I saw that The Today Show did a piece on preemies today and it brought back SO many memories. TodayParenting and Pampers joined up for a challenge if you shared your NICU story so I did:  http://community.today.com/parentingteam/challenge/nicu-parenting

This is so relevant because today the hospital that saved AboveAverage Joe's life closed its doors. I am forever grateful to Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and wish them all the best in their new digs at Oishei Children's Hospital.

Joseph was born weighing 747 grams. That's 1 lb 10 1/2 oz. I've had bags of M&Ms that weighed more. Due to a placental abruption, he needed to come into this world at 26 weeks.

Preemie Joe

I prayed, cried and wrote in a journal to stay sane. What was his pulse ox? How many CCs of my milk did Joe get through his feeding tube? I had to express at home and bring my milk to the hospital. It was like having a baby on layaway and gave me a whole new respect for cows.

Joseph had eyelashes and fingernails at 26 weeks. There was no cartilage yet in his nose or ears though. Joe looked like a baby bird that fell from the nest, which is essentially what he did. I remember being very concerned about those ears for some reason. There was so much I couldn't control, but I could tape Joe's ears so they grew beautifully dang it! I got to hold him the 1st time when he hit 3 lbs just over a month later and brought Joe home 2 months after that at 5 lbs.

Joe is frist held

Knowing my boy wouldn't escape all problems, at 6 months he and I both went to Early Intervention classes where we worked with physical, occupational and speech therapists. Every single thing we did and continue to do was for the better good of Joe's growth. Today he is still the happiest kid I know. He is on wheels due to cerebral palsy, but it may as well be a Big Wheels Car. Joe doesn't care.

We go to church, ballgames, boating, art galleries and concerts. He has many great friends. Joseph loves music!  My neighbor who is Wiccan told me that Joseph came into this world the way he did to make me a better person. I'm proud to tell you that it worked.

joe and ma
joe grad
tie dye

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