So here’s the thing.
I feel like when people talk to me or read my social media posts, or browse through my photos they might be thinking, “Wow, so she’s one of ‘those’ moms.” You know, the kind that feels the constant need to share every. Single. Detail about their kid? Yeah. That “kind”. I’ll be honest and say that it does make me feel insecure. It makes me second guess myself and think, okay, maybe I should chill-out and not share so much about life with Scarlett so often.
Then, I come back to my senses and say you know what!? Who cares! Who cares what people might think!? So what if I post “too many” pictures of Scarlett. So WHAT if I am a mom who celebrates EVERY. SINGLE. Milestone my child reaches.
Scarlett is a living breathing miracle and that is a fact that will never change.
I share pictures of her, every chance I get. I talk about her development & what milestones she has reached or currently working towards; not to make other’s feel like I am shoving my faith, my life, or my daughters’ accomplishments in their face. That is and has never been my intention. But, when she does things, it’s exciting! As one of my friends put it the other day, “Scarlett is kind of a big deal.”
Everything she does is something to celebrate!
She defied the odds and overcame the impossible. So yes, you can bet that I am going to brag about her. I’m going to spread the joy and happiness I feel anytime she does something new. I’m a mom! I think we all love to brag on our children. For me though, things just feel different because Scarlett is different. She does things that, for a micro-preemie, are a huge success.
When you have a preemie, for the first two years of their lives, parents and doctors go by the “adjusted age” when looking at growth and development. Meaning you take the number of weeks they were born early and subtract them from their actual age, that’s how you get the adjusted age.
So as of right now, Scarlett is 1 year old or 12 months. But she was born 16 weeks and 1 day early. (I usually just say 16 weeks, because she was born at 23 weeks and 6 days.) Any way. 16 weeks is the equivalent of 4 months, so to determine Scarlett’s adjusted age, it would be:
12 months – 4 months = 8 months adjusted!
Even though she’s a year old, had she been born on her due date, right now she would only be 8 months old. Developmentally, when you look at all of the things she can do, it’s not what a typical 8 or 12 month old should be doing. In some areas she is right on target with her adjusted age, in others she’s “caught up” and doing things other 12-month-olds do. But there are a few areas where she’s either in between those ages of development or she’s behind. That’s just how it will be for a while, and it’s okay. I know it might be difficult to understand and explaining it is just as hard. But my point is, everything she can do is amazing! We are just so thankful that she’s here with us.
Sometimes, I find it difficult to find a balance between sharing and “oversharing” information. Especially about our lives and about Scarlett. But what I experienced and what Scarlett went through was real. So when I decided to make a Facebook page dedicated to sharing updates on Scarlett’s NICU stay, I did it for a few reasons.
1. There are so many people who love Scarlett and our family. I received many text messages, IM’s and phone calls asking how we were all doing and if we needed anything. It was an overwhelming and difficult time. And although people were genuinely concerned about us, I wasn’t always prepared to answer their questions.
Honestly, most days I didn’t want to talk to anyone and I was content with just being there for my daughter.
2. In taking my time and sharing information when I was ready and able to, not only did I answer everyone’s questions but I had time to reflect on the gravity of Scarlett’s situation. Whatever it was we were dealing with at the time, I took my time to process it all and wrote it down.
There were exceptions of course. As soon as I received a daily update I would immediately call or text BJ. Then my mom, his mom, and my sister. (In fact, I still have those text saved in my phone and I don’t know when or if I will ever be ready to get rid of them.) But as far as everyone else, they were on a need to know basis. Lol.
3. Writing has always been an outlet for me. I have so many notebooks that I’ve kept from over the years, growing up and I love that by writing everything down I can go back and read them anytime I want to.
I’m so glad that I decided to do it that way. It’s nice to look back and read how I felt at certain times and sort of relive all that Scarlett went through in order to be where she is today. I can’t wait to share her story with her as she continues to grow. I want her to know her story and see how truly special she is, not only me but to others as well. I want her to know that many people love and support her through it all. It’s partly why I started this blog in the first place.
That and because writing this blog has been an amazing journey for me as well. As I’ve probably mentioned before, this blog has helped me in so many ways. Sharing our story a few pieces at a time has been extremely therapeutic for me. I like to be detailed in my writing because I know someday I won’t remember it all the way that I do now.
My hope is that, by sharing our story and my experience raising a preemie and all that it entails, maybe it will help other families in similar circumstances. You never know, they might find some comfort in knowing things about the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before, during or even after their own journeys.
So that’s it for now. I know this post is very different from what I have shared so far. I thought it might be a nice little break from my “storytelling”. I also felt that it was needed. There were a few things I needed to get off my chest. As much as I want to share more of Scarlett’s NICU stay, I don’t want to just throw something out there just for the sake of posting another blog post. Know what I mean?
(Like I said before, I’m doing this for me.)
I appreciate every single one of you reading along, more than I can say.
Thank you for your love and patience.