How Preemie Moms Are Chosen


How Preemie Moms Are Chosen 
by Erma Bombeck

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
 

Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
 

"Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew. 
 Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.
Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard. He's used to profanity."
 

Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles. "Give her a preemie." 

The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
 

"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."
 

"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.
 

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair.  Once the shock and resentment wear off, she'll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."
 

"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
 

God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect She has just the right amount of selfishness."
 

The angel gasps, "Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?"
 

God nods. "If she can't separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect. She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see-- ignorance, cruelty, prejudice-- and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side." 

"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.
 

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

48 comments:

  1. After grieving the loss of a child and then being blessed with a healthy baby that I get to watch grow, I can totally relate to some of the things in this article. Wow, I began to feel blessed that I get to cherish my son a little more because of what God has taught me and brought me through. And so you, Jessica, will cherish Lea all the more and subsequent children in watching them grow. We are blessed to be drawn closer to God through our children...in all circumstances.
    -Amy Koch

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  2. My Daughter finally came home last Thurs. she stayed 42 days in the NICU for being born 9 weeks early. I don't know if God choose me, but he sure got my attention and made me wake up and realize the importance of life

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  3. I have never seen this by Erma Bombeck, but I love it! Totally made me cry, and made my day at the same time. My twins were born nine weeks early, spent three (son, 3 lbs 7oz at birth) and four (daughter, 3 lbs 2oz at birth) weeks in the NICU and will turn two next month! They are doing great, and I am so blessed for being chosen as a preemie mom! Thank you, Jessica, for the gift of this Bombeck piece!

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  4. Thank you. Beautiful. Our son was born at 29wks 2days. 6 weeks in the NICU. Absolute suprise, but God took care of him and us the whole time. He still does. Praise the Lord.

    http://blessedcoatsfamily.blogspot.com/

    Stef

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  5. I love this! I am going to steal it :)

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  6. Oh my god. I was in hospital with my son for a major operation last year (he was preemie) actually we were in hospital exactly this day last year, and my husband had been in the 'kitchen' having a coffee. He came back and said I should go and read the story on the wall, he said it wouldn't make me cry, it would make me feel strong. It was this. I loved it. While we were there the Childrens Ward moved locations and I never saw it again. Since then we have been trying to find out what it was and who wrote it to no avail. To have found it on here has MADE MY WEEK! I came over to your blog via the Bloggers Unite World Prem Day event and so glad I did! Lynsey (lynseythemotherduck.blogspot.com)

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  7. Lynsey, I'm so glad you found my blog then! :) You have a great blog there... I definitely added you to the "blogs we follow" section. God bless you and your sweet family!

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  8. My twins are NICU survivor/warriors. Although it has been six years I can never forget the experience as it made a huge impact on my life. The article brought me to tears as it is so relevant. It is amazing, time does pass and you feel normal and happy again, but now you truly savour the joy. I pray for all the babies and the moms/dads in NICU. Although you may feel alone many of still think of you and send you warmth and blessings. It is great to see your daughter doing well :)

    Take care,
    H

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  9. My first child, Sophia, now 3yrs of age, was a micro preemie born at 24wks and weighed 1 lb 14 oz. We were in the NICU for about 3 months and it definetely was the scariest moment of my life. Although the doctors and modern technology did so much to keep her alive, my fellowship of friends and family provided the spoken word of God to help us get through this tough time. Without God, my child would not have lived and come out of this situation with nothing more than a stubborn, strong willed personality (that of most preemies). She is a fighter for sure! Keep your faith and ask and you shall receive!

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  10. My son spent 101 days in the NICU born at 1 pound 7 ounces, the first time I read this I sobbed....he is home , healthy and going to be 3

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  11. I was born two months early at 2 lbs. 4 oz,, 18 year ago. My parents were very worried that I would not survive. I'm sure if my parents had read this post, it would have made them feel much better. Have faith in God. He knows what is best even if we don't believe it at the time. I'm sure he will help all parents with preemies to overcome their challenges.

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  12. Thank you for this. I'd like to say that I am a 20 year old new mother, who just had a very micro preemie daughter. She was born at 26 weeks, 15 ounces and 10.5 inches. That was three weeks ago today, and she's now 1 lb, 6 ounces. I have faith and I was so happy when I read this post, I almost cried, because this is a very scary situation and I wont lie, I'm terrified but hopeful. Thanks again. :)

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    1. I had a baby at exactly 28 weeks. My baby was 3 lbs when he was born. He suffered many apnea episodes and days seemed to never end. After 4 long months in the hospital, God allowed us to bring him home. We just celebrated his 3rd birthday last week and is the healthiest most beautiful child God could have blessed us with! I pray God gives u strength and may ur faith grow and believe God is good and ur baby is stronger than u can imagine...AND SO ARE U!

