THE BLOG
11/08/2015 10:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

An Open Letter to Everyone From a Micro Preemie Mom

Jennifer Degl

Dear Parents of Full Term Babies, Coworkers, Friends, Strangers and NICU Doctors and Nurses:

Please congratulate me on the birth of my micro preemie, and don't apologize for her birth.

Although you are likely at a loss for words, and are not sure what to say to me, "I'm sorry" is not the best choice. In fact, a "Congratulations" is still in order.

After all, she is still my baby.

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She might be a fraction of the size that your baby was at birth, but she is still my baby.

I may not be able to hold her for weeks or months, but she is still my baby.

She may be on life support for many months, but she is still my baby.

I may not have had a chance to tell you I was pregnant with her, but she is still my baby.

She might have several wires connected to her tiny body and tubes down her nose and throat, but she is still by baby.

I may have only carried her in my womb for 23 weeks, as opposed to 40 weeks, but she is still my baby.

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She may not have opened her eyes yet, but she is still my baby.

I may not get to change her diaper or burp her for several months, as you did for your baby, but she is still my baby.

She may not be expected to live, but she is still my baby.

I may not have had a baby shower before her birth, but she is still my baby.

She may not ever know what it's like to nurse from her mother, but she is still my baby.

I may not get around to making her birth announcement, but she is still my baby.

She may not get a chance to meet you for several months, but she is still my baby.

I many not return your calls and I may ignore your messages, because I just can't muster enough energy to tell her story yet, but she is still my baby.

She may need several surgeries during the first few months of her life (and in the future), but she still my baby.

I may not post pictures of her on social media, but she is still my baby.

She may not ever see the light of day because she lost her battle against prematurity, but she is still my baby.

I may never get to bring her home or show her off to you, but she is still my baby.

She is and will always be my baby.

So, this is what I ask of you:

Please be sensitive to parents of premature babies.

Congratulate preemie parents after their baby is born.

Don't say, "I'm sorry" for their baby's birth.

They still had a baby, no matter what transpired before or after.

All parents should be congratulated for their baby's birth.

I'm happy to say that I am one of the lucky ones and my micro preemie survived.

Sincerely,
A Mom of a Micro Preemie

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