My daughter, Sarah, was a premature baby. She was born at 27 weeks, weighing 2 lbs., 2 oz. . . . and looked little a tiny 14″ bird. Not an ounce of fat on her.
She just turned 17, is a senior in high school, and we’re looking at colleges. There were many times during the first few days of her life we didn’t think we’d ever be looking at colleges, 17 years later.
But, here we are.
We’ve remained close to the nurses and doctors at New York University where Sarah was born. Each year — without fail — on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, we bring huge boxes of cookies to the nurses, many of whom are those who took such great care of Sarah during the three months she was in the hospital. There are photos of Sarah, my husband, me and, for the last 13 years, my youngest daughter, Elizabeth, lined up on the wall. The nurses are so happy each year when we come to see them, and we always try to time our visit when the “changeover” between shifts occurs, so we can see as many of these wonderful women as possible.
We will never, ever break this tradition. Ever.
Each June, NYU holds a lovely “We Believe in Miracles” reunion, which convenes doctors, nurses, hospital administrators, parents, “graduate” preemies, and the newest additions to the growing “NYU NICU Family.” This year, Sarah was invited to speak before the hundreds of attendees, many of whom were fussing–sometimes screaming–young children and babies. To Sarah’s credit, she carried on with her brief talk, to great applause, looking poised and confident.
I was so proud of her for a very important reason: she gave hope to the many parents in the audience who were still grappling with the newness of parenting a preemie. They saw that she was just fine . . .
Here is talk she gave, if you would like to see it: Sarah Grufferman speaking at NYU “We Believe in Miracles” Reunion 6/18/11
Our family was interviewed by the NYU News&Views magazine on that day. Click here to read the short article.
Every child is a miracle . . . and I am grateful every day of my life that I have two.