I learned recently that shortly after Calder was discharged from the NICU, three little lives were lost at our hospital in one week. I’d interacted briefly on a couple of occasions with one of the moms; the last time I spoke with her out in the lobby she was solely focused on getting back into the room and to her son’s side. I knew she was a dedicated and loving mom.
I don’t want to diminish or discount her grief by making it mine, but for days after I heard, I squeezed Calder a little tighter when I held him. It brought me back to the earlier days of our journey, when well-meaning folks would tell us that everything would be okay, but no one could really know what the outcome would be. I knew the uncertainty existed because for weeks, months even, I could see it in the eyes of the nurses. Yes, many preemie babies survive, and some grow up unscathed. But every baby is unique, and so is every preemie. We each have our own story, our own struggles, our own successes, and every day I try to be grateful for mine, both the highs and the lows.