Seven years ago, I sat, lonely, in an Indiana farmhouse, caring for a one-year-old and a six-month-old. That six-month-old had arrived incredibly early and we were still dealing with the repercussions of that.
I searched BabyCenter and other “baby sites.” I tried to join the preemie groups and boards the hospital had printed out for me. I tried, truly, to interact with other preemie parents, hoping to find the answers and support I sought.
I was so disappointed.
The thing about “preemie boards” is that, by their very nature, they encompass families of all babies born before 37 weeks gestation. (Some newer research has shifted that definition to include even more babies– all those born before 39 weeks gestation.) There is nothing wrong or inaccurate about that. There is no doubt at all that those babies are all preemies.
But– and herein lay the frustration– no matter what anyone might try to tell you, there is, most certainly, a difference between a baby born at 35 weeks and one born at 25 weeks. Honestly, this is common sense. And, as a sheer numbers game, far more babies arrive in the 34 – 36 week range than in the 24 – 26 week range. This is a GOOD thing. And, of these babies, far more of the “older preemies” survive. When you combine those statistics, you realize that the micropreemie world is a tiny microcosm of the preemie world.
I wanted to write for micropreemie parents.
Two years later, I did. I started my Blogger blog “Parenting the Tiniest of Miracles” and got rolling. I was (and am) a prolific writer and, in those early days, I covered topics such as:
… and hundreds of other preemie-related posts!
Over the years, a couple things happened.
First of all, I learned that, while my average reader seemed to start out reading out of fascination with my birth story, they weren’t actually micropreemie parents. Thus, some of the things I wrote about weren’t really relevant to them.
Secondly, my own micropreemie grew bigger and stronger. The lasting effects of her prematurity didn’t disappear, certainly, but they lessened and her life became more and more “mainstream.” I got to the point where, when asked “any limitations?” on forms, I could happily check, “NO.”
But I’ve kept writing.
It’s been FIVE YEARS now, friends. Five years ago today, I first hit “publish” on an article. Since then, I’ve written and published 1, 914 posts… and that’s just on my own site! I’ve also written numerous guest posts for others.
In some ways, five years doesn’t really seem that long. But, in the blogging world, I’m steadily becoming one of the “old dogs.” While there are plenty of sites that pre-existed my own, the vast majority of blogs don’t even make it to the one year mark.
I’m so glad I’m still around.
I wouldn’t still be here, however, if it weren’t for YOU! You all are the reason I stick with it. As much as I simply adore writing, I don’t know if I could have written to an “empty room” for five whole years. You have all blessed me by making it so that I didn’t have to– THANK YOU!
I wanted to offer just a small token of gratitude to my readers in honor of five fun-filled years. This is NOT a sponsored giveaway and I know it’s very small in the realm of some of the cool prizes out there these days. But this one is just from me. I picked it out for you because I have one just like (though mine is yellow) and it makes me smile. I wanted to make one of you smile, too.
I’ll be giving one of you this rose statement bracelet in a pretty coral-y pink color. It’s adjustable, so it’ll stay on a 6 1/2″ wrist, but will accommodate up to 8 1/2″ or so.
You can enter below, using the Rafflecopter form. There are lots of ways to earn entries, but, mainly, I’d love to hear about when you first found me (even if it was today!) and/or how long you’ve been reading.
Thank you, so very much, for giving me a place to share my words, for interacting with me, and for giving me so much to think about. I love that we learn and grow together and I look forward to many more great years!
a Rafflecopter giveaway