You've seen those friken' awful survival video's on you tube right? The ones with love song melodies playing in the background ? ( usually 'wires' ) Well I've only bleedin' gone and made one of those haven't I?
I know, I know..
But I can't help it, I'm going through a proud phrase!
See, when I first bought Smidge home and bestowed her beauty on to the general public, not a single one of them knew just what a miracle she was.
They didn't see how big she was, they only saw how small. and when they learned that she was fifteen weeks early, they didn't see her struggle, they saw only her survival.
It wasn't that I didn't want to share what an amazing fighter she was, I did! but you have to understand readers, that when you are having a conversation with a person who thinks a premature baby looks like this...
....a parent such as me can end up feeling more than a little misunderstood and others can come across as being insensitive, nosey, patronising or even quite dismissive.
Needless to say it was a HUGE relief when Smidge turned fifteen and a half months (12 months corrected) and questions about her age no longer prompted a discussion on prematurity.
'She's just turned a year' I'd respond when asked about her age and I have to say, I found it really quite liberating.
Not delving in to the whole NICU live/die saga with cheek pinching supermarket busy bodies was a welcome break for yours truly, However, more than relief from boredom, there was the opportunity to be 'normal,' there was a chance to be like your average Joe and it was almost as though suddenly, I realised that I was under no obligation to re live my worst nightmare at random intervals and actually, I quite enjoyed not doing this and I certainly didn't miss some of the remarks.
Further more, these days, I try to make a point of not disclosing Smidge's early start to new people at first and sometimes not at all. When I've talked to other preemie parents about this as a way of managing public prejudice, they say I should be strong, they say I should be proud. They have even said to NOT disclose her micro preemie background would be to be ashamed and that my Smidge may grow to be ashamed too...
I say this :
No one is more proud than this here Premmy Mum.
But does it really make me 'ashamed' because I don't want prematurity to define Smidge the way it has defined me for nearly two years?
Am I letting the side down because I want to give us both the chance to grow outside of the context of her early start?
I dont think so.
See, I never planned to have a preemie.
What I planned for was a baby, a baby girl if I was lucky.
And lucky I was, I got my baby girl.
And whilst here at Diary Of A Premmy Mum she'll always be a preemie, to others, I think she will always be my daughter before she's anything else.