Recently I was asked to recount (under a very bright light) the story of Eliza's birth. I can usually do this without batting an eye, inject some black humor into the tale and move on. Perhaps it was the giant klieg light, but I was temporarily reduced to a blithering idiot. Perhaps it was the well intention and very honest commentary by one participant in the day's event to the effect of "wow, she was beyond small," or the slight wince when I showed pictures of Eliza at 4 days and 8 days old.
But that is not what is pissing me off today. What is annoying the bejesus out of me is that I have read yet another total crap story about a "miracle baby" and have seen an even more ridiculous interview with parents who are deluded because they think since their babies (25 weekers) have been released from a nearby NICU that they are "just fine."
It takes a one very, very tough baby, a boatload of hard work, incredibly smart and dedicated doctors, nurses and parents (yes, we do deserve a smidgen of credit), dozens of medications, countless medical procedures (many painful beyond your average person's imagination), thousands of hours of therapy, a couple of million dollars of medical care, some really excellent guess work to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it and at least a moderate sense of humor so you (the parent) is not placed in a locked ward, to get from this:
So can someone riddle me this: why does the media insist on portraying these babies as perfectly fine once they walk (figuratively) through the platinum door of the NICU? Why isn't the media interviewing the parents a year later when the reality of raising a micropreemie has really set in because the baby still can't roll over? Where is the Today three years later when your child is still on a liquid diet and you are wasting another day of your life arguing yet again with some dimwit at Oxford United HealthCare who still isn't not grasping that your toddler really doesn't eat actual food?
I suppose these are rhetorical questions, since those of us on the cruise ship known as the SS. Micropreemie have figured out that people only want to hear the happy hoo-ha and gloss over the "details" of our children's' lives.