Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TCH guest blogger

This past week William was featured on the TCH home page.  There is nothing better than seeing his sweet face when I log onto my computer at work.   :)  This blog post is about the progress William has made since his NICU stay two years ago!    

I never thought I’d be able to forget the exhaustion that accompanied my son, William’s, four-week stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in April 2012. William has reached so many exciting milestones since he left the NICU two years ago.

First Smiles!

The progress William has made between his first and second birthday still amazes me. At his first birthday, he wasn’t walking, he had no teeth and he had no interest in solid food. By his second birthday, he was a walking, talking, food-loving little toddler who finally had seven teeth.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t worry about him not being on the growth charts for so long and his speech being delayed compared to others his age. When William turned two years old, I had him evaluated by a speech therapist because he wasn’t saying 50 words. They told me what I had known deep down in my heart. He didn’t qualify. He was learning a little more every day. William was doing things on his own timeline and that’s okay.

William is his own person. He was a preemie who has made remarkable progress. All we can do is love him, teach him and encourage him. He has met all his milestones. A few were several months behind but he’s done it and that’s what matters. He can kick a ball, he repeats things he hears, he knows all his body parts, he plays make-believe and he’s more independent with each day that passes. We couldn’t be more pleased with his progress.

Although a NICU stay can be exhausting, there were several things that made it an awesome, positive experience. The car seat education program was priceless. I got to have a little baby for longer than most. The nurses were so informative and helped me perfect my “mom skills.” Gordon and I enjoyed going out to dinner a couple of times which most new parents don’t get to do (and we had the best babysitters in town!). Since William received donor breast milk while in the NICU, I knew I had to give back by donating myself!

His excitment and joy for life is priceless. 
 Gordon and I would love to add another little Gooding into our family.If we are ever blessed enough to welcome another baby into the world, we will be more prepared for a NICU stay. It won’t be easy but being a parent never is. Every NICU family has a different story. Some are harder than others. I try to always put things into perspective. Find the silver lining. My motto is: You have to embrace all the days, good and bad. In their own unique way they are very precious moments. It may not be what you envisioned but sometimes that’s okay.

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