I was born early one morning in late July in the southern part of Wisconsin. Mirroring my normal enthusiasm for life, I arrived twelve weeks too soon at two pounds and twelve ounces. The doctors didn’t give me a good prognosis; if I survived, I wouldn’t be able to chew gum or even swallow.
I spent the first month in the NICU. One of my parents stayed while the other was home with my older siblings. When I was finally released from the hospital, I weighed just barely over two pounds more than my starting weight. I wore Cabbage Patch doll clothes for the first six weeks of my life.
This year, I enter the period of life people affectionately call the “late thirties”. I survived beyond all obstacles.
I began loom knitting two years ago and had an idea: I'd donate preemie hats to local hospitals. It's my way of giving back and has helped me find a sense of purpose. It’s a way to keep the little ones warmer and more comfortable while surrounded by the bright lights and invasive tubes.
I have a whole bag of momentos from those early days, though I obviously can’t remember them. Someday, I hope my hats end up in other people’s bags and boxes of memories, and that they can hold them in their hands decades later.
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