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  13. Valkyrie, I had a little girl at 23 weeks 3 days at 18 ounces and 11.5 inches. She was in the NICU for 111 days. She is fine. She walks, runs, laughs, draws, colors, talks, sings, kisses and hugs. She will be 5 in August. There is hope. Keep praying and God will see you through. My husband and I and our seven children will pray for you and your baby.

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    1. I know my post is a year after yours but my baby girl was just born 6/9/13 at 23 weeks and 2 days. Not only is this poem touching and inspirational but your post has given me a little more hope. The dr's and nurses in the NICU are always giving both sides of the coin, but seem to touch on the hardships a little more so it's nice to read of success stories like yours. So glad you daughter has done so well!

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    2. Best wishes to you and your baby. I'm glad to share our story.

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  14. Valkyrie, my prayers are with you! How is your sweet baby girl doing? Do you have a blog? If I can help in any way, please let me know! I know it helps to talk to others who have been through it!

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  15. My son was born at 29 wks and 3 days. He was 2 lbs 1 oz. I can't tell you how many times I blamed myself for him coming so soon. He was in the NICU for 9 weeks and will turn 3 in June. He is a happy, healthy, mischevious boy. It is such a scary time for us but he came out fighting and won. Valkyrie I will be keeping you and your sweet baby girl in my thoughts.

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  16. My daughter was born 5 weeks early, through God grace we only had to stay in the hospital for a week and she was only under oxygen for two days!! I belive in His miracles and i truly believe in master plans like what's in the article. Absolutely touching.

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  17. This made me cry. As the mom of two preemie boys it brought back some tough memories but they are both doing well today and I thank God every day for them!

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  18. I am a mom of twin boy/girl and I cried reading this. They were born early as well and spent nearly two months in NICU. I have two older children and though their births were scary...it was not nearly as terrifying as watching them sprint out the door with my babies and not know the outcome for hours!! I shared this on my wall for a few of my friends that are preemie moms...I can only say that this story has made me proud to be a preemie mom (not that I wasn't before mind you!) but it does show me that God does choose his preemie moms carefully! God bless you!

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  19. I'm a first time mom to a precious baby boy! He was 28 weeks and spent 10 weeks in the NICU. He was 2 lb 9oz and 15 1/4 inches! He was a "big boy"! This post truly made my day. It's hard for anyone to completely understand the roller coaster of emotions and the ups and downs on a day to day bases. My little miracle is almost 6 months old. We still are tackling a few issues but Gods grace has brought us this far and will continue to bring us through it! I hear between the 6-8 month mark things start turning around! God bless each of you and choose you for a reason! I've always believed that everything happens for a reason and I'm looking forward to see what Gods plans are for all these little ones!

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  20. I had a preemie son at 30 weeks in 1989! He stayed in nicu/hospital for 47 days..we were part of the surfactant study at UVA (surfactant turned our son around). Today our son is married and a state trooper..God is so good! I had never seen this article but must tell you that it is exactly on point.

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  21. I gave birth a year ago to preemie twins. they were in the nicu after they were born, they are strong and healthy today. I as well was a 2 lb preemie in 1984...my parents went through what my husband & I went through. I truly feel like only people who have been through this can relate. I never really thought we would have twins but god had a bigger plan for our lives and we are truly blessed (we also have a 3 year old son). Thank you for posting this

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  22. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on October 9, 2012. He was born at 28 weeks and 2 days. Cree weighed 2 lbs and 12oz and was 15 inches long. When I was discharged to go home I felt like a part of me was snatched from me and there was nothing I could do about it but wait and let God do His thing. Daily I pray for progression and no regression. He will be 36 weeks (gestation) this Sunday and is now 4 lbs and 7.5 oz. He is breathing on his own and keeping his own body temperature. I am so proud of my little baby! And this short story made me cry and encouraged me all at the same time.
    Thank you for posting this gave such inspiration!

