Tuesday, November 17, 2009

National Prematurity Awareness Month

November 17, 2009

In the beginning we assumed that we would have a happy healthy 10 month pregnancy with all the typical joys and expectations that you see in the movies and read in books. Just like everyone else.

This is Cameron - 2lbs 15oz born 28weeks 6days from complications of unexplained IUGR:

This is Evan - 1lb 7oz born 28weeks 6days from complications of unexplained IUGR:

No, we did not have fertility assistance. No, twins do not run in the family. No, we did not expect to have complications or a bonus baby. No, just because we had twins did not make our babies come 11 weeks early. We did not expect to live our entire pregnancy from the first ultrasound knowing that today could be the day we might lose a baby. There was nothing we could do about it, there was nothing I would be able to feel until it was too late without the help of a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist. And even sadder is that we were of the lucky few who found out very early on that we would have preemies.

Knowing that there was not much hope for one child, that by delivering one child early we automatically took away MONTHS of growth and development from the other child. And then at the end of every day breathing a sigh of relief every single day that we made it through one more day of pregnancy, for seven months straight. Every time we saw the specialist they were amazed. Most people do not realize how close to tragedy we came every day, just how difficult it is to watch and see how you are going down a horrible seemingly unpreventable path knowing that it will be getting harder and scarier and riskier every day until....

I loved being pregnant, everything about it. But I did not get to enjoy being pregnant because of the shadow of doom caused by unexplained complications that could happen to anyone. And I did not get to enjoy the first year of my babies lives in the same way most new mothers do either. What many people are blissfully unaware of is that their babies could have come at 28 weeks 6 days just like Cameron and Evan for no apparent reason. Healthy full term pregnancy is taken for granted. "Women in rice patties have been doing it for generations, it's no big deal." How I hate that saying. It is a big deal. It's a really huge deal, and you can't really appreciate how big a deal it is until you know someone who's had that blissful ignorance taken away from them and actually seen the things they've gone through just to have a healthy child. The strain it puts on your marriage, your relationship with the rest of the world. Life is never the same.

No one should have to welcome their baby to the world like this, but at the same time I'm immensely grateful for the awful tubes and wires and bells and alarms, the incubators that kept them warm, the medical staff that kept them alive.

Thanks to medical advancements in research and technology my children are alive and well today, and I am not so ignorant anymore.

You can help thousands of families continue to live in blissful joy of their little ones and improve the odds for a healthy complication free pregnancy for many women, help babies survive the devastating odds of prematurity. Support the March of Dimes in their research to help mothers and children everywhere.

Every year, 20 million babies are born too soon, too small and very sick ― half a million of them in the United States. November 17 is when we fight.

Do you know a baby that was born too soon, too small, unable to suck, unable to breathe on his own? Premature birth is a health crisis that jeopardizes the lives and health of nearly half-million babies each year. It is the #1 killer of newborns and can lead to lifelong disabilities. Worse: the number has increased 31 percent since 1981. It can happen without warning and for no known reason. Until we have more answers, anyone’s baby, could be born too soon.

Medical advances give even the tiniest babies a chance of survival, yet for many babies premature birth is still a life or death condition. It’s the #1 cause of death during the first month of life. And babies who survive face serious health challenges and risk lifelong disabilities.

The rate of premature birth has never been higher. In half the cases, we simply don’t understand what went wrong. We need to fight for answers. And, ultimately, preventions.

November 17 is dedicated to raising awareness of the crisis of premature birth. The March of Dimes invites bloggers like you to get involved.

• Learn about premature birth at
• Put a badge on your blog during November, Prematurity Awareness Month®
• On November 17, blog for a baby you love and to help others

We need to fight ― because babies shouldn’t have to.

Want to join the fight? Here's the info:
Fight For Preemies

Cameron & Evan today...


Annie and Jason said...

Your boys are AMAZING and I admire you every single day. I love your boys!

BabyKevinMom said...

I love seeing pics of your boys. Very cute! You're one tough preemie mama.

tbonegrl said...

Wonderful post, made me cry!