and it escalated quickly. We did everything we could to prepare for our babies birth – classes at the county health center, saved every extra penny, read books, listened to podcasts. Then all our expectations or preperation for her arrival felt useless. We had to take everything one day at a time and adjust to life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Everyone is healthy now and are happy to be home but I do miss the support of the nurses and doctors to explain what was normal and what was not. I think the positive side of my daughter being born premature was that the transition from life without a baby to life with a baby came with tons of support.
By the grace of God our little angel got to come home, and as tiny as she may be, she’s the biggest thing in my life.
And that’s the point. I don’t want a t-shirt that says World’s Greatest Dad. Rather I want to share with the world what it is like to be a grateful dad.
Had the experience of bringing a newborn home been something like coming home three or four days after she was born and walking around the house wondering, “Now what do I do?” I think psychologically the situation would be more difficult. As scary as it was to be in the situation we were in I could at least talk to someone about what was going on, what was ‘normal’ and what to expect. If the nurses and doctors weren’t panicking then I probably had no reason to panic.
And now that we’re home, changing diapers, feeding her every two hours, listening to her cry… I feel calm. I have faith that everything is going to be okay. And I am grateful that I get to change diapers. I get to give her a bottle. I get to listen to her cry. And I get to lose sleep. Because none of these things were guaranteed. And they never will be.
So remember to be grateful for every moment, as difficult as that may be when feeling tired and overwhelmed.
Every day is a gift.