Saturday, November 17, 2012

How Much Do You Know About Prematurity?

Today is World Prematurity Awareness Day!
Preemie baby holding wedding ring
I'm honestly not all that into specially dedicated days. It's not that I don't care, it's just that I don't keep track of them (although I'm always excited when someone posts that it's National Chocolate Day or National Doughnut Day!).

But prematurity is definitely something that is close to my heart, because my babies were itsy-bitsy little things when they were born. Born at 27 weeks, 6 days, we didn't even make it to the third trimester.

Earlier today, I was looking through some of the photos we took just after our kids were born. Praise God that they have come so far!
preemie compared to coke can
preemie on ventilator
preemie under a bilirubin light
preemie doing kangaroo care while on CPAP
Looking back at these photos brings up a lot of emotions that have gotten lost in the busyness of chasing toddlers. Whew! It was such a scary time for our family.

But unfortunately, there are a lot of families out there that have photos just like ours. Prematurity is surprisingly common.

Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely worldwide. And of those 15 million, one million don't make it. In the United States, 1 out of every 8 babies is born before they reach 37 weeks, making them premature.

That's a whole lot of babies!

As a mom of four preemies who miraculously survived, I'm very grateful for the energy that has been invested in researching and improving techniques to provide support to these little ones as they fight for their lives. I will forever be grateful to March of Dimes for focusing on reducing the prematurity rate, NICU nurses and neonatologists who run their butts off (literally!) trying to resuscitate and keep preemies as comfortable as possible, and  the perinatologists, obstetricians, and midwifes who work tirelessly to keep more babies from arriving too early.

Chances are you know or will soon know a family experiencing the NICU due to prematurity. Please make sure that you support them as they struggle through a very difficult time and as they transition home and continue working on helping their kids thrive. Supporting them can be as simple as mailing them a gift card for a restaurant near the hospital, or showing up to help them pass the time as they sit next to their babies in the NICU.

If you are interested in learning more about prematurity and who it effects, or getting involved in trying to reduce premature births, The March of Dimes Website is a great resource to visit.

Twenty-one months after being born, our kids are still trying to developmentally catch up with other kids. The effects of a premature birth take a long time to overcome. Thank you for supporting our family as we've walked this road!


  1. My twin preemies will be 24 on Friday! God bless you with the quads!

    1. 24! That's incredible! I know the medical field has made great strides in the last 10-15 years in the survival rate of preemies. Your preemies are most definitely miracles!

      Happy birthday to them!


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