NICU Reunion

Last Saturday St. David’s hosted a NICU reunion. We already had a busy day planned but this was something we did not want to miss. It was an opportunity to celebrate a healthy little baby boy after his rough start to this world. They had food, entertainment, and a chance to meet the nurses. Unfortunately none of the nurses that cared for Mac were there while we were. We did see one other family with a baby was born around the same time as Mac. His bed was across the hall. It was crazy to see how much he had grown. When it’s your kid you don’t notice the changes as much because they happen gradually. When you see another tiny baby go from a covered isolette to then, nine months later, with a full head of curly hair it’s a pretty drastic change. (Mac is still working on the hair part!)

This event gave me the opportunity to reflect on Mac’s first year (his first birthday is about a month away). Even though it was a traumatic introduction I am so thankful it happened the way it did. I can say that now because everything turned out fine with my health and his. It was completely unexpected and scary but I’ve come to love our story. I can’t help but feel grateful that since Mac was six weeks early, we got to hold in our arms just that much longer. He was so little. Every little movement and sigh was so fragile and otherworldly. I could have spent all day, every day there just looking at him.

Now that he’s 11 months I am noticing that he’s slower than other babies on certain things like crawling. He’s creeping, just not crawling. I’m hoping that his arm muscles will get stronger quickly so he can get up on all fours. I have to constantly remind myself that preemies can take up to age 2 to catch up on normal developmental things. But I was so thankful after seeing so many other premature babies on Saturday that Mac doesn’t have any obvious characteristics like the preemie head or poor eye contact, things like that. We have a lot to be thankful for and I hope to meditate on all of who he is rather than comparing him to what he’s not. I think that is a constant challenge of motherhood.

Mac was more excited about chewing on the straps in his stroller than being at the reunion. This is a favorite past time of his. Just give him some straps and he needs no toys.

Enjoying “kid-friendly” food. We got there late so it was slow pickin’s.

Mac was very curious about the clown although it was hard to get a reaction out of him.

Notice the clown is still too close for him to crack a smile.

Now that the clown is gone and we’re left with the balloon, he thinks it’s hilarious!

The party favor was a rubber ducky. He already has two or three of these but for some reason has taken to this one. It’s become a new car toy – a squeaky new car toy!

All in all a good outing!

I’ll leave you with this video of him cracking up at the balloon. I’m not trying to tease him by taking it away, just trying to prevent him from popping it!

My book, Beauty in Broken Dreams: A Hopeful Handbook for the Early Years as a Special Needs Parent, is now available on Amazon!

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