With Hannah’s first birthday, I’ve been spending a lot of time remembering her arrival. Not so much the actual giving birth part, because nature has a marvelous way of making women forget. Rather, I’ve been remembering what happened after Hannah was born, while she was in the hospital.
I read a book on premature infants in the days after Hannah was born, and it said that birthdays can be very bittersweet for parents of preemies. What should have been a joyful time will always be linked in your memory with the worry, the confusion, and the medical interventions. That’s been true for me. For instance, I know that one year ago yesterday I came home, and one year ago tomorrow Hannah came home. I just keep re-living all of those events in my mind.
I know that I was very lucky, because Hannah was healthy. Her hospital stay was relatively short, and she did well once she came home. Today, she shows no signs of her early arrival. I also know that she will never remember how her first 6 days were spent in the Special Care Nursery, or being under the billi lights when she had jaundice, or how much her father scrambled to make sure that she had the things she needed. Her parents will never forget, though. We will always carry it with is, no matter how well it turned out.