It’s kind of late in the month to be talking about this, but I have to admit that Declan’s prematurity is almost an afterthought now. We’re very lucky; it was pretty serious when he was born at 32 weeks. And it’s fairly ironic that he was actually due in November, the month that celebrates awareness of premature babies – yet, he decided to come 8 weeks early in September.
No one knows why it happened, yet interestingly enough, it has shaped so much of the rest of our lives. For example, it caused Declan to start Kindergarten a year earlier than he would have, because the cut-off in our district is October 1st. So, now he is among the youngest in his class, where otherwise he would have been the oldest. And yet, (warning: excessive bragging ahead), he is reading at a 2nd grade level and writes almost as well as I do. Certainly better than his father. So, was there some plan in motion for this kid when he decided to come early? We’ll never know.
Danielle has told me that sometimes I make him sound frail on this blog. At least when I tell stories of his time in the NICU, like when I was trying to explain how breastfeeding made me feel. And I see her point. Becasue I haven’t taken enough time to talk about how far he has come since those days. Maybe because I just don’t think of it.
Because he has come through the experience a totally normal kid. Advanced in some areas, behind in others. Sure, he’s still a little clutzy, but with me as a mother – I think that’s just his lot in life.
But when I really think about it, I realize how lucky we are. Physically, he is strong. In fact, he can kick our asses most days when we wrestle. Mentally, he is sharp as a tack. Eyes, great. Lungs – OK, a touch of asthma when he gets sick – but he’s growing out of that too. But all around: NORMAL. Scratch that. AWESOME.
We. are. so. lucky.
Many families with premature babies don’t have it as easy as we did. They still have lingering problems, or don’t make it at all. So, if you are looking for a wonderful charity to help out with end-of-year, gotta-make-it-in before the end of the tax year donations, March of Dimes is a great place to start.
Just think of all those kids we wouldn’t have to worry about next November.
P.S. 30 Days of Thanks
I am thankful for Declan’s health, strength and wisdom.