Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bloggers Unite: Fight For Preemies

More than one million infants die each year because they are born too soon.

Every year, an estimated 13 million babies worldwide are born prematurely.

On Thursday, April 3, 2008, two of those 13 million babies were my babies.

Marcus and Maddox were born at 31 weeks 1 day.  That is 9 weeks early.  More than two months early.

Marcus came into this world weighing a mere 3 pounds 14 ounces, four minutes later, Maddox joined us weighing in at 3 pounds 11 ounces.

If you would have told me two years ago, that I would have two babies, born premature, and that we would spend the first months of their lives living in the NICU, I would have laughed at you.

But on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 I wasn't laughing.  In fact I was crying, sobbing actually.  Fearing the worst. 

I will never, ever, ever forget that day.  It was the second most terrifying day of my life.  The first most terrifying day was the day they were born.

Nothing can ever prepare you for the premature birth of your baby or babies.  You don't read about it in those cutsie books that explain "The Birth Experience".  You expect your pregnancy to be an uneventful peaceful experience, of which mine was.  You expect your labor and delivery to be smooth sailing, your friends and family visiting you, giving you moral support, even joking and laughing at times.  Your husband holding your hand, talking to friends and family, anticipating the birth of his children.  All the while the nurses are in and out of your room, not worrying about a thing.  God how I longed for an experience like that.

But on Wednesday, April 2 into Thursday, April 3 that was not the case.  It was a hospital visit, followed with an ambulance ride, and another hospital visit, that turned into a stay.  It was nurses and doctors checking temperatures, and fluids, and heartbeats.  It was Neonatology coming to see you to explain to you and your husband what may or may not happen in the minutes, hours, or even days to come. 

I can't really explain how I felt.  Numb.  In denial.  I joked..a lot.  It was the only thing that got me through while inside I was terrified, screaming, praying, crying for my unborn boys.  I put on a smile for my husband, my friends, and my family.  And just listened...to the tiny fast heartbeats...two of them...on the monitor.  They were routing for me, my boys.  They were expecting me to be strong for them.  And that I did.

I delivered my boys naturally, in an operating room.  Seconds after they were born they were whisked away into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  Again, not something those books prepare you for.  Why didn't I get to hold my babies, and kiss them, and comfort their new little cries?

No, I didn't get to hold my babies.  And I did not get to see my babies..MY OWN BABIES...for several hours.  I didn't get to take my babies home with me.  Nothing prepares you for returning to your home, to a brand new nursery, with empty arms.  No babies to rock in the chair in the nursery.  No babies to change on the beautiful changing table Grandpa made for them.  No babies to place in a crib they would be sharing for months to come.

Thankfully, the Lord was on our side.  Marcus and Maddox were born healthy.  The were just what the NICU called "Feeders and Growers".

Marcus spent 28 days in the NICU and Maddox, 31 days. 

Today, they are thriving, growing, walking, silly, talking, beautiful, handsome, loving nineteen month olds.  Those days in the NICU seem like a million years ago, but yet, seam like just yesterday.

I'm telling my story today, along with many others, because November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and today is the day us Bloggers Unite to Fight For Preemies. 

If I can reach out to just one pregnant mommy and urge her to find out what she can do while she's pregnant to help her have a healthy full-term baby, I have done my part.  I want every mommy out there to have the birth experience of their dreams.

Please take the time today to visit March of Dimes and see what you can learn and do to fight for babies like my Marcus and Maddox.  And if you are feeling extra touched, please make a donation to them.  The March of Dimes Prematurity Campaign is a multimillion-dollar research, awareness and education effort that helps families have healthier babies.

We need to fight - because babies shouldn't have to.


  1. What a touching & beautifully written post! Your little blessings are precious! Thank you for sharing your boys amazing story!

  2. What a beautiful story. You added so much to your post that I didn't add to mine, but things I totally relate to. Coming home, and seeing empty cribs. I remember just staring at the cribs at night and crying myself to sleep.

  3. I love your post. It is so touching yet realistic. Having babies born too soon is scary business and your story decribes what happened so well. Thank you for sharing your experience and joining with us to Fight for Preemies.

  4. I LOVED this post. It moved me to tears. Your last line said it all, 'we fight so that babies don't have too'. Beautiful.

    I remember coming home from the hospital with empty arms and just sobbing. I knew that I would have leave my three there but nothing could prepare me for what it was really like, coming home to empty cribs.

    I am so glad that you have happy, healthy boys today.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. Having your children in the NICU must have been so scary.

  6. WOW! What a powerful post and brought back so many memories for me... I know EXACTLY how you felt:(

    What a blessing that you now have two healthy & beautiful toddlers!

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!



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