Today is a great day. Nothing really to report with Sam – he is just doing great. What makes today special is a preemie friend of ours is finally going home after 6 months (and one day) in the NICU. Now, a baby being released from the NICU is always a joyous thing. In this case, it is truly magical. You see, Sam’s little friend was born weighing just 9 ounces (yes – 9 ounces… that is not a typo). She is the 4th smallest preemie in the world to survive. And the great thing, Kenna is doing more than just surviving… she is thriving. Yes, she has a long road ahead of her, but what preemie doesn’t.
So, today, when I read that Kenna was finally going home, I welled up with tears and a smile. The woman pushing her son in the swing next to Sam looked at me like I was crazy. I just told her Kenna was going home. Then I cried more. Then I told her the story. The whole story. Who Kenna was, how small she was when she was born, the odds that were stacked against her. It didn’t take long for the woman to cry a little either.
Then, she asked me how I knew Kenna. I paused here for just a moment, because I have never met Kenna. I told her I was friends with her mom… which is true, even though we have never met. This is where the preemie community comes in. 6 months ago, a friend of mine reached out to me to tell me that one of her blogger friends just had a very small preemie. She asked me if I would be willing to reach out to her friend and offer some support. Knowing how much having experienced preemie mom’s reach out to me meant, I jumped at the chance. Pretty soon, I was talking with Kenna’s mom almost every day on Facebook. It was nice to share my experience and be there to support someone else. Helping Kenna’s mom helped me. I had an outlet for my knowledge and a purpose. I was there to help Kenna’s mom get through her NICU journey.
The reality is, Kenna’s mom helped me recover from my NICU journey. Talking with her, listening to her, supporting her, etc was just great for me. By paying it forward, I was able to leave some of it behind. I am so proud to know Nicole, to be a part of Kenna’s life (even from a distance), and I really do look forward to the day when we can get Sam and Kenna is a room together for a photo op.