Did you know approximately 1 in 10 babies is born too early (before 37 weeks)- just in the US?!
Did you know that being born too soon puts the child at risk for more health conditions than you can possibly count – from heart and lung issues to mental and learning disabilities to issues with learning how to walk or eat and everything in between?
Did you know there are babies who are born weighing less than two pounds?
Did you also know that if you’ve met my son, you’ve met one of these babies?
That’s right. My wee man was born weighing a whopping 940 grams at 26 weeks and 5 days. I learned pretty much everything I now know about preterm labor and NICUs and preemies while I was going through it. I was told I was at risk for preterm labor but no one really ever explained what this really meant.
And sure enough my wee man came early- but not for any of the reasons I was at risk. In other words we still don’t know why and many parents never do.
So why talk about this? It’s scary and many never need to know this information.
That’s exactly why. It’s SCARY AS FUCK and those of us who do need to know wish we did before it was happening.
I wish I knew more before it was happening so I could make better decisions (yea I know I did the best I could). I wish I knew before so I wasn’t trying to have to make these crazy important decisions about my child’s life while I was delirious and drugged and in pain. Or over the phone when I got a call from the NICU and wasn’t there to be with my baby. Or while I found myself in the OR at a different hospital than my baby.
I wish I knew before I was handed a breast pump before meeting my child. Or before I basically made the decision to live in the hospital.
There is nothing easy about having a preemie. And No DEAR – no matter how miserable you feel while pregnant it is NOT worth having your baby early. So I hope some of this can help someone.
Thanks March of Dimes, NICU Helping Hands, Hand to Hold, Grahams Foundation, and all our doctors, nurses, and therapists that have gotten us here today.