We went to a birthday party on Saturday for one of Hannah’s NICU friends, Theo. At one point, Theo’s dad (Kyle) asked me how different 36 was from 25. Having just turned 36 at the end of last month, I said something along the lines of feeling sore and tired all the time, but it’s not that much different. A couple hours later – as we were headed home – his question came back into my mind, and I realized something. He wasn’t asking about me being 36, he was asking about the difference between a 36-weeker (Henry) and a 25-weeker (Hannah).
So, first off, sorry, Kyle, I’m an idiot.
Secondly, maybe my response was a decent answer after all. With everything that we went through for Hannah, it was constant stress and worry for the first several weeks. There came a point when the alarms weren’t alarming because we knew what they meant. But for a while, we didn’t know if we would be bring our little girl home. That’s a difficult thing to live with day in, day out. But we did. We managed. We coped. And, eventually, we were able to bring our amazing girl home.
Once Henry started breathing (which, admittedly, took longer than it should have), I was never really worried about him. Something inside me knew that he was going to be just fine. Even when he went back to the hospital with RSV, I felt like he was going to get through it. The level of worry that I had with Henry doesn’t even show up on the radar compared to what we had with Hannah.
Yes, Henry was early and spent some time in the NICU, but for some reason, it was different. Maybe it’s because we knew the staff at Community North. Maybe it’s because he was in a lot better shape from the beginning. Maybe we just learned a lot more than we thought the first time around.
The difference between 36 and 25? It’s massive. Those 11 weeks are so important. To be honest, I don’t think of Henry as a preemie. He’s just a little guy that had a bit of a rough start, but who is thriving now. Both of them are, in fact. If you didn’t know that Hannah was a 25-weeker, you wouldn’t know. She is a spitfire whose going to cause us some headaches, but she is also the most amazing little girl we’ve ever met. I have a feeling that she’s going to have a lot of influence on her little brother as well, so we better get prepared for it!