We’re Not Supposed To Be Here

“We’re not supposed to be here” has been my pouty mantra since around the end of the summer. A therapist or a doctor will tell me how well Charlie is doing. I respond along the lines of, “She is… but this isn’t how it was supposed to be.” I remind them of the empty promises from the neonatalogists and the unfulfilled prophecies.

Charlie wasn’t supposed to need all the specialists or therapists. She was supposed to “catch up” quickly and easily. This wasn’t supposed to be our life.

I know, it’s small, it’s petty, and, even childlike. But, I have been sulking. It’s not one loss I’m learning to cope with but countless other losses that unexpectedly hit with a crushing blow. The proverbial roller coaster ride never really ended for us.

The past two and a half years have been very long and feel like a completely different life. So much so, that when I visit places I lived prior to Charlie’s birth it feels like I’m visiting a dream. I know the place well but I feel like it was someone else’s life that I remember occurring there. Not mine.

After dinner, I took Charlie to get her non dairy frozen ice cream substitute. She loves it and will devour it with a smile on her face.

I sat there and watched her gorge while totally focused on the treat in front of her. During the moment of silence, I thought about how much we laughed today, the new word (“funny”) she said, and all of the fun we had together. Then, it hit me.

We’re not supposed to be here.

At least, she’s not.

They thought she wouldn’t survive her delivery. Yet, she was gobbling ice cream in front of me.

I don’t know where we are supposed to be. I suppose I will have to make it up and chart the course as we go.

However, today, the phrase “We’re not supposed to be here” transitioned from a phrase roared in frustration, anger, desperation, and exhaustion to one whispered in breathless awe.


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 “We’re Not Supposed To Be Here

  • Child Life Mommy

    You are such an amazing mom, that has provided Charlie with strength, hope and love for life. She is resilient and continuing to grow.
    It must be difficult to think about where she “should be” on the catching up phase. The exhaustion and frustration are valid feelings and comely normal. I think that when make ourselves vulnerable and express those emotions we can then have those moments of seeing your child eat ice cream while giggling and realize the cup is half full, not empty.
    Continue being a rockstar mama. Charlie is a lucky, little girl to have a number one fan cheer her on,


  • Sue Koppmann

    I was directed to your blog by a friend who recently had a 25-weeker and I’ve been following for a few months now. My own 25-weeker will be 12 years old in December. I can totally empathize with where you are living now. They told us that our son would “catch up by age 2”. But at age 2, he was still a baby – and I was so tired of having a baby. Despite years of therapies, he never really did catch up; we’ve just finally gotten to the point of “there isn’t a big difference between a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old.”

    We still deal with some of the repercussions of his premature birth. And sometimes it still hurts, but not very often anymore. I finally stopped crying on his birthday when he was 5 years old. And I found joy in him instead. And that joy helped eased the pain and guilt of having a preemie.

    You obviously know the truth of the matter – that having a micro-preemie sucks big green pus balls – and it’s okay to wallow in that once in a while, as long as you come out of it to remember that being a mom – well, that’s pretty awesome, no matter how you had to get there.

    God Bless! and prayers for you and Charlie – may she continue to progress and amaze you with the miracle of life!

    Liked by 1 person

  • P

    This is so beautifully written. For a long time “anything can happen” was laden with all kinds of negative premonitions. But these kiddos show us that anything really can happen even in the other way. Amazing.


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