World Prematurity Awareness Day Nov. 17th

It is easy to not really think about things that don't directly affect you. It doesn't make anyone a bad person it is just how it is. I was a supporter of the March of Dimes after my son was born. He was born healthy, happy and right on his due date but having him put the world in a whole new perspective. I never expected that my next child would be born prematurely. My pregnancy was perfect right on track until about my 30th week, then I noticed a large amount of swelling. At my next doctors appointment they put me on bed rest and sent me for a bunch of test. Even though my blood pressure was normal I turned out to have 3 times the amount of protein in my urine than even someone with pre-eclampsia would have. I was immediately taken to the hospital and everything escalated from there. I was 32 weeks pregnant and I managed to go from pre-clampsia to severe pre-eclampsia to eclampsia in a matter of days. My blood pressure was 173 over 107 with medication and they started pumping me with seizure medication. When my kidneys failed they came in to tell me that they were going to have to take the baby out. I still remember the complete terror I felt and I began balling. I kept thinking in my head can't they find some way to keep her in. I was lucky to have a terrific nurse who kept me as grounded as I could be in that situation. My daughter was born at 32 weeks and was 3 pounds 11 ounces. By some miracle she was able to breath on her own when she came out and I held her for a minute before they whisked her away to the NICU, due to my condition I was not able to see her again for the next 24 hours. When I was finally detached from enough machines that I was able to go down to the NICU my little baby was inside an incubator that had little doors on the side you could open and poke at her. She had oxygen tubes and a feeding tube going through her nose and had to be under the special lights. Despite the good prognosis it didn't make her being in the hospital any less scary nor does it make any less heartbreaking when you have to go home without a baby. In the United States 1 in 8 babies are prematurely and not every baby gets to go home like my daughter did. When I donate to someone like the March of Dimes I'm not just compelled by the fact that my daughter was a preemie, I often think of the little boy who was in the box next to hers. Only 2 pounds and had to be resuscitated at birth. Having a baby might not be on your radar but there might come a day when you find that you, a family member or a friend might be sitting in a NICU staring at their little baby in a box. Fighting for their life.

March of Dimes