Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight For Preemies

Did you know November is Prematurity Awareness Month? In fact, today is Prematurity Awareness Day! Today, bloggers all over the world, will band together to Fight For Preemies. There's still time to join us, by clicking the button below!

I'll confess, before I became a mom of preemies hearing that someone was a preemie didn't phase me much. I think the first time I ever heard the term was shortly after I met my friend Mariah (and we met in the 3rd grade). She was a micro preemie and I knew that meant she was early and had some medical problems but I didn't know what exactly that entailed. In fact, I don't think I truly understood what "preemie" meant until I found out I was pregnant with triplets and was told repeatedly that they would likely be preemies and spend time in a NICU.

A mom in a high-risk pregnancy could really freak herself out reading all the info out there about preemies and the possibilities. I tried not to read too much until I was past 30 weeks. I figured by then the possible problems my boys could have would be minimal. You know what though? Moms today don't have nearly as much to worry about as moms 10, 15 and 20+ years ago did! We are blessed to have so much medical research on our side now!

Sure my boys were preemies (born at 33 weeks and 3 days) but they never needed breathing assistance in the NICU, didn't come home with any heart monitors and in a matter of months were catching up to the 50th percentile in weight. When looking at my boys it's hard to believe they were born a month and a half early or that they ranged in weight from just 3 pounds 11 ounces to only 4 pounds 7 ounces.

Not all preemies are so lucky though. Just check out my friend Kara's story about her triplets' birth. Triplet number 1 (Lorne) was delivered at 23 weeks and the doctors prevented his brothers from exiting for another 3 weeks! 3 weeks people! I did not even know that was possible until I met Kara at a triplet mom dinner. Know what else I didn't know was possible? For a baby born prior to 24 weeks to not only survive, but thrive. Just check out Lorne's story here.

It's because of my own boys, because of boys like Kara's and because of the countless preemies that do not have the chance to grow up that I am fighting for preemies. It's because of them that I participate in the March for Babies every year. Just this past weekend I received my save the date card for the 2010 march and I'd like to ask my Kansas City friends to consider saving the date and marching with us (consider it my birthday gift!). The date for 2010 is May 1st (yep, my b-day) which is a Saturday! Last year team Three Cuties had 4 walkers and we raised just over $1,000. Imagine if we could double both of those numbers for 2010! Need more convincing? Check out the pictures of all the fun we had last year by click here.

ETA at 9:45am CST: Speaking of Kara, you must read her Prematurity Awareness Post for today! She breaks down what exactly bringing home a preemie can mean. It's not just letting your kid(s) gain weight and then bringing them home.... it can be SO much more than that. Click HERE for that post.

Don't forget! Every comment left this week results in one non-perishable item being donated to a local food bank! If you want to take part in Cans for Comments this week on your blog, there's still time to join in! Just click HERE for more info.


McTriplet Mommy said...

I'm honored and touched that you consider my boys an inspiration for being involved with March of Dimes! And trust me - until the day Lorne was born and my doctor suggested it, we never knew a delayed interval delivery was possible either. :)

Thank you also for my blog award.

The boys are cute as ever - hope to see you soon!

take care,

MamaOtwins+1 said...

Wow - I had no idea it could be delayed! Thank you for the amazing post - and I too am participating today.

MamaOtwins+1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Look at those precious boys! I'm in tears here, just thinking about what a joy they must be for you. They sure are a joy for me to read about!

My story isn't much, I just felt that it needed told especially today. Anything to help raise awareness.

Momma Z said...

My son was early 36 weeks and struggled to gain weight when we got home. For a parent, having a baby that doesn't gain weight is so scary. I worried about him until he was 6 months old. He is doing great now.

MoD Lilliam said...

Your boys are truly amazing and thank you for all you and your family have done for the March of Dimes. On behalf of our organization, thank you for joining the fight for preemies. Babies shouldn't have to fight to survive and that's why we're here.

Anonymous said...

Helen, I love seeing how much the boys have grown...just think what the picture comparisons will look like next year :)
Stephanie H.

Brenda said...

I'm amazed at how much the boys have grown in the past two years (I say that every time you post the infant pics don't I?).

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