World Prematurity Day is November 17th!
Every November it hits me. Though the years have flown by and Little One is relatively healthy, this time of the year always brings back a flood of memories.
There was a time when life was pretty scary for us. I honestly don’t know how we survived those early days to Little One’s rough start in life. Though I have tried to let the past be the past and erase that time in our lives, I can’t. I don’t think we should. Little One was a born prematurely and that is part of her history. Let me rephrase that. Being a preemie is part of “HERstory”.
Some may call Preemie Awareness my “shtick”. Unless you’ve experienced the roller coaster of emotions, it’s actually quite difficult to understand or relate to.
Prior to giving birth to Little One, I had no exposure whatsoever to high risk pregnancies, preterm births, preemies, and life in the NICU. No one I knew had given birth to a preemie…until I was sent to Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. I met parents in similar situations to ours. There were other preemie parents, parents of multiples, parents of sick babies…all going through similar experiences and similar emotions.
The medical team, the support staff, my family and friends, fellow preemie parents and my online community helped me through the most difficult months of my life. I am thankful I had that support.
World Prematurity Day
Did you know that 15 million babies are born too soon every year? More than 1 million premature babies die every year due to complications from their early start.
Here are some shocking statistics on premature births:
Our child is turning six years old on November 11th. Though she is relatively healthy despite her rough start, our preemie journey is not over. Raising awareness, educating girls and women about proper care (before and during pregnancy), equipping clinics, and funding research are all part of our goal as a family. Just because Little One survived, it doesn’t mean our support for preemie awareness and funding has ended.
Join the conversation with the March of Dimes on Facebook. Other things you can do: Share and bring awareness to others, donate items to your local hospital’s NICU or parent care department (preemie clothing, toiletries and other items for parents), raise funds, etc.
Do you have a preemie? Do you know anyone who has given birth prematurely?
With World Prematurity Day, we’d love for you to share your stories! We’d love to read them!
**This is NOT a sponsored post, but a cause that is very close to our hearts and worth sharing.
Victoria Ess says
Your and LO’s story always amazes me. What strong individuals you are!
Krista M says
What an amazing story. I can’t believe how tiny she was. wow. a miracle. To overcome those challenges is heartwarming!
Julia a.k.a. Mama MOE says
Aw, Christine. This was one of the things that united us years back, through our blog posts! Preemie mamas unite! You are a wonderful mom and I love your posts on your real feelings about the NICU. You did, and you did it for her and WHAT an AMAZING little one you have! Hugs, Julia
To my kindred friend on Manitoulin: best wishes today and always. We share so many similarities in our preemie journey and our girls are a testament to how wonderful preemies are. We continue to advocate on their behalf! xox
Judy Cowan says
I was born at 29 weeks back in 1974. It was definitely a rough start to life and I have had to deal with several health issues related to it but as everyone has always said I was stubborn and a fighter from day so if anyone can get through it I will. Your little one is doing great and hopefully the few issues she does have won’t cause her any long term issues. I personally think preemies are special 🙂
Oh my heart. She was so teeny!
I am so glad the preemie chapter of your story ends so well…
LO is a sweetie!
Thanks so much, Peady! EVERY November for the past 6 years (this year makes 6), I get all weepy. Though Little One is a happy, healthy-ish kid now, her beginnings were pretty scary. I cry when I think of how tiny was and how fragile her life was. Ack!
Julia T says
They’re so precious!
So true, Julia! So true!
ashley p says
my first was born approx 36 weeks. His body wasn’t “ready” and he developed spontaneous pneumothorax. He spent his first 10 days in the NICU of our local Children’s hospital. Once he was released, he was pretty healthy and other than a speech delay, there hasn’t been anything that has cropped up that is associated with being a preemie!
Ashley, your preemie story makes me think just how blessed we are that our stories turned out okay. Scary times back then…with all the unknowns. I never knew if I was going to walk into the NICU to hear good news or bad. Thankful that chapter of our lives is over. Little One doesn’t have anything major other than a slight heart murmur, some respiratory issues, BMs, and she is slow at beginning and finishing tasks and has a hard time focusing at times. In other words, regular preemie issues.
Sandy (Momisodes) says
I can hardly believe she will be turning 6 already! I still remember when she was first born and I was following you on this blog. I will never forget your courage and strength, as well as hers so early on. My heart always warms with a smile when I see her and your family on FB. She is truly a precious gift. I love that you stated, “Unless you’ve experienced the roller coaster of emotions, it’s actually quite difficult to understand or relate to.” So very true. Thank your continuing to raise awareness and for sharing your story.
Sandy, I was JUST thinking of you! I remember back in the day when blogging was just blogging and a bunch of us used to frequent each others’ blogs and leave genuine, heartfelt comments. You and a bunch of fellow bloggers really helped me through our toughest days. THANK YOU!
Aww what a cutie! It always amazes me how the tiniest things are the strongest.
Stephanie: I was going to say the same thing. She was small, but mighty. Her primary nurse was telling me that preemies are born fighters…because they have to be in order to survive.
Aeryn Lynne says
Your LO is brilliant. I love all the stories of her creativity in your kitchen, and her words of wisdom; she’s well and truly a gem! <3 I'm so entirely glad she had the inner strength to keep living everyday. *so many hugs to you and your fam Christine*
I had no idea that statistics were so high for premature births; that is so heart-wrenching to think about. My MIL has started to knit quite a bit, its her favourite hobby these days, and I've been thinking about trying it out myself sometime soon. Am now thinking that we could start knitting blanks with warm wools or something and donate them to SickKids here in Toronto (if that's a thing, I'm gonna have to go research acceptable materials for babies now, lol.)
Awww! Aeryn! That is amazing! Yes, we had some ladies make blankets for the babies in the NICU. They mostly made quilt-like blankets that went over the isolettes to keep the light out of the babies’ eyes and keep things dark so they could sleep. We were across the street from Sick Kids. We were at Mount Sinai. We also had tests and appointments at Sick Kids though.
I think it is great that you openly share your stories about Little One’s early entrance into the world. It could truly help someone else who is going through the same thing. Unfortunately I cannot relate personally but I have a few friends whose children have had rough beginnings. Bringing awareness is very important.
Brandy, I started really blogging when I was on bed rest for my high risk pregnancy and in moments when I needed encouragement the most, my blogging community was there for me. I didn’t anticipate blogging about prematurity and high risk pregnancies, but it sort of just happened. I know I would want to connect with other parents of preemies and hear their success stories 🙂
Amanda @TheMommyMix says
I love that you called it ‘HERstory’. Isn’t it amazing that even something so tiny can fight such a strong battle and still come out a winner. I read your blog on a daily basis Christine and you have got yourself quite the little blessing.
Amanda, I just want to hug you! Your comment really made my day! Thank you SO much! xoxo