Eliza Grace was born on March 15, 2006, at 26 weeks, 4 days, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces and measuring just 11.5 inches long. She is the light of my soul and this is the story of our life in the big city.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thanks and Gratitude

This year, as last year, I am so very thankful to have Eliza Grace and to have her as healthy as she is. Thanksgiving this year was spent with family. Eliza's Uncle Stanley introduced her to her first set of horses:



Eliza Grace also got to try out Aunt Cindy's "Teetertot," a toy many of us recall, but which I am sure would no longer get the Consumer Reports gold star for safety:



However while enjoying the Teetertot, Eliza Grace was rudely licked by our favorite border collie:



At the holidays we always look back and give thanks for the year before. I am so very grateful for Eliza's amazing progress from those very dark days in the Lenox Hill NCCU. Her cognitive abilities are amazing, despite some speech delays, her eyesight is unaffected by her ROP, her lung function continues to improve, her motor function is, well pretty impressive for such a tiny girl, she climbs on everything and shows no fear. She does not however eat and that problem has been worsening almost daily and she will likely need a g-tube before the year is out. But even that's OK because I know it will help her to get the nourishment she needs to continue to do well.

Someone said to me not too long that I did not seem "grateful" enough that Eliza was doing so well, that she had her sight, her hearing and her cognitive abilities. I have had people tell me that "it could be worse," and of course they are right, life could always be "worse" for any of us. I suppose it could appear that I don't focus enough on Eliza's progress since I, like most people I suppose, tend to sometimes focus more on life's problems and not enough on the things that are going right. But despite what some folks might think I am very grateful that Eliza was spared many of the obvious effects of extreme prematurity. I am so very grateful to the doctors and nurses at Lenox Hill who never once stopped giving their very best to Eliza, especially during that very ugly first month of her life.

But I do think we can be grateful for our children's lives and how well they have escaped "most" or "many" of the effects of extreme prematurity and yet still wish that they had escaped "all" of those effects. Being angry that our children have to continue to suffer the effects of their early births does not mean that we are any less grateful for our children's lives than any other parent is.

So this Thanksgiving, I am deeply grateful that Eliza is my amazing little girl, even if I am angry that she still has to suffer because she was born too soon.

5 comments:

Candy said...

People who say things like that are just stupid. Sometimes we're so busy living and loving that we don't always think to say "gee I'm so grateful..." But it's the living and loving that's what it's all about.

Edwin said...

I love this post. It is so true. I often find myself deleting posts I write because I feel like we are so blessed with the progress S&E are making, especially for 23 weekers, and one VERY sick little 23 week boy who wasn't expected to survive, let alone thrive; and I almost feel like people may have that "you're so lucky, it could be worse" response. Of course it could be worse, but it doesn't mean it is easier for me to worry about them respiratory wise when they are both on O2 (Serena at night). There are so many things I wish my little ones didn't have to go through...of course this doesn't mean I don't appreciate how far they've come. I'm wish you 100% on this post!

23wktwins'mommy said...

I love this post. It is so true. I often find myself deleting posts I write because I feel like we are so blessed with the progress S&E are making, especially for 23 weekers, and one VERY sick little 23 week boy who wasn't expected to survive, let alone thrive; and I almost feel like people may have that "you're so lucky, it could be worse" response. Of course it could be worse, but it doesn't mean it is easier for me to worry about them respiratory wise when they are both on O2 (Serena at night). There are so many things I wish my little ones didn't have to go through...of course this doesn't mean I don't appreciate how far they've come. I'm wish you 100% on this post! (That was me above...I was signed into Edwin's Sr's gmail account...whoops.)

Anne, Eliza Grace's mom said...

And here I was thinking you two are the most amazingly well matched couple that you not only think alike, but you even write alike! LOL

I think my new motto is "grateful but still pissed off."

Sarah Furlough said...

I've never doubted how grateful you are for Eliza. I think we all wish we could could change the circumstances of our children's births.

As healthy as Coop is, I still wish things had been different for him. I wish he had more months to grow in the womb, rather than needle pricks, IVs, and surgeries when he was just 2 pounds.

I think we are all suffering from some sort of PTSD from our birth experiences!