You need to know. This is real.
That tiny scrap attached to tubes and monitors that ring and beep and flash. That's your newborn baby. And yes she's fighting for her life. But she's going to make it.
Your life is going to change utterly, but in many ways it will be so much better, and you will change too. You will face challenges that you never expected and find strength that you never knew you had. I won't lie to you: there will be battles ahead. With an indifferent state and an uncaring bureaucracy. But you will find help, you will find support, and most of all you will find friends, old friends who stay in your life and new friends in the same situation.
Her suffering in the hospital will end, because she will be stabilised and they will find a combination of medicines to treat her. Those bitter tears you cried with despair at not knowing how to help your daughter will be replaced with smiles of joy when she smiles at you every morning. You have no internet to help you, just one book on cerebral palsy, and lots of well-meaning advice. So you try desperate treatments. You visit healers who live on remote mountain tops, you travel to the UK with a hired oxygen machine, you visit every type of therapist until you can't take any more disappointment. You look at adults with cerebral palsy and wonder which one your daughter will resemble. Do not worry, she will look like herself.
Are you even wondering what you want for her on her 16th birthday, right now when all you want is for her to live?
To be happy?
To fulfil her potential?
To be kind and affectionate?
To be patient?
To be sociable?
To enjoy life?
To live the life of a teenager and enjoy music and dancing, shopping and friends?
She is and she will.
|Dancing at the Teen Club|
It's going to be different, but it's going to be okay.
For more about Smiley's early life click this link:
World Prematurity Day is November 17th and there's lots of information about it here:
Irish families with premature babies can find support here: