Shine Parenting Guru: Kenna's Gift

Kenna Claire at two weeks old and one pound.The last few weeks have flown by in a blur. Why, just a month ago, I was on bed rest, fighting for my daughter's life. I had pre-eclampsia and all the lovely side effects that come with it...the headaches, constant epigastric pain, high blood pressure and complications with my kidneys. My problems had resulted in an inadequate placenta, and Kenna had stopped growing. She had stopped making amniotic fluid and the doctors had little hope she would survive to 24 weeks when it would be safe to start betamethasone shots and deliver her.

Kenna proved everyone wrong. She made it to 24 weeks and 3 days, long enough to get two doses of shots. Then on Januray 9th, a day I had a doctor's appointment, I ended up admitted to the hospital and having a c-section hours later. We had already been counseled that she might not survive the delivery. Then we were told that even if she survived the delivery, they might not have a tube small enough to intubate her. Kenna defied them again. Despite being a meager 9 ounces at birth, she was intubated and determined to be here.

In this picture, Kenna is one pound. She struggles every day to live. One system will be good and another one will start having issues. At the moment, we're worrying about her lungs and hoping her bowels start working properly. Every day is touch and go. And we wouldn't change one minute of it. Kenna is worth all the effort, all the agony, all the uncertainty. She's a fighter.

In her short life, she has already done so much. See, family is everything to me. I longed to have a close knit family like the one I had grown up with. As the years passed, it seemed like it was farther and farther away.

Ah, but Kenna has a gift.

She brings people together. Our family is united with one common goal: let Kenna live. And her gift hasn't ended there, Kenna has helped us turn acquaintances into friends, friends into family, and family...well, we're closer...just like I always wanted, bonded forever over one itty bitty baby.

And my hope is that Kenna's gift doesn't end with our family. My hope is that others will be so touched by Kenna's story that they will recognize how precious life is, what a gift time is...and stop wasting both. My hope is that people will snuggle their spouses more, hug their kids tighter, take more time to pet their pooch, and make up with those they need to.

Just think of Kenna and consider how precious time and life are. Make the most of them.

When Nicki isn't at the hospital caring for Kenna, she writes at Suddenly *Not So* Single Journey and What Dreamers Do.