Here on Mother’s Day, I want to reblog one of my favorite posts. I wrote this for World Prematurity Day, as my son was almost 8 weeks premature and was hospitalized for 5 weeks after birth. But today it seems important.
I still carry a strange guilt around about my body not being able to do what it was supposed to do. I still wish I had the experience of seeing my newborn after a normal delivery. I still wish I knew what labor was like and how it felt to have a contraction. Sure, some of you will say those things are overrated. And in a way they are. I have a healthy child. But those things are real markers of mothering as an experience, and we’re taught to fear-but-desire them.
Years later, I’ve mostly come to terms with that desire as unattainable. I’ve come to see the value in what my body was able to do, and I can forgive it for its shortcomings. I’m very aware that, while the birth matters a lot, mothering is about more birthing.
The Little Jedi at 4
Tomorrow, November 17, is World Prematurity Day. Before I had the Little Jedi, I hadn’t known there was such a thing as World Prematurity Day. I knew babies were born prematurely. I knew they often had problems. I knew that sometimes pregnancy complications could cause prematurity as well as premature labor. But I didn’t know that more babies due from prematurity-about a million annually-than for any other reason. I didn’t know that 75% of those deaths were preventable.
But more than that, I knew but didn’t understand that it could happen to my baby. I knew but didn’t understand what it would look like to see my child hooked up to tubes, wires, and inside an incubator. I knew but didn’t understand the sadness of leaving the hospital without my new baby. I knew but didn’t understand a lot of things.
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