Today is a special day dedicated to raising awareness about premature births.
My kiddos were born 6 weeks early. They were rushed almost immediately to the NICU, and although Jonathan, Zachary, and Reagan were all healthy enough to go home days before I was, Thomas was not. His tiny baby lungs were under-developed and he struggled for weeks to learn to breathe and eat on his own. He remained in the NICU a full month longer than his siblings, and when he finally came home for good, it was with daily breathing treatments and frequent visits to the pulmonologist to keep an eye on his lung development.
And as scary as his situation was at times. it was nothing compared to the experiences that many parents have to go through due to the premature births of their babies. Tiny, tiny babies born incredibly early, struggling not just to breathe on their own, but to live at all, and if they can make it through their first months, they may still face a lifetime of sickness and disabilities.
Every year 20 million babies are born prematurely. Some premature births, like my kids and other multiples, are expected and unavoidable. A woman’s belly, though it can get more humongous than you would ever think possible, does eventually reach its limit. There just isn’t room in there to carry multiple babies for a full 40 weeks. But there are also lots of seemingly healthy singleton pregnancies, that suddenly end with premature births, and doctors don’t always know why.
And so today, I and other bloggers write to share our stories and raise awareness.
For more information on premature births and ways you can help, please visit The March of Dimes.