In Honor of National Parent’s of Preemies Day…

 

10 Lessons on Having a Preemie by Kasey Mathews

1.) You didn’t do anything wrong.  It is completely normal to feel guilty, ashamed and terribly afraid after giving birth to a preemie, but It Is Not Your Fault. You might never know Why your baby arrived early and sometimes you have to let go of the Why in order to move forward.

2.) Not everyone is a “baby person” and nurturing is not automatic for every mother, even mothers of full term babies.  It’s ok if you feel this way; many women do but don’t speak their feelings out loud.

3.) Speak your truth. Don’t let your fears and anxiety breed in the dark.  Bringing your deep felt emotions to light keeps them from growing and festering inside you.

4.) Motherhood can be lonely, even for mothers of full-term babies. Ask for help.  When others offer help, accept it.  By receiving with openness and grace, you are in fact giving in return. To show your vulnerability is to be at your greatest strength.

5.) Create a vision of your baby in the future and hold on to that vision.  Write a list of all your “some days” – walking on the beach, eating ice cream cones on a hot summer day, flying a brightly colored kite, lying in the grass looking for shapes in the clouds…

6.) Don’t believe everything the doctors tell you. Create your own expectations for your child and don’t allow your child’s potential to be limited by anyone else.  Use your voice.  Speak up for yourself and your baby.  You are your baby’s voice.

7.) Cover your baby’s isolet with a dark blanket.  If your NICU is too bright or too noisy, speak up.  Your baby will grow and heal best in a dark womb-like environment.  Post-NICU, explore alternative therapies to compliment traditional medical treatments, i.e. Reiki, energy healing, cranial sacral therapy, Brain Gym.

8.) If you can’t shake your deep anxiety, it’s highly likely you’re suffering from PTSD.  Posttraumatic Stress is very common among preemie parents. (Resources to help – EMDR, Support groups, Peer to Peer support through Hand to Hold, therapy, writing)

9.) Take care of YOU.  Like the oxygen mask on an airplane, you have to breathe first before putting the mask on your child. It’s ok to take time for yourself and let someone else care for your baby.

10.) Choose love over fear.  It’s the hardest thing in the world to love when you’re so afraid you might lose, but our babies came here to love and be loved.  And remember, no matter how bad things get, no matter how lonely you feel, You Are Not Alone.  Someone has walked this path before you and someday you’ll be on the other side sharing your story.

(Copyright – Kasey Mathews, 2012)

Happy Parents of Preemies Day. Deepest thanks to Graham’s Foundation for creating such a marvelous annual event!  Events are being held all over the country so be sure to look for one in your area! If not, there are lots of events being held online!

Deepest love and blessings to you all,

Kasey

Remember, I’ll be speaking at the Newbury New Hampshire Library Event today at 2:00 –

Author Event: Kasey Mathews
Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood – NH’s 2014 Reader’s Choice for Literary Non-Fiction!
Sunday, May 4th at 2:00PM in the Vets Hall
Kasey Mathews will read from her award winning memoir Preemie. There will be a discussion and book signing after the reading.

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Transition

I haven’t had much time to write over the past few weeks because this fall the kids have started at a new school.

It’s been a HUGE transition.

When time allows, I want to write more about this change and the process we went through to get to this point, but in the meantime, I watched this Ted Talk during the summer months and showed it to both kids before they began the journey at their new school.

(Click on the photo to watch)

Last week, I sat down on the first orientation day at our new school in an auditorium full of visibly nervous students and parents.  When the head of the school stepped to the microphone and began her talk with the words, “You belong here…” a warmth spread across my chest and I relaxed back into my chair, knowing that we were all exactly where we were meant to be.

I hope that your fall is off to a wonderful start and any transitions in your world are going smoothly!

With blessings,

Kasey

 

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Cheerio!

Ok, to everyone who told me I’d be crazy not to jump at the chance to take the kids and join Lee on a business trip to London – YOU WERE RIGHT!

It has been three truly magical days, full of unforgettable moments I hope will be forever seared in the kid’s memory banks.  They certainly will be in mine!

We arrived Monday morning and soon after checking in the hotel, explored the nearby Covent Garden where we watched street performers and the kids indulged in banana and Nutella crepes.  After long afternoon naps, we headed to Piccadilly Circus and toured Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum. The kids were utterly thrilled to see the Believe it or Not books they’ve so frequently checked out of the library come to life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of Tuesday was spent on top of a red double decker bus touring the city.  We caught the bus in Trafalgar Square and saw every London highlight you can imagine – St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London, Hyde Park and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, just to name a few.  It was a whirlwind of a day, but a great way for the kids to take in so many sights in such a short period of time.

Looking through the gates of Buckingham Palace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, Lee headed off to work at 7:00 this morning and while the kids were zonked out in the hotel room, I stood on a bridge overlooking The Thames, sipping a latte, chuckling over the fact that I was ever debating about taking this trip!  (Again, YOU WERE RIGHT!).

And talk about jumping in with both feet… today I was really out of my comfort zone when the kids convinced (begged) me to ride The London Eye, which is the world’s largest Ferris wheel. I won’t even go on a Ferris wheel at our local fair, but there I was, in a glass enclosed bubble hundreds of feet in the air above London.  That time, it was the kids to whom I had to say, YOU WERE RIGHT!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since arriving, we’ve been hearing that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the hottest ticket in town and knew it was true when we found out tickets were sold out until next week.  But with a bit of luck this morning, I stopped at the theater, which is right behind our hotel, only to learn that a few tickets had been returned and we had seats in the royal circle section of the balcony.  I truly, truly can’t begin to describe what an experience this musical was.  Unlike the movie, it followed Raold Dahl’s book much more closely and was so incredibly well done, including a larger-than-life chocolate waterfall, giant dancing squirrels and a glass elevator, I’m worried nothing in the future will ever compare for the kids!  Sitting in the dark theater, with Tucker on one side and Andie on the other, when Willy Wonka began singing Pure Imagination, I felt transported back to my own childhood and couldn’t hold back the tears. (Thank you, Becky and Rob.  You insisted the kids would love London theater and YOU WERE RIGHT!)

(Click on this photo to hear the song)

 

 

 

 

 

 

After leaving the theater, Tuck went back up to the hotel room and Andie and I walked out onto the same bridge where I began my day to see London lit up at night.  “I miss it here already,” Andie said, knowing that tomorrow we pack up our suitcases and head out to our friend’s house in the country, before flying home Friday afternoon.

“Me, too,” I told her. “Me, too.”

 

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