Diary of a Mom: Entry 3

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micro-preemie

We recently kicked off a new series you will see regularly on our blog, on Facebook and on Instagram featuring the moms of Bump Club and Beyond from across the country and their stories of motherhood. Thank you to everyone who has contributed, we look forward to sharing your vision of motherhood with the world. 

“Our daughter Lana Rose was born at 24 weeks (4 months premature) in August 2015, due to severe preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. She spent the first 6 months of her life at Children’s Minneapolis NICU, and was discharged in February 2016.

Needless to say, it was an incredibly emotional, stressful and difficult time for my husband and I, and our families. She is our first child, and we wanted nothing more than to have a normal, easy and uneventful pregnancy. I wanted to take maternity photos with a beautiful, round tummy. I wanted to do maternity classes with my husband. And I was so excited to do all kinds of mommy and me classes and meet-ups with other moms!

Well, the best laid-plans, as they say… We were in for a huge roller coaster of ups and downs; joys and fears; happiness and sadness; triumph and tribulation; hope and uncertainty, but most of all an unconditional love that brought my husband and I closer, and helped our little girl grow big and strong.

At the time, Lana was the second smallest micro-preemie born at Children’s, weighing just 12 oz and measuring 10.5 inches. It has been a long and arduous journey, but one that we are so thankful for. Despite the uncertain beginnings, Lana did exceptionally well at the hospital, and is now a thriving one year old, crawling all over the house and getting into all kinds of mischief!

Choosing just one photo to encapsulate my experience as a mom is no easy task. We have so many great photos (both professional and not) that show the joy our daughter brings us…as well as the evidence of her premature birth, with her much-needed medical equipment, and many of the challenging moments we’ve had in the past 18 months. I chose this one, as it’s been one of my all-time favorites.

This photo was taken toward the end of Lana’s hospitalization, so she looks very much like a newly born baby, except for the fact that she was already 5 months in this photo (1 month adjusted). She’s still in the hospital, but because of the close angle shot, you would never know! She still has her nasal canuala for oxygen (and she came home on oxygen, too); but other than that, she looks like a happy and healthy little newborn baby.

After all the months of driving back and forth every day to the hospital to see our daughter, in this picture you would never know that I was still carrying all of my post-partum baby weight, and look tired and haggard from the stress of the journey. All you see is a tender, loving moment between a mother and her baby.  She was just one month from coming home, and the excitement and reality of our new normal was just starting to hit us, and we couldn’t have been more proud and relieved.”

—Gabriella Israel Grinberg, BCB Mom, daughter Lana

Photo credit: The photo was taken by Michele Quattrin as part of The Tiny Footprints Project,  a non-profit organization that offers a free photography session for parents of NICU babies.

If you have a photo and story that you want to share, showing what motherhood means to you, please send it to info@bumpclubandbeyond.com for consideration.  If your photo is used you will be gifted one year of enrollment to BCB VIP, Bump Club and Beyond’s Parent Perk Program (value $100).