“Being able to come to group, eat some real food (hospital cafeteria food gets very old day in and day out!), and talk to other moms, to be reassured that my little girl would pull through, and would turn into a strong, healthy child, gave me the strength to be there for her, advocate for her, and make it through her NICU stay without breaking down.”
Emily's Mama, 2017. Born 24 Weeks. 16 Weeks Early
"Groups like these make a whole difference in a family going through this journey. It makes us feel we are not alone in this. That there are people that understand exactly how you feel without having to explain yourself or justify your feelings especially those of frustration, sadness and grief."
J& F's Mama, 2014, Born 27 Weeks. 13 Weeks Early.
No one can prepare you to have to leave your newborn in the care of others and the on waves of emotion such circumstances brings with it. Although it is part of the everyday job of the staff, as a parent I was taking everything in at warp speed trying to navigate a whole new world of medical information. During our stay at University of Colorado Hospital I was introduced to the Mom's support group through our wonderful nurse who on most days seemed to be caring for me as much as she was caring for our son. 3 months of trips to the hospital each day was at times very isolating and the support group was a day on the calendar to look forward to. I am so thankful for all those who cared for our family and who have taken the time and energy to make Love for Lily a thriving network of support. We are so happy to have welcomed our dear son home and do no take his good health (all 11lbs at 4 months/1 month adjusted) for granted.
Dylan's Mama, 2016, Born 27 weeks. 13 weeks early.
"If, as a culture, we don't bear witness to grief, the burden of loss is placed entirely on the bereaved. While the rest of us avert out eyes and what for those in mourning to stop being sad, to let go, to move o, to cheer up. And if they don't if they have loved too deeply if they do wake each morning thinking, I cannot continue to live, well, then we pathologize their pain; we call their suffering a disease. We do not help them: we tell them that they need to get help.
Sahra, you are always stretching your own direction into goodness, into bigness, kindness and emotional bravery. If I were Lily, I would have chosen you too.
I honor you both tonight in deep love and I bear witness to your bravery."
Kerry Stokes, Stars on the Farm Boots & Bling
"The most important thing that LFL provided me was a sense of community and hope. I found community because we would all go around and share our stories and suddenly I was no longer feeling isolated and alone. We could discuss things like PDA, ROP, and BPD (the NICU loves their acronyms) and it didn't require a ton of explanation. And I didn't have to appear strong and in control because these other moms around me were also experience sadness and uncertainty and we were forever bonded."
Finn's Mama, 2017, Born 24 Weeks. 16 Weeks Early.