Ryan & Aiden are the stars of http://hydrobabies.blogspot.com/ and today their mommy Joanna is answering my Q & A...
Who is "your" preemie? Tell me a little bit about him/her...
My preemies are my twin boys Aiden & Ryan. They were born at 25 weeks and spent 4.5 months in the NICU. They were both diagnosed with Hydrocephalus soon after birth. They are the light of my life.
How would you say your experience with preemies has effected you?
My experience with prematurity has completely changed my life. I now think of my life as before NICU and after NICU. Things will never be the same, but I am ok with that. The time we spent in the hospital was the darkest time of my life but it was also eye opening.
I've learned more medical terms then I care to admit and I've seen more heartbreak then I can stand, but I walked out of there with my boys and that's all that matters.
How were you able to handle the NICU experience?
My husband, hands down, was my rock. Without hi I don't think I could have gotten though our time in the hospital. The NICU is a scary place, and no matter how hard they try, no one will understand what you're going through unless they've been there themselves.
Before this experience what did you know about preemies?
Honestly, I don't remember. I'm so busy learning about my boys' condition and making sure they get what they need in order to succeed in life that I forget things about my life 'before NICU'. In all honesty, I don't think that I knew babies born so early had a chance to survive.
What have you learned from all of this?
I've learned that life will had you the unexpected. I've learned that I'm stronger than I thought. I've learned that family is the only thing that matters. I've learned that I'll do anything for my children.
What advice would you give to another preemie parents?
Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk. This is hard to go through, and it's easy to keep things inside. But in order to grieve and heal you need to talk about it. Having a premature child is scary and it comes with a lot of heartbreak (happiness too, though!) It's important to let those feelings be known.
I wouldn't change my kids for the world. I often think about "what it's", but truthfully, I know Aiden & Ryan were meant to be mine. And I thank them for coming into my life.