|For most people, it is
impossible to imagine what it is like to become a parent
of a premature baby...Most people have simple dreams of
parenthood, and visions of sitting in a rocking chair as
their precious bundle drifts of to sleep...
*imagine* thread got its start when one preemie-l member,
Diane Maroney, asked for some input for a speech she was
preparing for a neonatal conference. She wanted us
to describe what it is really like to be a parent of a
Imagine waking up to the words "Honey, wake up, I'm bleeding."
Imagine watching your wife get in a helicopter and fly two hours away and not knowing when you see her next if either she or your unborn child will be alive when you get there.
Imagine the most important person in your life looking at you after four days of bedrest, drugs you've never heard of, poking, prodding, no sleep, and the emotional rollercoaster of life and death decisions, and saying through tear-stained crys, "I don't know how much more I can take."
Imagine finding out that you really are going to have that son you have hoped three years for, only to realize that if he was a girl it might have a better chance at surviving.
Imagine watching your wife give birth surrounded by doctors, nurses, and pediatricians, but your 10 feet away. Imagine them running out with what you thought was a bloody handtowel, but it's really your son. Imagine being told that you can see your son in an hour, after they've "got him stabilized", only to be told to wait again for another 30 minutes, and then another twenty, and all the while wondering "What does that mean?"
Imagine doctors and nurses recognizing you in the hall and asking how you and your child are doing. Imagine the nurses knowing your child by name. Imagine the nurse calling up and telling you "We've removed his breathing tube" and know that you weren't there to see it. Imagine the nurse telling you, "but I took pictures, and they're waiting for you." Imagine finally knowing who your son looks more like 5 weeks after he's born, because the tubes and tape disfigure his expressions. Imagine finding that when the nurses wiped the spittle from your child's mouth and neck that it started to bleed.
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