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11 "Bonus" Weeks With You

We knew you were going to come early, just like your brother did, but we didn't know how early. At 29 weeks and 3 days, you made your debut into the world. Your father and I were terrified of losing you too.

When you came home at 36 weeks gestational age, it was so surreal - to bring our son home and to have 11 "bonus" weeks with you.

As NICU parents it's hard not to look back, not to have guilt, not to think of the fears, not to miss the opportunity of having a full-term pregnancy, not to be overprotective, not to be downright mad at myself for not being able to protect you better…and so much more.

Then something dawned on me. I've recently read several beautiful articles about being a mom and specifically a boy mom. There's a common thread between them - cherish the moments and every moment because you won't get them back.

You have been going through a developmental leap for a couple of days now, cluster feeding two nights in a row and just received a RSV vaccination. Needless to say, you have been extremely fussy... inconsolable at times. Tonight you fell asleep lying on me with your head below my chin, arms wrapped around my side and legs heavy on my stomach. Tonight you looked up at me in the midst of tears with the biggest gummy grin. These are the moments the moms behind the articles talk about. The moments that go by so quickly.

While having our second son 11 weeks early brought an indescribable and challenging journey, those 11 weeks gave us "bonus" time with Aron outside of the womb. These moments have made me grateful for our extra time with him. While I still look back and experience these emotions, I have a new perspective and couldn't be more proud of our tiny but mighty warrior.

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