Prematurity is something very near and dear to my heart. Nolan, my youngest was a premature baby. Born at 34 weeks, his mighty little body weighed in at 4 lbs 11 ounces. He was, and still is, absolutely perfect in every single way imaginable.
I have always struggled with getting pregnant due to PCOS and Endometriosis. I used to say that getting me pregnant was the hard part, and after that it was smooth sailing...Which, for my first two full term children, that seemed to be the case. When we finally got pregnant with Nolan, we were so excited, but quickly that excitement turned to fear. At 5 weeks pregnant I started to have bleeding. Multiple times I thought I was miscarrying and would head to my doctors office fearing the worst. However, we quickly learned I had a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH). I was instructed to take it easy, but aside from that there wasn't much I could do at this point in the pregnancy. Although I spent the first half of my pregnancy on a modified bed rest, I had no idea about the problems that laid ahead. At our 20 week ultrasound, we were told I had complete placenta previa (CPP). Basically, my placenta had attached itself directly over my cervix. For the safety of both us, I would need a C-section prior to going into labor. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to our scheduled C-section date. Instead, I had to have an emergency C-section to save not only myself but my baby due to uncontrollable hemorrhaging.
Becoming a parent to a premature baby in the NICU was a much different experience than that of my older two children. Nothing could have prepared me for what laid ahead. So many “firsts” that a parent typically gets to do right away, I had to wait days to do, like holding him and changing his tiny diapers. My vocabulary grew to include new words such as “NG tube” and “Cpap” as well as learning to read the monitors that displayed my sons vitals.
Every day I drove to the hospital and would spend the morning and afternoon with him. It was there, in the NICU, we started with "kangaroo care". The nurses would help maneuver his wires while I put his little body inside my camisole against my chest. Then we typically would both doze off to the beeping of the machines and other sounds of the NICU. Skin to skin was the biggest comfort to him, but also to me. We went through the motions of our new normal for 18 long days. There is nothing quite like the detached feeling of leaving your newborn baby in the NICU every day and heading home. I felt like a shell of my normal self just trying to get through each day and getting my baby healthy enough to come home to our family.
When the time came for us to finally bring him home, we were so excited! There is nothing like having all your family together under one roof. Eventually, my little preemie grew and became big enough to fit into a baby carrier, so the hunt was on for the perfect one! With Nolan, I was determined to keep my sweet baby safe and to keep him close for as long as I could. I felt like my body failed him, but I wouldn't. It didn't take long for me to come across LÍLLÉbaby. All of its features were perfect for us and our growing baby. My favorites were the 7-45 lbs without needing an infant insert and the 6 carrying positions, those two things alone really meant I could wear my baby a long time in a lot of ways!
My sweet Nolan is now 20 months old, and has been worn in our beloved LILLEbaby carriers for over a year and a half now. Yes, babywearing has made my life as a mom easier when it comes to being independent with three young kids under the age of 5. But I have continued to wear my children for reasons much more important than just out of necessity. It has given me extra snuggles, moments and memories. Someday, when my children are older, and far too big to be carried, those memories will be what I look back on with such love and fondness. LÍLLÉbaby has given me exactly what I was determined to do, wear my babies for as long as I can.
The March of Dimes LÍLLÉbaby COMPLETE Embossed in Lavender is available now at www.lillebaby.com