When Things Fell Apart

This is the week that it starts. Two years ago this week, we heard the ominous word “preeclampsia” uttered for the first time.  So begins another anniversary season of when things fell apart.

While those pivotal dates have their own significance, I have conflicting emotions about Charlie’s fast approaching birthday.

Two is a special age for preemie parents. Two marks the end of age adjustment to account for a premature arrival. Two is when preemies are supposed to “catch up”. Two is the promised end to preemiehood, the finish line.

But, not for us.

It’s true, her age will no longer be adjusted. Yet, she will not be “caught up”. The therapy and the specialist appointments will carry on. The consequences of her early birth will not disappear.

I knew her second birthday was going to be this way. I realized it when I saw the look on her doctor’s face the first time I asked why she couldn’t hold her head up. I knew then she was going to be an exception.

I’ve had over a year to prepare and brace myself. Nevertheless, it still bothers me.

The situation is similar to her birth. Once I was diagnosed with preeclampsia, I was told she was going to be a preemie. Yet, when she made her appearance I was consumed by unexpected feelings of loss.

I’m happy Charlie is going to be two. I feel so lucky she’s here with us. I am grateful for the progress she has made.

However, I’m saddened that she didn’t catch up. I’m slightly disheartened the super preemie predictions made at her NICU discharge didn’t come true. She has come a long way. Though, she still has so long to go.

Welcome to anniversary season, a time of complex, conflicted, and irrational emotions that often take me by surprise.






About Rebecca Wood

In May 2012, my pregnancy ended three and a half months early due to severe early onset preeclampsia. This is my collection of thoughts and media. It is an attempt to document and discuss our experience of navigating the post NICU world. View all posts by Rebecca Wood

4 responses to “When Things Fell Apart

  • TeamWmom

    Anniversaries are so hard. I struggle with them too. Our son had a very serious, scary infection shortly after birth that hospitalized him twice. Then an almost hospitalization for a different infection at 5 month old. Every one of them was deadly. We still have follow up appointments to see if he is on track. I worry about every time he doesn’t repeat a word, or why he isn’t speaking as early as his bigger siblings… our struggles are not the same as yours. Yet I can completely empathize with you. Anniversaries are just hard

    Liked by 1 person

  • GingerB

    Anniversaries are hard. I don’t know why we are so scheduled to remember-I wish I wasn’t! My preemie did catch up, and anniversaries for her still bug me because of “what if” thoughts, my full term child had a stroke and metabolic disorder diagnosis and even though she does incredibly well, I can’t really hang on to just the joy. Somehow I still grieve for the healthy kids I expected, although ultimately less grief and worry weigh on me now. My thoughts go out to you. She is super appealing though, and those eyes say she has big plans. Hugs!


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