A story of premature birth and the NICU roller coaster

Happy birthday in heaven Saif!!!

Happy birthday Saif. I spent much of last night thinking about you as I do often. I know your up there watching us. I wish you were here to celebrate with us. I can still feel how the weather was that day and what it was like holding you for the first time. You were so small but you opened your eyes and looked at me. I doubt you could see me, being a micro preemie, but it felt like you could. In that moment I felt afraid, sad, happy, and guilty. I cleared your airway. Though your lungs were so tiny and you came too soon, it was as if you were ready for your life to begin. I had no clue what I was doing or if you would even make it. I didn’t know anything about preemies and not much more about newborns. I just knew I wanted to be your mom more than anything. I am forever thankful that I held you, even for a short while and despite being in shock. Soon, they took you to the hospital. I am thankful for all the time I spent with you, even though it was in the hospital. I hope you know how much I love you and how I wished I was more assertive in the hospital. Thankfully, a few great nurses let me hold you and bathe you. There were a lot of times I was told not to touch you but I see so many other nicu moms got to hold their babies, even with all the heavy machinery and tubes. I dont think I was given enough time with you but I cherish what we did have. I am imagining now, what it felt like in those moments we spent together. Thankfully I do have pictures and some videos but I wish I took more. I selfishly thought we would have plenty more time at home as a family. Even though your not here, I feel you around me. I hold you in my heart and imagine that your here with us in spirit. I hope you are having fun, running around without all the tubes and wires, in heaven. Give everyone hugs and kisses from us. We all send our hugs and kisses to you and mom and all of our family up there. I’m sure mom is celebrating with you. Please watch over us and know we love you and miss you. Happy birthday my little giraffe.

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Watch “Saifs NICU Journey 6/20/11 to 1/4/12” on YouTube

This is the video I made for my son Saif. His birthday is coming up and you know what that means, all the “what if” moments. What if he were here for his birthday? Would he like a Transformers or Spiderman themed party? Would he get upset that his brother and sister try to blow out his birthday candles? What would he look like? He would be 7 this year. How is it possible? It doesn’t feel like it has been that long. Everyday I think of him and watch his siblings playing. Of course, I think about how they would all get along and imagine them chasing each other around. When his birthday rolls around, it just hurts a little more than all the other days. It hurts to look back at this video but I think it is therapeutic. Today, my son threw a toy and accidentally knocked Saifs name off the shelf. It was cookies that a friend made for me. I had been saving them because I couldn’t bare to eat them. He said baby Saif would be sad when we went to his house, if he knew the cookies broke. My son thinks Saif’s house is in the cemetery. He can’t grasp the concept that he would have lived here with us. We talk about Saif as often as the kids ask but they are still too young to understand. I was crushed when he broke the cookies but I had to stop myself mid scold. My son didn’t understand what the cookies were and obviously this was just an accident. They are just cookies. It just felt like a punch to the gut. He isn’t here for his birthday and I still can’t ever feel whole. I know that is normal but somehow I think I will get to a magical place one day where my mind will reconcile what happened and why. I don’t logically think that will ever happen. I just feel lost in my thoughts at times when I reflect back on those days in the NICU. Why does it have to be memories only and memories that are becoming foggy. That hurts. Shouldn’t all my memories of my son be crisp in my mind? Well, Im going to pull myself out of this fog for now because my daughter is requesting a snack. I am very thankful for my children and my husband who keep me present and happy. My kids like to look at pictures of their brother. They call him baby Saif, even though he is older. Obviously he was a baby in his pictures, so naturally he will always be a baby in their eyes. Thank you as always for stopping by. Please feel free to check out his video if you feel inclined to do so.

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A lighthearted article

Preemies are oftrn forgotten when it comes to clothing. They are too tiny for preemie sized clothing when the are micro preemies for sure. Even preemies weighing in around 4 lbs and as big as 5 or 6lbs, dont have a great fitting onesie or pajamas. This article shows how one mom answered this issue by making clothing for these little miracles. Check this article out.

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