Written by: Lauretta Zurcher
If you have not read the previous parts of Lauretta's story you can find them here...
You know how any baby can bring joy and happiness unbounded to a family…well, our little guy packed in an extra dose of joy filtered through lots of hugs and prayers. Once the danger period passed and he was gaining in every area, we all began to see him as an ordinary, ornery little boy.
Luckily my parents were living close by and became a huge factor in the care of our son. They would often stop by the house just to rock the baby or take him for a stroller ride. Sometimes that ride would be through the hallways of our house just to pacify the little guy and relax him! Since everyone who would possibly take care of the baby had to pass an infant CPR class, we all felt confident we could provide emergency care. The heart rate monitor was a constant factor in our baby’s life for 9 months. As he strengthened and developed, heart rate drops became less frequent, and mostly he stayed connected only while sleeping.
The little guy grew and grew. He was walking at 11 months and eating well. Visits to the pediatrician were less common and soon trips to the office were only when an antibiotic was needed. He was more apt to experience respiratory ailments, but he never needed an inhaler or asthma treatments. Frequent earaches necessitated tubes be placed in his ears, but even they stayed put until pulled out by the doctor! Yes, our little preemie was developing quite normally and that brought us UNEXPECTED JOY!
When I went back to work, we were fortunate to find babysitters to come into our home so that I did not need to take the baby out. These women were God sent and loved our little guy like their own. He was given TLC that included scavenger hunts, baking cookies, and story time. He was one lucky kid!
I started a journal once home from the hospital- a journal for him and about him. I kept at it faithfully for many years, albeit not as regularly later on. Most of the baby stories were about our fears for him and his progress and setbacks. Later I wrote about his funny escapades and some of my parental frustrations (we all have those, right?) I kept those journals (I filled many books) next to my bed and often would go back to reading about the early days – sometimes laughing, sometime tearing up. I would suggest journaling for every mom…I know it’s another time consuming activity, but it brings much UNEXPECTED JOY in reading later on.
When our son turned 25, I turned over all the journals… I had long since stopped writing, but I waited to give them to him until I thought he could best appreciate our stories. Time marches along so quickly – BE SURE TO LOVE ON YOUR LITTLE ONES NOW! Watching them turn into adults is part of the UNEXPECTED JOY of parenting.