3 Ways I Blame Myself For My Daughter’s Prematurity


First of all, let me say this…

I don’t really dwell on these things. And doctor after doctor has assured me that I did nothing, absolutely nothing, to cause C’s early birth. Nonetheless, I think a little bit of mommy-guilt is common. I know a couple of preemie moms who insist they have never once felt one bit responsible for their babies’ early arrival. And I think that’s great. But too many other preemie moms are like me and over-analyze every little thing they ever did, ate, or felt during pregnancy. And so, I present to you, three things that occasionally make me wonder if I couldn’t have “done better” during my pregnancy with C…

  1. I picked up my son who weighed more than 20 pounds after I was 20 weeks pregnant. He was only 10 months old. And he didn’t walk. And I was home alone with him all day. I truly don’t know that I had much choice… but I do wonder if that caused extra strain on my body…
  2. I didn’t have an ideal diet. My husband was out of work for several months that year. What money we had was going to utilities and diapers and healthy food for our son. I ate a lot of hot dogs and spaghetti during that stretch.
  3. I lived in a state of emotional stress and depression and did nothing to seek help for it. Have you ever seen one of those checklists about major life changes and events you may have undergone in the last year? Yeah, well, I kid you not when I say I could have checked off almost every single one that year. Having a baby. Moving several states away. Dealing with a chronic illness. Losing a parent. Being unemployed. Getting pregnant. Being isolated from family and friends. It was a dark time for me and I wonder if that affected my pregnancy…

So there it is… the thoughts that plague me. I’ve seen the medical report detailing my excellent health. My perfect blood pressure. My low, but not too low, blood sugar. I remember the ultrasounds that showed a thriving, perfect infant. But, in what I know is just a desperate attempt to take control, to establish blame (even if the finger is pointed at me), I sometimes worry about what I could have done better…

Preemie moms… am I the only one? Do any of you sometimes think back to everything you did or didn’t do and wonder?

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