Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Defending Preemie Moms Everywhere

The ignorance of people is always amazing to me. I once had a lady at a green house ask me how I carried Elizabeth around when she was only one pound (why I brought up her birth weight (Elizabeth's not the nosy lady) is beyond me now). I firmly told this women that Elizabeth was VERY sick and required lots of medical attention and I couldn't hold for for weeks; she was shocked.

A few weeks ago Elizabeth and I were shopping at a craft store. We were getting things for her birthday party, some beads to make jewelry (my new hobby), and t-shirts for the March of Dimes walk. They store didn't carry the correct color and my conversation with the check out women went like this:
I told her why we were walking; she was very excited to tell me "oh! I have a friend who had a baby at 23 weeks or something like that!"

I looked at her for minute then quietly asked if the baby survived.

women- "oh sure (obviously she has no idea that many don't),he was in the hospital for a while (no kidding!!)"

me- "that's great! How is he doing?"

women- "oh fine he is still on oxygen, but I don't think he needs it any more. I think his mom is just over protective and worries to much, I think he has CP too"

me- (eye brows raised to my hair line, inside I am screaming WHAT!!!) "Well, doctors are really the ones who make those calls. They are pretty careful about not keeping kids on oxygen any longer than they need to be. Too much can cause problems. If he is still on oxygen that it is the doctors call and he really does need it" (I was not going to let slide, we preemie moms need to stick together!)

women - "oh"

me - "what is his name?" (you know because I know ALL of the local mirco preemies!)

women- "his name is Hunter"

me- "Hunter! I know Hunter! His mom and I are friends and involved in the same NICU group for our hospital."
After our little exchange I felt so much better. I not only did I defended a wrongly judge mom, but a friend too.

If you haven't seen your baby hooked to machines and tubes, been told your child might not survive the week, if you don't live in fear that the next cold could put them in the hospital, then please don't judge. Yes we buy purell in bulk, avoid crowds, miss family functions to keep our kids away from germs, and drive ourselves CRAZY trying to feed our kids. Sure some people might think that we overreact, are over protective, or just plain crazy; but we have earned that right. Bring on the purell!!


Bev and Eldon said...

I really enjoyed your post. If you never have experienced a micro-preemie in your familiy, you just don't understand. I am constantly amazed at your strength and knowledge of Elizabeth's needs. I know you protect us from a lot and that's just another example of your tremendous love. We will continue to support you in any way that we can. We're so very thankful that Elizabeth and Ava have such wonderful, strong, Christian parents.

johnandness said...

Elizabeth is such a beautiful miracle! We are so glad to have her in our family. We, (and some of our friends), are walking this weekend for Elizabeth and all the other preemies!

Billie said...

Thanks for this post Sarah. It's great that we have each other to support one another, since most people have NO clue. Unfortunately, my experience is that over time people get really tired listening to me talk about germs and protecting my kids, and even those who used to be supportive think I am too paranoid. But, they aren't the ones who have to sit in the hospital every time their kid gets a cold!

Amanda Bacon said...

Way to go Sarah! It still amazes how some people just "dont get it!"

coolcapmom said...

Great post...this doesn't just go for preemies...I think people 1) Can't accept that not all kids are completely healthy because then they would have to accept that their own kids are at risk
2) watch too much TV which only focuses on the complete recoveries and oversimplifies everything.

Good for you that you spoke up!

Greta Myers said...

Awwee, great post , sarah, I just found this..people are pretty ignorant and stupid ( excuse my language)....