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  23. I found this on Pinterest. As I am reading it I immediately wanted to send this my mom. I was born at 26 weeks. I was 2.2 lbs. I went through so many health issues when I was born and throughout my childhood. I just turned 27 years old. I am healthy and grateful for every day that I have, for I was given a second chance at life. I truly believe that G-D has a plan for us and your beautiful baby girl will strive just as I have and so many other preemies have.
    Thank you for posting this. Wishing you and your family all the best

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  24. My son was born at 32 weeks at 3lbs 9 oz. He spent 48 days in the nicu. He came home on a monitor and a list of medications. He was beinde on all of his mile stones. And he is 4 now he is delayed some but his strength and courage cease to amaze me. He progresses every day and never fails to put a smile on someone's face. He keeps me strong :)

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  25. I loved this! I had a baby girl born at 23 weeks. She weighed 12 ounces & was 10.25 inches long. We were told she had a 1% chance of surviving, of the 1% that survived, she had only a 1% chance of having nothing wrong with her. She spent 225 days in the NICU. She defied all odds and turned 12 today. She has nothing wrong with her and all the doctors are amazed at her. One never fully understands what it is like until they actually live it.

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    1. Good Morning,
      I have a son who was born 23 weeks 6days. 1 lb 3oz...he's still in the NICU almost 4 months on August 24...He's still on venilator. I would like to talk to you if possible. I just have some questions.

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  26. Thank you. This is just wanted I needed to read as I go through my NICU journey.

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  27. Thank you for this. I often questioned and cried out loud as to “why me”. But now I seem to understand that I was specifically selected to be Mia’s mom for a reason. As I currently endure my NICU journey, I'm relying more and more on my faith to pull me through, without I would be lost.

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  28. My daughter was born 13 weeks early, weighing 2 lbs, almost 10 weeks ago. She's still in the NICU but she's coming home tomorrow! What a journey it has been! As hard as it was I wouldn't trade it. I've grown so much as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend. God blessed me with a feeling of peace right before she was born and it has continued. Without that I don't know how I would have survived. I'm so thankful and honored that I was chosen to be a mother of a preemie.

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    1. Wow what a blessing to find these posts !! My daughter just had my first grandchild - she was 29 wks pregnant due june 18th but maci decided to arrive april 3rd !! I watched my daughter do 6wks of bedrest before the 29wk preemie arrived to her - mommy and maci were at 2 dif hospitals for the longest 3 days of our lives. Maci is now 39wks - almost full term and still in the nicu !! I watch my daughter struggle everyday doing all she can for maci. We are hearing possibly 2 more weeks and maci could go home finally ! Part of me is excited for this day but im so scared and nervous to bring them home. I read this poem and just cry. My daughter has so grown to a beautiful mommy and im so proud of her. Reading your post makes me realize how lucky they both are to have each othe.

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    2. Maci is now 13mths old and is just amazing !! She means the world to me. I cant wait to hear the word "mammaw" come from her

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  29. I just gave birth 7/3/13 to a 1 pound micro preemie baby girl I named Kali Rose. Its been tough watching her fight and the nurses tell me that they have never seen a 22 weeker survive but as we approach day 9 she is still holding on. This poem encouraged me especially after having a stillborn just 9 months ago. Please pray for us

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    1. Laura, you are in my prayers! Please keep us updated on how sweet baby is doing. If you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to email me at jessicacgorman@gmail.com.

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  30. In 2005 I was given the gift of twin girls born at 26 weeks. And as this says I have never taken one second for granted. Despite all the ups and downs it has been a great adventure. They are almost 8 and sometimes it is hard to believe how small they were and how hard they had to fight to survive. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. npreston78@gmail.com

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  31. Hi my name is Lara Royce and i too am a mother of not just 1 preemie but 7...I lost my first son Michael who i had at 27wks he lived but only 12hrs and passed. My heart was destroyed as he was my first son. I was told i wouldnt have any other children after. I am pleased to say i had 6 more after my Michael, Karena 32wks now 25 and a mother of 3, DJ son 36wks, Michelle my most preemie born at 22wks and is now 18 and a senior I was told she would die if she made it would be mentally retarded, she is a straight A student in ROTC and doing great...then my Jessica 24wks also a senior i had Michelle in April 95 and Jessica Nov 95 back to back...followed by Cody 15yrs born 30wks and Christopher 14yrs my baby born 28wks both Sophomores in high school...Im here to tell you...NEVER BELIEVE DRS when they say they wont make it, or that you cant have babies...MUCH LOVE AND LIGHT TO ALL PARENTS GOING THRU THIS...Blessed Be

