All (Premature) Saints and Souls

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PuddinPie, about two days old
Yesterday was All Saint's Day, a day to gather together and remember the saints in heaven who pray for us. Today is All Souls Day, a day to remember everyone who has died.

Yesterday, Nov. 1, also marked the beginning of Prematurity Awareness Month.

I blog about preemies and our experiences with the NICU often. This month, I am asking you to remember all the children who were born too soon and are now little saints in heaven, praying for us. Pray for the little souls in the NICU, struggling to stay on earth. And remember, of course, the parents and loved ones holding vigil by their bedsides, hoping and praying that their child will live, come home, and grow.

I would be completely remiss if I didn't ask for prayers of thanksgiving to the talented NICU staff who work so hard to keep our children alive and give them a healthy start. I know they feel our pain as they watch one of their patients struggle. St. Therese tells us to "do small things with great love" and the NICU doctors and nurses do small things on small patients with great love and dedication.

As a special intention, please pray for twin girls, born to a friend last week. The girls are tiny but fighters.

***
It's a cold and dreary day. The house is fairly quiet and not quite clean. Cole is napping. The older three ar in school.

From The March of Dimes
It's because, in part, of PuddinPie's premature birth that he is in school. In some ways, I feel lied to. They told me he would be fine. In some ways, he is fine. In some ways, he is not. I can't help but think that that small, immature brain suffered damage because of his early birth. His body was forced to breathe, eat and do alot of things well before it should have been ready.

But is it because of genetics? I mean, lots of children have Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Well, yes, but full term children have Autism, CP and a host of other conditions, the same as premature children. Yet, all these conditions effect preterm children, as a cohort, more than other kids. Some children do walk away from the NICU without any long term problems... but some don't. And it is SO children have a chance of walking out of there "just fine" and SO kids can survive and thrive that we pray for everyone, support causes to improve neonatal medicine, early intervention and moral ways of preventing pre-term births.

Every baby, and every parent, deserve a full nine months.



(Want to read about life inside the NICU? Check out this cool PDF file written by parents: Narrtives from the NICU. I found it via "Preemie Power" on FB.)