A Memoir of a Mother’s Determination and Her Micro Preemie’s Struggle to Beat the Odds
My micro preemie turns 5 years old today!
Life is certainly different now than it was before Joy was born.
Many people don’t believe that everything happens for a reason- but I do. I recognize that many bad things happen to many good people and that can hurt, but I’d like to believe that those bad things will lead to opportunities for great things, although it may not feel that way at the time.
“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.” — Oprah Winfrey
“Miracles happen every day, change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.” — Jon Bon Jovi
I also believe that I was granted a miracle. It was not just a miracle that my daughter survived, but it was also a miracle that I am alive as well. So the question became “What will I do with this miracle and how can I become worthy of it?”
Five years ago after delivering Joy at 23 weeks gestation and almost losing my life on four different occasions, I had no plans to become an author or an advocate for premature babies, but the universe kept telling me otherwise. I had little time for much, but I could not suppress the feeling that I had to use our story for something greater. I felt I needed to share both our pains and successes with the world so that other families could benefit from learning about what we went through. This is what led me to become a writer, blogger, speaker, and advocate for premature babies and their families.
My sweet little “Baby Joy”, as most family members call her, is not a baby anymore. Although the road to her 5th Birthday has been quite bumpy, we are so happy we decided to take the journey.
Joy has been just that to everyone in her life. She is funny- laughing at all of her own jokes. She loves to sing, dance, and dress up like a princess each day, but she also loves to play any game involving swords and any other toys her brothers like to play with.
Look at her now! Joy was born at 1 pound and 4 ounces and was just 11 3/4 inches long. She spent 121 days in the NICU- most of which were painful and uncertain. Today she suffers from some lung issues (Bronchial Pulmonary Dysplasia) but is otherwise perfectly healthy and loves life.
Joy has taught us all to be more patient and tolerant than we may have been otherwise. She has taught us all to love unconditionally and live our lives to the fullest.
Joy has taught me a few more lessons- some of which I never would have learned without her:
These are lessons that I hope to instill in my children as they grow.
As I’m sitting here tonight writing this blog, I cannot help to imagine how different life would be today if I was not granted the miracle of Joy.
But I was.
Happy 5th Birthday to my Preemie Princess!