November is National Prematurity Awareness Month and Today, November 17th, is National Premature Awareness Day. I had not stopped to think of this cause before today, and now it is in my heart. Like so many worthy causes, this is one that works its way in and stays with me, as I visit stories of other’s experiences, as I think of my own children, as I look at pictures and visit the website created by the March of Dimes…I think of so many babies and families affected.
My son almost arrived quite prematurely. I went into premature labor at 33 weeks. I was hospitalized and given a medication to stop the contractions. The name of the medication is Terbutaline and it worked in my case. After the contractions were stopped, I was sent home for bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy with a prescription. This medication really had some awful side effects for an already anxious mommy, but it did the trick and that baby boy of mine stayed put for a little while longer.
I was really lucky, and although I made a couple more visits to the hospital prior to my son’s birth, he stayed in utero until 37 weeks. He was born healthy and we were so blessed. But so often this is not the case. Today, more than 1,400 babies will be born prematurely in the United States. Many of these babies will spend weeks or even months in the hospital or NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Premature babies are at higher risk for lasting disabilities such as cerebral palsy, chronic lung diseas, neurological disorders, and vision and hearing problems. (Statistics from March of Dimes) Approximately 20 million babies are born prematurely each year, and that’s something worth fighting for.
A couple of stories/blog posts that have touched my heart today:
Please join in the #fight4preemies ! Learn what you can do to help raise awareness and advocate for this cause!