Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Elizabeth while trying to get out of her bedtime routine was making face in the mirror asked 'Mom, why is one nose a circle and the other a rectangle?'. Elizabeth is referring to something I thought only I notice, from being intubated nasally she has a small cleft on one nostril. I went on to explain to her that when she was born she was very tiny, like a baby bird and she needed lots of help to breath and eat and grow from all her Dr's and nurses and that a tube that helped her breath gave her a 'dimple' in her nose that makes her unique. I thought this was the end of discussion but the other day she asked again about her nose and inquired if they were going to fix it to be the same and she wanted it fixed. I replied no it is perfect and kissed her nose.
My very thoughtful Aunt years ago bought me a book which I had tucked away about the story of a warrior who was a preemie, this warrior battled many things from his little time capsule and one day was able to go home to his loving family. This book and looking at her baby pictures so far are keeping her happy but I dread the day she asks why she walks differently. I again will tell her the story of the little warrior but inside my heart will be breaking.


Jacolyn said...

Oh, I don't know that I can do it. How can we convince our girls they are perfect when the world thinks otherwise?!

Anonymous said...

Children take their cues from their parents intitially. At her age now, the reassuring response you gave her on her nose is the best response, I think.

Probably, her nose does not bother you. However, "my heart will be breaking" indicates her gait bothers you already. It will bother her, too, if she perceives your discomfort. I encourage you to fake reassurance even if you do not feel it.

Very likely, several years will pass before she ever questions why she walks differently - by which time, her gait might be much improved from what it is now. Her gait might continue to improve into her teens - something else you can tell her.

She might never question her gait. I've worked with several teens with gait differences who are disinterested in correcting their gaits. Doesn't matter to them.

I'm hoping to encourage and reassure you - not negate your feelings. You might quit worrying (heart-break) about the day her next question comes - same as you no longer look for a place a to vomit. Barbara

Ellen Seidman said...

I totally agree that we need to project positive messages. It's something I need to work on, too. Elizabeth is a beautiful girl! I'll bet she'll forget allabut the nose thing, too.

You might have some advice to add to my blog post today, it's advice for moms of young kids with special needs.

Kellars Mommy said...

I love the response you gave to Elizabeth. When I read your post it's weird b/c I feel as if I could have written some of them myself..

The Hull Munchkins said...

How interesting. I'm always curious to hear stories of when preemies 'meet' the stories of their past. You explained it wonderfully and in such a positive light. I think I would have a hard time talking about that horrible time with a smile. Good job!

I hope she continues to recognize how special and strong she is!!
Thanks for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

May I ask the name of the book you mentioned? I would love to read it to my 5 year old micropreemie girls!

BusyLizzyMom said...

The book is called the Tiniest Warrior, here is the link
It is a bit mythical but my daughter really likes it. It was written by a Mom whose baby was in NICU.