Family Life

Michelle Duggar on Her Daughter’s Journey from Preemie to Toddler

posted: 08/17/12
by: Michelle Duggar


Photo credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Getty Images

A couple of weeks ago we reached a huge milestone with our 2-year-old daughter, Josie, who was born nearly three months premature. We boxed up her oxygen monitor and sent it back. We had it so that we could monitor her breathing at night, and now it feels like I'm giving up my security blanket.

Josie made it through this last flu season without having to use it, but our pediatric doctor told us, "Just hang onto all that equipment just in case you need it." A year ago she had ear tube surgery and hasn't had any ear infections and hasn't been on antibiotics since or had any other complications. Now she breathes great through the night.

We are so thankful for Josie and how she has just thrived. You look at her today and you wouldn't even know that she started out at 1 pound, 6 ounces. She is probably my strongest toddler I've ever had -- both in physical strength and determination. She's a little spitfire, amazing little girl, and she's doing so well.

The other day I was communicating with a mother who had a child in the NICU and she was asking for prayer because her little one was going in for a surgery. And I was able to pray with her and just encourage her and tell her that my little one went through that very same surgery, and yet each child is going to have a different outcome.

There are different milestones that will come at different times. For Josie she caught up with those milestones at about the time the doctor said that she would, about the age of 2, adjusted a few months to take into account how early she was born.

We're sitting around the table now each afternoon having wisdom-book time and memory-lane time (where we memorize and sing songs), and Josie just catches it instantly. She'll sing all the songs we're singing word perfect and keep the pitch and everything just right.

I marvel at how well she is doing, and by being able to talk with other moms of preemies that have little ones that are still very small and struggling where Josie once was, I can tell them about our struggles and milestones. Each child will have different struggles, and some may have a different outcome at different places of their development.

For instance, Josie's quite small for her age. That's probably about the only thing that she hasn't caught up on. And though she's on the short side, there's a bunch of power packed into that little bundle that makes up for her height. She's a big personality in a small package!

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