Saturday, June 23, 2012

Having a Preemie is Traumatic. Don't Be Afraid to get Help

When our first son, Isaac was born we had no idea how traumatic this experience could be. Of course we had acquaintances who had preemies, and we heard about the long hospital stays. But of course it would never happen to us, right? Well, we soon found out that the trauma of our first preemie's entry into the world would change our world in many ways.

Once he was home (he was in the hospital for 5 weeks) we both found ourselves stretched thin in the area of patience. We fought...a lot and over little things. We talked with our doctors separately and they both had the same conclusion: we were both suffering from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). We both got on medication and things seemed to get better. We still argued of course, but not nearly as often and not over the petty things we had been arguing about.

Our preemie experience was mild compared to some, but being thrust into this new world had literally effected our brains. There are lots of good things about being a preemie parent, but if you are suffering from PTSD, those good things don't always lift you up out of the darkness that comes along with having a child early and the issues that go along with that.

I want to encourage each and every one of you who may be suffering mental anguish, broken relationship and depression since having a preemie to seek help. It may not be medication. It may just be talking about it, letting it out. Whatever avenue you seek to get help, do it. You owe it to your spouse, your kids, your family and friends, and most of all yourself. PTSD can be crippling to your relationships and your life. It is a very real thing. I know because I have been there.

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