Central New York mothers and fathers of children born prematurely opened their hearts and shared their stories tonight as they connected with Kasey Mathews. Kasey came home to the Syracuse area where she grew up to celebrate her inspirational work of non-fiction "Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life and Motherhood." She appeared on NBC 3 and CBS 5 this evening sharing her emotional story of the experience of her daughter Andie being born four months premature.
The response to her appearance and the posting of her story on our CNYcentral Facebook page has motivated people who have faced similar seemingly insurmountable challenges in motherhood. Amanda Richmond posted, "I had a preemie in July, and she is doing amazing, she was a true miracle and gift from God, as the situation went we both almost died, everyday is a gift!"
Theresa Smith wrote, "My daughter was born at 26 weeks weighing just 1 and a half pounds. She had open heart surgery at 1 week old to repair a hole in her heart. She is now 17 and is doing great."
Rachel Murphy said, "My daughter was born at 24 weeks, 1 lb. 5 oz. She had open heart surgery at 10 days old, over 20 blood transfusions, lived on a ventilator for over 3 months. I never even got to hold her until she was almost 2 months old because she was so sick. Now she's almost four. Other than some learning delays is healthy as a horse!"
When Kasey Mathews saw the responses a smile stretched from ear to ear. She talked on the air about the importance of people letting go of negative feelings for those who go through a life crisis such as premature births, illnesses and accidents. For her writing her book helped her express aloud and release the negatives emotions that were wearing her out.
Kasey admitted to holding on to guilt and shame since the moment of birth. In her book she writes about a nurse asking cheerfully, "are you ready to see your baby?" Kasey responds, "No". She struggled to find the capacity to love the tiny girl small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
At the time she acknowledged tonight she felt alone as if she had given birth to the smallest infant ever. Now she knows she is far from the only mother to experience the heartache and challenges that go along with bringing along a preemie.
Central New York mothers proved that to her as they shared the stories. You can too by commenting here or on CNYcentral's Facebook page. The book is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.