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    1. Thanks. I really needed to hear this. My son was a 23 weeker & still on the venilator. He's gonna be 4 months o Aug 24. He's still in NICU...I feel this is gonna b a long journey, but I try to keep positive. I definitely keep the faith. Because God is good and awesome

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  32. Hi mommy Jessica, been there three times to my three kids. And now my third baby suffered from different complications of prematurity. Let me share you his story. https://www.facebook.com/helpforbabyyvancalimlim

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  33. My baby girl was born 6 weeks early and only weighed 3lbs at birth. For being so tiny I still felt so blessed to have such a "healthy" premmie. She was in an incubator for 4 days and then only had to be fed with a tube for 3 days. She was in the hospital for exactly 2 weeks. In the many hours I would spend by my babies bed side I started talking to one of the other mothers that sat by her beautiful sons bed for hours and hours. Her little prince was also born 6 weeks early and had been in the hospital for 8 weeks and the doctors were telling her it would probably be another 2 weeks before he could go home, I truly felt so blessed that my premmie doing so great. My little princess is now 4 (will be 5 in January), going to pre-k, and just as smart and sassy as can be! I am so glad that God chose me to be a mother to a premmie.

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  34. Thank you so much for this post. It brought me to tears, but totally the good kind. I'm a first-time-mom to a beautiful 34 weeker girl. My little Aubree was six weeks early, but had IUGR so she was only the size of a 28 or 29 weeker. She had to be in NICU for three weeks, and if not for God's grace I know her stay would've been much longer. I'm so very proud to be this sweet angel's mommy. I know God has great plans for her. I'm so glad to have found your blog. It's nice to know there are others who've been through what we're going through now!

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  35. Thank you so much for this. I cried so hard. Noah was a 27 weeker. God placed his love on my son and never let go. He is growing so strong. He has changed my life and I am grateful for him. This was beautiful♥

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  36. I'm 18 years old and the mother of baby Keira Faith, born 27 weeks 2.3 lbs. She only spent 2 days in the NICU and was transferred to the nursery where she thrived and began to blossom for the next 2 weeks. This morning however, i received terrible news that her intestines had stopped working due to an infection. xrays show that it isnt NEC, but we're still keeping our fingers crossed that it stays that way. She's very stiff now and jerks around almost every other second. Doctor tried doing a lumbar puncture but blood came out so it cant be tested for meningitis. The doctor has given me permission to baptize her. That was very heartbreaking. Im going to continue to pray for her to keep fighting and to overcome this. i just feel so helpless and alone. If anyone has faced similar difficulties i'd really appreciate any advice or support. you can email me mikelgianna@gmail.com

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  37. my son is a 24weeker..he is 6.5months now. he was born at 1lb 7oz. i came across this poem in the lactation room at the nicu during week 2 of his 136day stay. this poem stuck with me through the entire journey and i was so happy to come across it today while i was looking it up..thank you for posting..this poem has truly touched my life and helped me to cope in the beginning with all the crazy emotions.

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  38. My baby is still in the neonatal unit. He was 7 weeks early Andi know I am truly blessed that he is doing so well. He spent less than a week in the nicu and was transferred to a step down unit. I can't wait to see him (our car actually broke down the day I went in the hospital! He was also moved over an hour away) I cry everyday BC I wish he was home, but I know he is doing so much better than he would be sould he not have had such amazing doctors. I know I am blessed BC I get t watch my son grow Andi get to see just how strong he really is!!!!

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  40. I was blessed to be a mom to two preterm babies. My son was born at 24weeks and weighed 1lb 11oz. He was so tiny and was touch and go for the first month. I FINALLY got to hold him a month after he was born. He stayed a total of 183days in the NICU. One of the hardest times of my life.
    Then we were blessed again 8mo later with my daughter. She was born at 30weeks. 3lbs 9oz and stayed 32days in the NICU. They are both 3years old now. I had wondered why and whats wrong with me to have my beautiful babies born so early. My mom told me that God only gives us as much as we can handle. I felt like my world was crashing down on me. My husbands words helped so much with our son. I cried every night and felt horrible that i couldn't carry him to term and he had to fight so hard to live. My husband stated its better that he be here fighting for his life than not be here at all. Put things into perspective for me. Now reading this blog makes me tear up again just thinking about everything we all have gone through and realize how strong it has made me. Its nice to think that God thought i was strong enough for, not one but two preemie babies <3

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