30 Days of Thankful - Health Plus Guest Blogger - Preemie Mama!
Today I am thankful for our health. Especially the health of my sweet Noah. He was born at 38 weeks because I developed preeclampsia. That was scary for us. But he was healthly and had no complications. I can't imagine what it would be like to deliver a baby prematurely. The fear and all the stress those parents have to go through is unbearable. I am so very very thankful that I have a healthy, happy little boy. I am thankful I am healthy and that my family is healthy.
Amanda (Preemie Mama) is a good friend I graduated high school with! She also blogs and I asked her to guest blog about her experience with having a premature baby. In case you didn't know, November is National Prematurity Awareness month. These families and babies need our support and our prayers. I hope you can join me in saying you will give that.
Here's Amanda's Story:
Baby Kyson in the NICU
According to the March of Dimes website, about 12.8 percent of babies in the U.S. are born prematurely. And the rate of premature birth has increased by 36 percent since the early 1980s.
Premature birth is a serious health issue, and these babies are at a higher risk for newborn health complications. They also face a greater risk of lasting disabilities like mental retardation, learning and behavioral problems, lung problems, cerebral palsy and vision and hearing loss. Being born early is the leading cause of death for newborn babies. And what’s worse is that the cause of nearly half of all preterm births is unknown. It can happen to any woman, and it’s important to take care of yourself while pregnant to prevent preterm birth and give your baby a healthy life.
I had always heard stories about it but it was almost like an urban legend to me. A friend of a friend's child was born early...
Then it happened to me.
Without warning or known reason, my water broke at 31 weeks. After a week of hospital bedrest, Kyson decided it was time and made his debut weighing a whopping 4lbs 15oz. But that was the easy part.
We go into pregnancy with the ideal experience in our minds. We make birth plans and daydream about the day our little one arrives. But some of us never get that picture perfect experience. We don't get told hold our babies or nurse them for days. They are taken away to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) without much more than a glance at their face. It's the most traumatic thing I have ever been through.
Kyson stayed in the NICU for nearly a month. There were good days but a lot of them were bad. The rollercoaster ride of the NICU is a hard one. But even though it’s hard watching your child struggle to do things we sometimes take for granted, talking to someone that has been there makes it a lot better.
That's why I started my blog, Preemie Mama. I want to connect with other preemie parents and help those going through this. The effects of a premature birth can still be seen long after the child is grown. Mothers of premature babies often experience depression or post traumatic stress disorder.
I also like to raise awareness for the growing rate of preterm birth. Since then, I have become involved with the March of Dimes as a way to give back to the organization that helped us through our NICU experience so that one day, all babies will be born healthy. Currently, one in eight babies is born too soon, and often, they are very sick. I feel it’s up to us as the parents and families of the babies affected to tell our stories. Unfortunately, the cries of these babies often times go unheard. For more information, check out the following websites:
www.nacersano.org (in Spanish)
www.shareyourstory.org (to read stories from real parents of premature babies)
Thanks Amanda for sharing! To learn more about Amanda and Kyson, be sure to check out her blog!