Tuesday, February 5, 2013

With Love - From Philly

Hello there. My name is Stephanie and I’m from Urbanflowerpot.Blogspot.com . I’m also from Philadelphia and a preemie mom.

I met Melissa nearly two years ago. We had similar due dates in May but we both had our babies early and met on a message board. Her stay was a lot more complicated than ours so I wrote to her in case she wanted to talk more; I don’t think a day has gone by since when we haven’t spoken. She is one of my dearest friends.

I’d like to share something special with all of you for my first guest blog appearance here on Our Valentine’s Day Surprise: it is a mural that, to me, is the heart of Philadelphia (other than the LOVE sculpture, naturally). It is actually one of 50 murals known as The Love Letter Project. They were done by a local artist named Steve Powers as his way to show love to a part of the city that is generally considered an eyesore.

This one is my favorite because of its sentiment.

Love Letter to Philadelphia
Love Letter to Philadelphia - and my premature son in NICU

When I gave birth to Tristan at 30 weeks one of my best friends drove all the way from Indiana to help me. We stopped in front of “Home Now” on the way back from an errand. I printed it out and hung it on Tristan’s incubator; the words had new meaning. It hung there for two months, came home, and then returned to another NICU two weeks later when he was readmitted.

People who saw it thought I’d made it in Photoshop. It fit that well. If you were here I’d be home now…

Preemie mothers (and fathers) long to hold their babies without cords, without fear. My biggest dream was to lay with him on our bed at home. Just lay there and gaze at my baby. Home.

Last summer I returned to the “Home Now” mural – with Tristan in my arms. It is across from another mural in the series that says “Hold Tight.” I did.

Through blogging and sharing our story I hope to raise prematurity awareness. Our adventures through toddlerhood can be found at UrbanFlowerpot.Blogspot.com – and I look forward to sharing more stories with you in the future.

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