Saturday, September 22, 2012

Full circle

Earlier this year, my family and friends participated in the March for Babies walk along Chicago's lakefront. I am not sure how, but this connected me directly to the executive director of the Chicago office of the March of Dimes. I started receiving emails from her and I found myself volunteering to serve on the host committee for a reunion of NICU families, doctors and nurses at Prentice Women's Hospital at Northwestern Memorial.

Today was the reunion. I was there early and chatted with my fellow volunteers. The other mothers and I told our preemie stories in stats - how many weeks gestation, how many weeks we were in the NICU, and how old our children are now. And I realized I was a bonafide member of the family-centered care committee now for the NICU at Prentice, a volunteer opportunity I will surely relish in the coming months.

It's a pretty good day in my book when I can thank and hug the NICU nurses who provided loving care to Jossie. One of our favorites, Juanita, was as excited to see us as we were to see her. She held us up while we were in the NICU - she encouraged me to stay home for my safety during the Chicago blizzard and she was there to discharge Jossie on her last day in the NICU, tightly rolling up blankets to put in Jossie's car seat to keep her snug.  She has a set of twins who were born at 34 weeks, so she gets it. 

It is no secret that I was pretty sad after Jossie's birth. It was part-baby blues and part-this lack of control of my baby's birth. Perspective and time have allowed me to move on. And I'm so glad I have. I'm so glad to be here, given an opportunity to share my grateful thanks to the doctors and nurses and to lend a helping hand to new NICU families. And my kids are healthy. I feel so fortunate.

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