Sunday, August 10, 2014

CONFESSIONS OF A PREEMIE MOM: Support Systems Matter


Every family that experiences a change of some sort knows or learns quickly the value of support structures.  When you bring a baby home or add another to the mix, the need for those structures increases exponentially.

Waiting in a waiting room... don't they look super duper excited?

When I brought, N home I learned first hand the value and need for these checks, balances and opportunities for growth, breathing space, sounding boards, prayer warriors and strong shoulders. You get to learn what your strengths are and how to support those areas that need reinforcement.   


This post is to share some of my favorites resources for building my own support system, give you a space to share your own and provide some tips on how to strengthen your structure. 

A favorite found at Journey into the Spectrum


1) Family:

This is a huge one for me. They are our biggest supporters, and the ones that can bring me to almost every heightened emotion known to man.  Since I am the eldest of a close-knit 5, I have been able to benefit greatly from this resource.  They've picked up the slack, reminded me of my strength and covered us in love, prayer, conversation and lots of really good food.  

The card we made for our mother this Mother's Day.  


2) Friends:

If you are anything like me, when life gets complicated, you find yourself retreating into your clam shell a bit more than you usually might have.  It's a protective instinct, and that's fine and well... but it doesn't serve anyone, least of all you. Stay in touch with the people that love you.  Rely on those that have been with you through "heaven, hell and high water".  Don't hide and bear life's adventures alone.  That's where that saying comes from -- "Life is a banquet." (that is better off shared.) 

To my lovelies that share my life... thank you bunches!!!  
What makes a great friend from Wak4Mg


3) Faith:

The life of a preemie mom is a complicated road to say the least, but the journey lived in brighter color when you have utilized the tools in your spiritual toolbox.  Tap into your spiritual center -- pray and Find your prayer warriors, your women's leaders, your elders, your shamans and your light-bringers and stay connected. Surround yourself with some positive and encouraging folks. There are quite a few people that have trouble seeing the good in a complicated circumstance.  Let those people that can only see the problems, the dark and the negative have a time out.  It uses up valuable energy.  Time and energy are precious, and yours are even more valuable...fuel up with the good and let the rest be.

Credit: SimpleDisneyThings

4) Community Support:

Find your tribe.  Our social worker at the hospital and his NICU team informed us of great programs that have made our journey stronger, better and provide even more layers to our support structure.  These for us include the Dallas ECI team with fantastic Vision, Feeding and Speech therapists.  Remember to ask questions, don't get washed away in all the technical jargon that you do not understand the whys and hows of their programs.  (Been there) Ask and if possible, look into whole family approaches.  (works for us)

Credit: The Ladies Roundtable Dallas 


What are your favorite resources for building your support structure?  Share below.

Happily,
Teia