Itâ€™s the summer of the 2012 Olympics. Here on the west coast, weâ€™re reviewing results we already know (thanks to Twitter) and watching an equal ratio of commercials to sporting events.
Question â€“ Why does NBC need to continuously break to show commercials promoting the Olympics? You know, those same games the viewers at home are trying to watch on television RIGHT NOW.
And of one of those very commercials, I saw on the Twitter: Thanks GE for reminding me of something I don’t want to remember â€ª#nicu
GE Healthcare is airing a commercial during these summer games regarding a recent (very large) donation to an English hospital. The premise is that one of those tiny babies will overcome all odds and be the next generation Olympic athlete.
I wonâ€™t lie. Remembering is hard. Iâ€™ve had flashbacks and struggled. But I donâ€™t ever want to forget. Because those memories have shaped my life. The commercial inspires hope for the future. But more importantly, it is widespread recognition of the worldâ€™s tiniest patients.
If Iâ€™m going to be forced to watch all those commercials, it may as well be one so touching and close to my heart. I get that itâ€™s an ad â€“ brand awareness, sales, marketing, all that good profit making stuff. But that doesnâ€™t change the fact that the very equipment discussed saved my childrenâ€™s lives.
These children are the true heroes. Whether they one day break the world record in the 200 meter freestyle or simply beat the odds by surviving, preemies embody hope. They teach us the beauty of a new perspective on life â€“ the miracle of a single breath. The superhuman strength and determination in a person so tiny â€“ fighting against gravity â€“ aiming for the podium.
I used to joke that my 27-week twin boys could never be Olympians because of the steroids and other â€œperformance-enhancing drugs.â€
Their first home was a GE Giraffe Warmer incubator. And in my world, the day we raised that roof to create an open-air isolette made me just as proud as if it were the American flag rising above my medalists. It was the first major milestone.
It gave me hope.
We fight. So they donâ€™t have to.
Iâ€™m heading off to the BlogHer â€™12 conference this week. Iâ€™m touched to be one of the Voices of the Year honorees. Below is the post being honored. Because this is prematurity. And we are hope.
I am prematurity.
I am the chart that reads 0/3 â€“ three pregnancies with no children.
I am the tears on a Labor and Delivery hospital room bed.
I am the spikes on a contraction monitor.
I am the sadness in the doctorâ€™s eyes at 22 weeks.
I am the steroid shots at 24 weeks.
I am the crowded operating room at 27 weeks.
I am the NICU.
I am the isolette.
I am the tiny child swaddled in wires.
I am the parentsâ€™ fear.
I am the roller coaster of emotions.
I am the dance of two steps forward, one step back.
I am the ABCs â€“ apnea and bradycardia.
I am the pulse-ox monitor.
I am the alarms sounding desats.
I am the oxygen.
I am the feeding tubes.
I am the stimulation.
I am the new normal.
I am the haze and fog.
I am the time in between â€“ after birth but before my due date.
I am the parents.
I am the nurses and doctors.
I am the family and friends.
I am the miracle of a tiny breath.
I am the miracle of life.
I am a miracle.
I am prematurity.
I am aware.
We are hope.
Hope. â€œHope, in its beautiful, strange, unexpected and stalwart forms will be noted. Documented. Acknowledged. Appreciated.â€
And it occurred to me â€“ hope is the point of this blog. (Well that and documenting the headaches and hilarity involved in raising tiny twins for discussion with their future therapist. Also, I wouldnâ€™t mind making you laugh. Because whatâ€™s the point if we canâ€™t find the humor of the situation.
If you have a blog â€“ I invite you to participate (every last one of you). Tell the story of your hopes and dreams.
Hereâ€™s the rulebook:
- Write a blog post about hope.
- Invite other bloggers to do the same. (Thatâ€™s right â€“ Iâ€™m looking at you.)
- And link back to Melanie Crutchfield to have a snippet included in the “Closing Ceremonies” around August 10.