Friday, December 14, 2012

The only reality I know

I saw a meme on Facebook the other day that really stuck with me:

"Telling me I can't be sad because someone has it worse is like saying I can't be happy because someone has it better."

While the point I'm trying to make isn't specifically related to happiness or sadness, it falls in those lines quite a bit. Every NICU/preemie story is different. There are always stories with a great deal of similarities, but none are the same.

With that in mind, I am so grateful for my fellow contributing dads. To say something along the lines of "I understand" or "I can relate" in regards to the journeys they have been on wouldn't be fair. I truly don't know what it's like. However, speaking with these fellow dads and hearing their stories, as well as others across the social media universe, do help me better comprehend what their journey is like.

When I launched Papas Of Preemies I was worried that a relatively quiet and uneventful 25 day stay in the NICU would prevent me from carrying "weight", for lack of a better term, in the preemie community. But I realized early on that every journey is different, and more importantly everyone processes their journey different. What may seem like a colossal obstacle for one parent to overcome may be considered a blip on the screen for other parents.

There have been moments I have wrestled with voicing my concerns about Jayden's development, as I know that these concerns pale in comparison to what other families are dealing with. But then it struck me: This is the only reality I know.

My concerns, fear, hope, happiness, and joy are all my own to dictate. I cannot begin to understand what the journey is like for the parent of a micro-preemie. I cannot feel guilty for not understanding fully what it's like to have a child born with a serious disease. But what I will ALWAYS do is lend an ear, provide support the very best I can, and try to connect people with other families who have been through similar circumstances.

Your perspective, insights, questions, concerns, and celebrations are always welcome at Papas Of Preemies, no matter how big or small you think they may be.


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  2. I understand every inch of this post, whole heartedly. Conor had a 28 day stay and to me this was the end of the world. But on his unit at Kosair Children’s Hospital were kids needing surgery, kids that were 2 months old and they whole time in speaking with the other parents I felt a sense of guilt saying that Conor was fine, he never had a setback he was just very small. My life has been forever changed with what we have been through. Though Conor is 4 1/2 months now we fear for the next pregnancy however far off it may be. My wife developed HELLP syndrome with Conor. It is the most scared I have been in my life without showing an ounce of it. I am glad I found this group, I am glad to know there is a group of guys out there that have been in my shoes. And knowing we all may be able to make it easier on a new NICU dad, well that is nothing short of awesome