I didn’t always want kids.
I didn’t really play “house” when I was a kid, and if I did I was always “the dad” and went off to work. I played down at the creek and built forts in the woods next to our house. I don’t think I was supposed to be a mom…
I think I was supposed to be the mom of a micro-preemie.
Being the parent of a micro-preemie is kind of like building a fort in the woods. You have carve out a home-base in an inhospitable woods (you have to make a cold, dreary NICU room home). You have to cut down trees to clear the area (you have to clear your life of things standing in the way of taking care of your child). You have to build something out of nothing (you have to learn an entirely new medical language). You have to build booby traps for hostile invaders (you have to be on lock-down to prevent sickness). You have to fly a flag of kindness and let others in (you gain a new support system with other preemie parents).
Huh. I guess in some ways, I’ve been preparing all my life for Jaxson. Here are some of my favorite things about being his mommy, in no particular order:
1. Time to Wake Up
Jax is such a content baby. I’ll often look into his bassinet in the morning and see him awake just taking in his surroundings. I love that moment when he realizes that I am there! He doesn’t smile with his mouth yet, but I’m pretty sure that I’m looking into smiling eyes!
My heart just swells with pride for my little boy! I can’t believe all the things he has done in his short life. He learned how to breathe, he closed the PDA in his heart, he learned how to regulate his own body temperature, he learned how to eat very quickly, and he surprised his doctors and nurses by being ready to come home a full month before his due date! This kid is destined for greatness. I can’t wait to see what he has in store for us!
3. Pure, unconditional love
I’ve been in love. But I never knew it could feel like this! I can’t even explain the way it feels when Jax snuggles in close when I pick him up. I love the way he sighs, and grunts, and snores, and squeaks, and squawks. I love the way his baby breath smells so sweet and soft. I love his fuzzy hair right after a bath. I love the way he looks at me with trust in his eyes. Wow – I just never knew…
4. Story Time
My favorite part of the day is story time. Jax loves listening to stories! I read to him everyday in the hospital. No matter how bad a day it was, he would always turn his head towards the sound of my voice. I think it brought him some comfort; I know it helped me during some of the worst times when I felt like there was nothing else I could do.
Reading has always been a huge part of my life. When I was a kid, I would stay up all night reading Nancy Drew mysteries under my covers with a flashlight. My mom would catch me up at 1:00 am! No wonder I had a hard time getting up for school. Reading was an escape – a journey into my imagination. A way to pretend and wonder. I am so excited to share that with Jax!
5. My Two Boys
I love my family! It’s kind of sickening, actually…I can’t help but beam with love when I see Steve playing with Jaxson, talking to him in a goofy voice, singing him a song, changing his diaper, making sure his oxygen is hooked up correctly…oh! Our little family! I couldn’t be happier…