Notes About Being a Prem Baby Parent

As many of you long term friends and readers know, Littlest was a 28 week premature baby. 

He is now 5, and he has health stuff down to being premature, like his lung problems, and his allergies, but I am never going to let it define him, or allow him to use his status as early as a reason to get a way with naughtiness.

Being early is not a badge you wear as a parent either, it’s something which happened, and which you’ve dealt with.

The thing is, I know a few great Mum’s whose babies where prems too. We don’t dwell on it, we ask each other questions if there is something we feel they may have experienced, a new health quirk or a possible medication, that they may have knowledge of. 

All kids are hard work, they have their own individual quirks and foibles. Mini was bang on time, by section, or I think they’d have needed to smoke her out she was quite comfy in there, but I don’t say “Oh, Mini can be a gobby cow and a bossy mare as she was on time“. That would be ridiculous.

I feel it is the same with Littlest. He’s not a bit naughty sometimes because he was early. He’s just 5. That’s what 5 year old boys are like. Little terrors.

Why have I chosen to write this?

Two reasons.

Firstly, I have been very kindly invited to Westminster and asked to talk about my experience as a Mum to a prem child. I have wracked my brain trying to think what to say, as I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning, or being a bit “woe is me”. 
I was lucky- I brought my child home, whereas plenty don’t. I have a little boy who yes, has ongoing health problems, but it’s part of life, you can’t be given a receipt and take the child back can you? It’s not like buying a faulty laptop and taking it back to PC World- “oh sorry, hospital, this one’s a bit wonky, he’s got crap lungs, and will keep me up night after night coughing (and with fear for at least the first 4 5 years), can I have a different one please?”

I will be in a room with someone I admire so much, who lost her child. Not even a year ago. What right do I have to stand up and say having a prem baby sucks when my prem baby is 5 and here and OK?

The other reason is simple. I simply hate those who do use the prem baby tag as an excuse to be badly behaved. That do use it for “woe is me” purposes.

I tried to explain on a blogging group earlier why a thread was removed to be met with abuse and patronising comments from a blogging member. Someone who I don’t know, I’ve never to my knowledge met them. I suggested that if they didn’t like it, they could leave. 

They did. Cool beans I thought, we can do without that in a group which is friendly.

Except they messaged me to be nasty, again. So I blocked them. I can’t be doing with angst from others. I have enough of me own thanks.

So they messaged someone else and used the “I have a prem baby” thing, even sending a photo. 

Hate it. Really hate it. 

I couldn’t do it personally. I know the other prem Mums I know would frown on it too.

If we let it define us, then what will happen to our prem child as they grow? They will face enough trials in life without having that tag front and centre all the time.

Yes, being a prem parent is hard. But isn’t being a parent hard sometimes, full stop?

It’s what makes the fun bits so much better, after all.

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