Did you know that October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month? I just learned of this a few weeks ago. Breast Cancer Awareness (which is an extremely important cause) often overshadows the other causes for the month of October. Ryan and I took part in a special “Walk To Remember” last weekend in Springfield. It was such a difficult day, but a wonderful way to pay tribute and remember Abby and Parker. Several hundred people took part, which really puts into perspective how many people have walked in my shoes. As I looked around the crowd, I couldn’t help but feel grateful. So many people have lost a child and left the hospital empty handed. Every day I feel sadness over the loss of my two children, but I remind myself how lucky I am to have at least one survivor.
Parents received a flower windmill for each child lost. When Abby and Parker’s names were called, we placed their windmills in the “Garden of Dreams”. It was a beautiful ceremony and something we will do every year. The hundreds of families released a balloon in memory of their lost child/children and we walked for those babies who never got to take their first steps.
I have to say a big thank you to some special friends of mine. Katie and Brittny are two fellow Nicu moms and have spent countless weeks in hospital along with me. We got to know each other through our children. Day in and day out, we have checked in on each other and they have been a rock for me as I navigate through grief and the trials of having a Nicu baby. When I mentioned that I was going to the walk, they instantly offered to be there to support us. I truly believe there are times when people are brought into your life for a reason and I know that is the case with my new friends. We are all nearing the end of our Nicu days, but I know that we will be life long friends.
Ok, onto Miss Peyton! She must know that her time is almost up because she is taking every challenge by storm. She is doing great at learning how to eat and breathe and her eyes continue to show good progress. We’re hopeful that the surgery worked and she won’t need another. Plus, we know she is going to be adorable rocking the eye glasses someday!!
And I still think she is the most fashionable preemie in the Nicu. Check out this outfit my mother made. Yes, she actually tie-dyed a little onesie and knit Peyton leg warmers!! Leg warmers are popular right now for kids, but no one sells tiny ones for preemies. The outfit is quite big, but she’ll fit into it in the next month or two.
This story was first published on my Skry’s the Limit blog at www.wandtv.com on October 10, 2013.