Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight for Preemies

November is Prematurity Awareness Month and as many of you know, there are too many premature births that happen every year. Hundreds of thousands of premature births happen every year.

From the day that we found out we were expecting twins, we also unfortunately learned a lot of scary statistics. Personally, we were warned against sharing our news of twins too soon, because often they don't survive the first few weeks of gestation, we also were searching in ultrasounds to make sure that both of our babies had their own individual "sac."

It was hard, because here you are over the moon with excitement, but also having to face reality. There were also many other conversations about premature delivery, NICU stays, birth defects, etc.

I did everything I could to have a healthy pregnancy - I started prenatal vitamins early, I had regular checkups and care during my pregnancy, I ate a healthy diet, exercised, and tried to take care of myself and the babies as best as I could.

Unfortunately, Maddy and Libby were born early ... at 33 weeks and 2 days. We spent a total of 17 days in the NICU (Libby) and 26 days (Maddy). We were very lucky that they were healthy, but just needed to gain weight and learn to eat. As crazy as it sounds for a full-term baby, preemies often don't have the strength to nurse or take a bottle. We met several families whose babies had been in the NICU for several months and who would require extensive care.

I will always be grateful to the March of Dimes and our local Family Support Network ... these organizations provide research and support that we needed. I often think about what would have happened if we didn't have the research and the knowledge that we have now. It's scary and I'm thankful.

Maddy ... all 3 pounds, 2 ounces of her.

Libby, 4 pounds, 9 ounces and on the CPAP in this photo.

Maddy, almost 17 months, checking out the leaves.

Libby, almost 17 months, finding the perfect leaf.


LauraC said...

I am writing my Fight for Preemies post tomorrow! My boys were 36w3d and both over 6 lbs but Alex still could not suck. Just one week in special care (and no CPAP) but sometimes I don't feel like a REAL preemie mom.

Mad About Plaid Girl said...

WOW--they look awesome. God is good. (And of course the outfits are to die for) Thanks for sharing. Love ya

MoDBev said...

Thank you for posting for our Fight for Preemies event and helping us get the word out about prematurity. Sharing personal stories is so much more powerful than dry numbers. Your girls are absolutely adorable. and yes, the outfits are to die for.

The Ross Family said...

My son was born at 34 weeks, and we had a 12 day stay in the NICU. Thanks for bringing attention to this great cause!