Thursday, June 14, 2012

Never Surrender Blogfest

Inspired by Elana Johnson, I joined her call for the Never Surrender Blogfest. Her newly released book, Surrender, brought about the idea, and she called on bloggers and writers to share a time when we kept going, when we didn't surrender . . . here's my story.

My son was born prematurely--large for a preemie at 5 lbs. 4 oz. but still a preemie. At 34 weeks, he was not ready to be born. His lungs weren't ready to breathe air. His tiny body was unable to keep itself warm. His digestive system was not prepared for milk.

This was my passage into motherhood. A mom to a tiny baby, a tiny baby that doctors and nurses could care for better than I could. A mom to a tiny baby who remained in the hospital long after I was released.

My husband tried gallantly to help me, even in the middle of his own brokenness. But sadness, uncertainty, and doubt consumed me.

A few weeks after his birth, things grew especially rough for my son. During a blood transfusion, I sat beside his bassinet. His eyes--his beautiful, dark, perfect eyes--opened and locked on mine.  It was not the first time he'd looked at me, but in that moment, I truly became my son's mother. I was his fiercest protector, his strength when he was weak, his strongest supporter, the one who would teach him about going on when things get tough, the one who would not give up. Ever. Because I was his mom--and a mom who has a God who didn't give up on her.

My son is now fourteen and I have a daughter on the cusp of thirteen. And teenagers present a whole new side of momming, but when things get tough and parenting grows hard, I look into my kid's eyes and know--there's no way I will give up.
   

23 comments:

  1. Touching story, Barbara. And even when your kids are in their 40's...they still can pluck your heartstrings.

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  2. Thanks for sharing Barbara. That must have been so hard leaving your son at the hospital and watching him struggle. So glad you both didn't surrender. Funny that you have an almost 13 & 14 yr. old. My daughter just turned 15 and is starting drivers ed on Monday.

    My Never Surrender post is tomorrow.

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  3. How scary. That's a very difficult time and I'm glad you all made it through.

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  4. Wow, you did a great job writing that--tears! I love stories like that, though, and then hearing how the child (who may well be taller than you now) is doing so well.
    Congratulations on being a great mom!

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  5. That is scary. I had a child in the NICU too and I will never forgot how it cemented my motherhood for the first time.

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  6. This was such a beautiful post, Barbara. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I was so moved and (as a mama to two little girls) am always overwhelmed by the power of the love we have for our children, what it teaches us, and how it changes us.

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  7. That was absolutely beautiful. As a mother myself, there has been nothing in my life so fulfilling as having my children. They make life full. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  8. A touching post Barbara. Sorry he had a long stay, but it sounds like the experience cemented your position as MOM, which sadly never happens for some women. Thanks for sharing.

    My thrid child was the same weight but born at 36.5 weeks! He was heathly but kept in the NICU for several days observation. When he was released, and all the thingys were removed, and I was able to hold him w/o getting all tangled up I thought "Hooray, we are free!"

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  9. What a powerful moment to look into your baby's eyes like that. A fabulous never surrender moment. Thanks for participating!

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  10. I loved your story! Where our children are concerned...surrender is never an option! :)

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  11. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing a part of you with us!

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  12. beautiful story, beautifully told. thanks for sharing, barbara :)

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  13. What an inspiring story. Your strong connection with your kids will be equally important through those tumultuous teen years.

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  14. Good for you, Barbara! That must've been so tough. Sometimes I think things turn out okay just because we love so much. Thanks for sharing your story.
    And nice to meet you!

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  15. Barbara - I love your post. I love the moment when your son looked at you and you knew you were his mom and protector. The mother-child moments are a little bit different between parents and preemies - not better or worse, just different. There is so little we can do to be a parents to our little ones. The moments when we can feel like a parent are magical.

    As you read earlier this week, I know firsthand how much strength it takes to leave your child behind every night. I love hearing that your kids are thriving teenagers now, despite your son's rocky start. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  16. It's so hard when such a helpless little thing is struggling, isn't it? My son was early--not THAT early, but early enough he gave us a few scares, so I can extrapolate a little and feel what you went through. it's wonderful your baby's look could give you the strength to be his strength.

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  17. I can relate to this. My now 12-year-old son was born 13 weeks premature and weighed just over 2 lbs. It killed me that the night shift nurse got to see him awake and I never did. I was so thrilled when I finally got to take him home 10 weeks later, and always be there when he woke up. :)

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  18. That's an awesome real life story!

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  19. Such a touching story. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. This was a beautiful post. Truthfully, I dont usually get emotional over kid stories, but you almost got me to tear up. I wish I had a parent like you. Thank you for sharing.

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  21. Thanks for sharing this beautiful writing with us, Barbara.

    It's amazing how many of my online writer friends have premature babies. My eldest was borh at 24 weeks gestation, weighing a mere 1 pound and 6 ounces. We were in the NICU for 17 long weeks and he nearly died several times. Now he's on the cusp of 16 and doing incredibly well. A true miracle.

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  22. What an amazing story! I'm sure in the midst of it it was really hard and neverending. So glad he is a teen and doing well!

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