Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Preemie Turns Two!

Looking good, Buddy!
By Joel Brens

It's hard to fathom that two years ago today I got the call that we were about to be parents. That dreary May morning will forever be etched in my memory. The phone call it was time as I got to work. Waiting for someone to cover my shift. Texting as many people as I could on the way to the hospital “It’s Baby Time”. Praying that Gena and Jayden were going to be okay. Finding out they were doing fine. The entire day is a series of clear cut and blurry moments. I had no idea what the future held. But the only thing that mattered was Jayden was in stable condition, and he was in the hands of great doctors and nurses.

Being the parent of a preemie doesn’t end after you leave the NICU. Every day I prayed that he would grow, gain weight and show signs of progress. However big or small the milestone was, every new discovery was a gift from God. He has been such a trooper throughout his first two years. Jayden’s smile, his laugh, his personality all bring me such joy. Sometimes it’s a surreal feeling watching him play or having him cuddle up with me and think he is mine. With the Grace of God we were able to create something so beautiful.

We've had good days, we’ve had bad days. But being a father brings a level of perspective I had not known before. I don’t get frustrated as much at work. My faith has grown tenfold. But most important of all is the love I have learned. I am a father first, but I am also a cheerleader, buddy, goofball and comforter for my son. Cuddle time is THE best!

I grew up in a basketball family. My dad played, my two older brothers played and by right I played through my Junior year of high school. I decided my Senior year I was going to spend more time focused on music and theater. I was worried how my dad would take it. He was the MOST supportive one. I’ll never forget that. The reason I share that with you is I have no idea what path my son will take. It doesn’t matter to me as long as he is passionate about whatever he does. Moreover, he will never go a day without me letting him know how much I love him. Even on the bad days, especially the bad days,

Parents of preemies deal with so many different circumstances along their journey. Whether your child has no lingering issues, is working through developmental delays or is special needs, your love and encouragement will help them flourish

Happy Birthday Jayden!

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