One of the things I was forever being told off about in hospital was not getting with the program.
Whilst professionals were always very keen to push things forward, I dragged my feet behind, wanting to slow things right down so I could pause and enjoy my Smidge if only for a minute.
'Do you really think it's a good idea to start up her feeds again? 'I'd probe at the morning ward round.
'I mean, if we start her feeds again so soon after the last infection, couldn't it set her back with her breathing?
'Well.... it's not really a case of IF we start the feeds' the good Doctor would steer, 'but more a case of when...'
Change, I suppose, is never easy and when it puts your newborn's life at risk, it's especially hard to embrace. Yet still, coping with change is such a vital part of being a parent, not just in the intensive care setting but in preparing for home and in coping with life in the community.
I think the challenges that Smidge and I have faced have helped to shape us as people, as much as anyone's experiences help shape them I suppose. Still, what I want to make sure of now is that Smidge's extreme prematurity and subsequent health issues do not continue to negatively affect us, that we continue to grow and develop outside of the context of her prematurity.
As I write that paragraph, I know how incredibly lucky I am to have this choice, that there are people, friends who have lost their babies, who will never have the choices that I have today,and I owe it to them and to my Smidge to make the very best of the chance we've been given.
In the spirit of making this happen, I've initiated a few changes.
Firstly, I've stopped uploading blog posts to my facebook news feed.Well actually I never did upload posts to my facebook news feed but a very annoying program did it automatically. This was incredibly frustrating at times (especially when I'd just added new friends!! ) and I'd often find myself rushing to delete posts before they popped up.
I can't quite bring myself to give up blogging completely but lets just say that from now on it will be my guilty pleasure. I want people to start seeing Smidge for the beautiful growing girl that she is, not just as a survivor of prematurity.
Secondly, I've decided not raise the matter of Smidge's prematurity at pre-school, when she starts in just under a year. ODH and I talked this over with her consultant back in early December and we are going to to act on his advice, not to make an issue out of her prematurity.
If Smidge is struggling in any aspect of school, be it social or academic then of course we would review this. However we are extremely lucky to be in the situation where we can give her the benefit of the doubt and let her go out there and show them what she's capable of. Yay! Go Smidge!
Thirdly, We've booked a short break away in France. It's a real leap of faith but I think we need a little time away to relax, to be together, to be the family we were always meant to be. I know I need to let go of the dependence on the hospital being down the road. I need to work harder at leaving the past behind and start fostering positive thoughts and ideas, such as the possibility of good health and well being. I think only then am I going to be the change I want to see!!