These words go to you whose baby arrived before the baby shower. Who, in a matter of hours, went from dreaming about baby names to learning medical acronyms you never knew existed.
This is for you who is still mourning the loss of your prego belly. Who never had a chance to feel your baby move. Who was looking forward to your babymoon, which you ended up spending at the hospital.
Perhaps you are reading this article from the solitude of the hours spent awake in the middle of the night, listening to the rhythmic humming of the breast pump. This is for you, who wakes up with the alarm clock and proceeds silently to the living room to pump breast milk which you'll take to the hospital the next day in your ice-packed thermal lunch bag.
This is for you who stays awake late, despite the exhaustion and devastating sleep deprivation, just to call the hospital and get the latest nurse report (and diaper weigh-in). For you who celebrates every gram gained, every inch grown.
To you who cannot see your newborn baby every day because you live far away from the hospital. Because you need to be a mom to your other child (ren) at home.
This is for you, who takes your postpartum body to the hospital every day to watch your baby grow inside a plastic box.
This is for you who will spend the Holidays sitting on a NICU rocking chair next to you baby, watching numbers on a monitor screen and knowing there is no other place in the world you'd rather be.
I wanted to tell you this, from one preemie mom to another: you are not alone.
I am here with you. I see you. I feel your pain and your joy. I am holding your hand through the ups and downs of this crazy roller coaster ride called prematurity.
I am here to help you carry the guilt. To lessen your load. To assure you did absolutely nothing wrong. I am here to remind you that you are a mom—one hundred percent. You gave birth, you generated life from inside your body, and that alone is amazing. Nothing will ever take that away from you.
I honor you and your journey. Please remember, you are where you are supposed to be right now, and so is your baby.
You may be lonely, but you are not alone.
You may be sad, but you are not a victim.
You may be scared, but you are blessed.
You are not alone.
You are one of us.