As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, I can’t help but reflect on what a beautiful gift motherhood is. To have the chance of bringing forth life is a miracle.
The road to motherhood for me had its challenges, one of them being preterm labor at 21 weeks and delivering at 22 weeks, 6 days. For 119 days I watched my son fight for his life, and it was the most courageous thing I ever had a chance of witnessing. My perspective of life changed, and I discovered so much about who I am as a woman. Raising a premature child pushes you, challenges you, and really makes you appreciate the little things in life. I’m a bit more overprotective, I hold him a bit longer, and I constantly admire his strength and zeal for life.
It’s been 17 months since he became a NICU grad, and I still vividly remember the sounds, the smells, and all of the little details of our time in the NICU. None of it was easy but I grew so much through out journey.
I want to encourage the mom who has to spend this Mother’s Day beside her child in the NICU. I want you to know that I am thinking of you. This is probably not the way you imagined spending your special day. I know this is a bittersweet time for you and your family, and celebrating holidays can be a bit tricky. While others are out celebrating and sharing their fun day on social media, you’re sitting in a room watching the monitors or hoping your baby is stable enough to do kangaroo care. It’s okay to feel a little sad and wish you were home with your little babe. And it’s also okay to celebrate your motherhood on this day as well.
Often times you long for normalcy and pray for a miracle, while fighting back tears through a smile. When asked, “How are you doing?” you sometimes answer, “I’m fine,” while really wanting to say, “I’m not okay!” The constant highs and lows of the NICU roller coaster are such an emotional experience. You understand just how fragile life is, and you’re forced to make hard decisions that no person should have to make. And you do it all in the name of love.
You are not only a miracle mama, but you, my friend, are a hero! You’re strong when you don’t feel like it, and you make it look effortless. You advocate for your baby, spend countless amounts of time going back and forth to the NICU, while keeping your household afloat. Today you are celebrated, and I hope you know just how special you are. I hope that no matter how hard the days get, you never forget that you are an amazing mother.
Some may ask, “How do you find joy when you are watching your little one go through a tough time?” And to that I say, cherish the good moments, and create memories that will last far beyond the hospital walls. Remember that the best is still yet to come. While it may feel like life has stopped outside of the hospital walls, know that life will begin to fall in place again. Stormy seasons don’t last forever. I hope you are able to love on your little one today and get all of the mama cuddles your heart desires. And in addition to that, you should take a little time to be celebrated by your loved ones. Whether it’s going out for brunch or dinner, getting a mani/pedi, or just relaxing at home with your favorite movie and snacks. You deserve to be celebrated this Mother’s Day and enjoy a little relaxation.
So no matter where you are, know that my heart is with you today. I want you to know that your are appreciated and loved. May you have an enjoyable Mother’s Day!