Tuesday, November 17, 2015

World Prematurity Awareness Day (for another hour at least!)

Storms are spinning all around us. I am glued to the TV watching the radar and ready to wake everyone up and get them to a hallway, a bathtub or something! And as I sit here vigilant, I realize that I can not let the day pass without recognizing that today is the official awareness day for premature births.

Nineteen years ago next week, we received what might possibly go down in my life history as the most amazing news ever: Wade and I were expecting not one little bitty baby, but THREE!

Immediately, the doctor cautioned us that our little ones due on July 7 might make an early appearance. I did some quick math and realized those few weeks early meant these babies might make their appearance on my Daddy's May 27 birthday. I was elated. Anything else was beyond my paradigm. Beyond my imagination.

Unfortunately just a few months later, and the words viable, micro-premie, and neonatal intensive care unit would begin to be bantered all around me as my body was in full labor at 19 weeks.

As we prayed and begged and pleaded with God to keep our babies from too early a birth, people tried to prepare us for what to expect. We were fortunate to be at The University of Chicago with one of the world's leading Neonatal care teams.

Claire with her NICU nurse in 1997 and below in 2014.

In 1997, 28 weeks was a magic number at the U of C. They had a very high success rate at keeping those teeny tiniest of babies alive. I will forever praise God for taking this reluctant southern girl to Chicago for just such a time as this. Because my body hit that magic 28 week mark and decided it could take no more. I was hemorrhaging and scaring everyone around me. The babies and I would not reach 29 weeks pregnant.

Huge medical strides have been made in the last 19 years for these bitty babies. But oh my friends, there is still much to do. 

In honor of my super heroes, can you help bring attention to premature births? Can you help educate your community and spread the word for support of organizations like the March of Dimes who help educate, research and help families just like our's.

Just click share. Or post their picture. Or tell their story. The littlest babies are not indispensable. I for one know three that daily make the world a better place!

Carol - The Blessings Counter