Prematurity Awareness Day is TODAY

Zoe Rose a couple days after being born at 1lb 10oz
Notice her legs are about as big around as my fingers
She should have had 15 more weeks before being born
or 12 more to not be considered a preemie

Zoe at one month old...don't be fooled by her size, that isn't real weight gain
it is extreme fluid retension brought on by medication to close
a hole in her heart (very loose medical interpretation of the actual PDA) three rounds of the meds did not work and she had to have surgery a few days later

Zoe...supposedly "snowed" with fentanyl, ativan,
norcuron (a paralytic) and nebutol
Not exactly paralyzed was she?

Finally able to be held...she was two months old
Up until this point we had only been able to change her diaper
and change her clothes with a nurse's assistance

Lily Anne a few days after birth 1lb 6 oz
she should have spent 15 more weeks in my womb
that is an entire trimester
Notice the diameter of her arm in relation to my pinky finger

Lily being held for the first time at one month old
Look at how tiny her fingers are

Lily 13" long...grown a whole inch from her birth length!

Lily at 31 weeks gestational age
She still should be in my belly for another 9 weeks
that's TWO more months

Avery Ruth being held for the first time
one month old

Avery at 31 weeks gestational age
That dress she's wearing measures about 5" long
and it covered her knees

Avery, the tiniest of the bunch
1lb 4oz...that's the weight of a pack of hamburger meat!
She's holding Richard's finger so you can really get an idea of
just how small she was

Following was written by my good friend Kara so I've copied it and added just a couple of words of my own. You can go to the March of Dimes website to find out how your state grades in the 2008 Premature Birth report cards...Georgia got an "F" because our rate of premature birth is almost twice the National goal of 7.6% or less!
In Kara's words.....
Today is Prematurity Awareness Day!In the United States - 1 in 8 children are born prematurely. That is, before 37 completed weeks gestation. These babies are not just small and need to stay in the hospital until they are "big enough" to come home but they are sick, sick babies.
Premature birth is the leading cause of neonatal death. More than half of all premature births happen for unknown reasons... that means a mom could do everything right, have had a previous healthy birth (or two or three) and still have an unforeseen premature birth. Some babies spend months (like our girls) in the hospital away from their families. Some parents (like us) wait weeks to even HOLD their child for the first time.
Some children have problems that will follow them for their entire lives... brain bleeds that cause brain damage the children will never recover from... damage to growing eyes that cause permanent blindness.... respiratory problems which can lead to asthma or reactive airway disease...hearing loss...neurological problems like cerebal palsy. Not to mention the children who have heart and intestional surgery (like Zoe) in their first weeks of life.
Prematurity is a major economic crisis. No mother would trade her babies for all the money in the world, and I am no exception...But the fact remains that a "normal", healthy, full-term delivery usually costs around $3,000. The average cost of a preterm infant is over $40,000 (try $250,000 to $1,000,000 in the case of our girls) - not to mention the loss of productivity it costs companies when moms and dads have to take off of work to spend time with their sick baby in the hospital. These are just estimates of the costs through the first year - some of these children face medical conditions that follow them for years and that their parents (and their employers and health insurance) will be paying for for years to come... sometimes their entire lifetime.

Please help raise awareness today by signing the Petition for Preemies and telling someone about prematurity today.Together - we can make a difference! You can sign the Petition at the top of my sidebar and please pass this along to everyone you know!
I also just want to send a heartfelt THANK YOU out to all of my readers who post and email me such kind words of support. I can't tell you how much it means to me that you first, take the time to read what I write, and second take more time to encourage me, support me, and share your stories. I feel like you all are weaving this huge blanket of support for me and that is what keeps me writing and sharing my life with everyone. It helps to know that our story of infertility, extreme premature births and Zoe's life and death can inspire and encourage others to keep going, to love and cherish their children, and to know they are NOT ALONE in their grief when a child dies. You are not alone in your exhaustion when caring for multiples, special needs children or multiples with special needs, you are not alone in your self doubt and guilt when premature birth and infant death occurs, and you are not alone in your desire to be a better person, a better mother/parent, a better human in our world. Thank you to all of you.


rachael said...

what a perfect post for today...both your words and kara's words are wonderful!

McTriplet Mommy said...

Well said. You are such an incredible source of support and encouragement to others - I hope you truly understand that.

I was looking for stats I could "back up" so I got some from the MOD site - but yes, Lorne was a true "million dollar baby" and Isaac and Sullivan were about ten times even the average for preemies. Incredible.

Take care, Keira. Thinking of you as always.


All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31