It’s always fulfilling to hear from our customers about how our personalized baby gifts are a part of their kiddos’ lives. That’s why we started our In Real Life series and it’s one of our favorite types of posts to write. This week we have Erin of Loving Henry blog, who answers our questions about mommyhood and raising a sweet boy who was born 12 weeks premature, which makes marking his growth on one of our personalized growth charts that much more rewarding.
(Caption: Eddie reading his favorite book, Goodnight Moon, next to his Junior Varsity personalized growth chart.)
What is your child’s name and age?
Eddie, age 2
What milestones do you look forward to most?
Eddie was born under very unique circumstances. He unexpectedly came 12 weeks early and weighed only 2 1/2 lbs and was just 14 inches long. And due to his prematurity, he spent the first nine weeks of his life in the NBICU so he could grow, learn to breathe, and learn to eat.
Preemies, especially ones as early (and even earlier) as Eddie, face incredible obstacles. Crucial organs like the lungs and brain are still forming and developing in the womb when they are born and tiny babies expend extreme energy to make up the difference. My husband and I watched Eddie fight each day in the hospital and do his best to grow, but he would have set backs. We waited and tried our best to be patient so that Eddie could be well enough to come home but it was hard. We didn’t know what lay ahead of him or what his life would be like in the future and at times it terrified us.
Thankfully, Eddie’s story had a happy ending. We brought him home when he was 37 weeks gestation and had grown to, what was for us, a very chubby 5 lbs. We eventually realized that each and every milestone Eddie would reach after his scary beginning was worth celebrating over. We were beside ourselves when he rolled over, we cheered when he sat up, and we were positively beaming when he mastered walking. And by the time he was talking and speaking in sentences, we were over the moon. Thanks to him, we don’t take much for granted.
What are some tips or advice you’d give to a new mom with a preemie?
My biggest piece of advice for preemie parents is to be present. Attend the daily rounds on your baby. It can be hard to make it in time each day but it is worth it to know every aspect of your child’s treatment and what will come next. Along with that, ask questions. Ask, ask, and ask some more. Familiarize yourself with your baby’s medications and oxygen levels and give honest feedback to your child’s healthcare providers.
Get to know your baby’s doctors. Take the time to talk with them and let them know that you are an active part of your baby’s recovery. But even more than that, find nurses that you trust and feel comfortable with. They will be the ones who will be with your baby most and they will be your eyes and ears when you can’t be in the hospital. Once you find the ones you absolutely adore, don’t let them go and let them know how much they mean to your family.
What are your favorite Petite Lemon products and why?
Our family loves Eddie’s colorful growth chart. He talks about each sport when he sees it and I think it will be a fun keepsake for him as he gets older.
What do you enjoy most about Instagram/blogging?
I am a big fan of social media largely for the fact that it helps me stay connected with family and friends that I would otherwise hardly ever hear from. And for my family in particular, our blog has become especially important for us to share stories about our children, our marriage, and our adventures. It is a nice time capsule of our lives and I hope our kids will enjoy reading it when they have families of their own.
What is your fav blog right now?
I have many blogs that I follow religiously but the one that always sticks with me is www.martawrites.com. Marta is a personal friend of mine but even if she weren’t, I would still gravitate to her blog and her IG profile. Her writing is thoughtful and polished and I’m continuously inspired by her devotion to her faith and her family.
What is your fave IG?
I like following @realbrookewhite. She’s a musician and a business woman but she’s a mom first. I appreciate that she isn’t afraid to share honest posts about her worries and insecurities.
Define motherhood in one word:
Wow, thank you Erin for sharing such an incredible story. We loved your advice on being present, it’s good advice for all of us parents who are often so distracted by a million things, and we’re so glad Eddie is using one of our personalized growth charts to record his amazing milestones.
We’re looking forward to sharing more In Real Life stories with our personalized baby gifts with our readers soon. If you have a story to share, please email us at buzz @ petitelemon (dot) com.