My name is Clarissa Delgado. I am 18 years old and will be attending University in September. My mother had told me about March of Dimes so I wanted to check it out for myself. I was born July 12, 2001 at 7 months old and 3 pounds. I was suppose to be born in September though due to an infection in my mother's liquid I was wanting to come out prematurely. My mother told me that was one of the scariest experiences in her life. She felt so scared to lose me. Thanks to god, I came out alive and crying. Although, I was very small and seemed to be well I wasn't. I was in desperate need of blood. My mother wanted to give me her blood though the nurses refused since she has lost so much during her birth! So my whole family lined up, my grandparents, father, uncles,aunts everyone that was there that day volunteered to draw blood to give to me. The lucky winner was my Grandpa! He gave me his blood and everything was all good, for now. My mother said I was placed into the NICU for 2 months to complete my 9 months. I was born in Torrance, California at Torrance Memorial hospital. My mother explained how incredible the nurses were to her and my family and that she will never forget how encouraging they were. To my mother, not being able to take me home for 2 months was the hardest part. Even though they were taking care of me she saw what they were doing to me to keep me growing and alive for the loss of the 2 months I missed. She said they put little needles in my hands and to this day I still have the marks on my hand. I always thought everyone had the same marks but soon to realize when I was older not everyone had those marks. It hurt my moms heart not to see me at home. I was the third child so my siblings would stay at home while my father after work, would take my mom to the hospital everyday to see me. EVERYDAY. She would tell me she would sit there everyday praying to me since she would cry when she would get home. She also explained to me how some mothers wouldn't visit their babies as much, and at times these babies were in a more harsh condition then I was. Once my 2 months were done I was able to go home. My mother was very excited, the only problem I had was trouble breathing. Although, they gave my parents a machine to help me breath at night. Other than that, I was a completely healthy baby. I was born smaller than a shoe box, and weighing only 3 pounds. My family was very excited to see my at home. One night, my parents were sleeping and I suddenly was choking and couldn't breathe. The machine to set an alarm off to my parents didn't go off that night. My mom said she didn't wake up until she felt my dad jump over telling her, "The baby is choking". It was like something told my dad to wake up, because my mom said she didn't hear anything not even I that was choking, was making any noises. She felt guilty for not waking up and even cried herself to sleep that night. As I grew up I had a therapist coming to my house to help me with basic things. As I entered school I didn't have much problems. I could read, write, and think perfectly fine. Though when I got to the 1st grade, they placed me in special ed classes for they thought me being born prematurely, something wasn't fully developed to help me learn. As I sat in that class I felt like something was wrong, I knew that I was placed in a different class, I definitely knew something was off. I then proved to my teachers and school that I was not suited for special ed no more. As I grew up I had a normal life. The only problems I had was with growth, I have always been the smallest in my family. Even now my younger sister is taller than me at just 11 years old! Other than that, I did always seem to have a weaker immune system than my family. I always catch a cold so easily and suffer from mild scoliosis causing some back problems here and there. Other than that, I went from being a premature baby to a completely healthy 18 year old. I am now 18 and excited to attend University at CBU. Mothers, you may be wondering why did I tell this story? Well I want to let all the mothers that are going through the same thing my mom did 18 years ago. I want to let everyone know that, it's going to be okay (: You are going through a hard time but I want you to all know that yes your baby is at great danger, but the nurses and March of dimes helped my mother and I! You are in good hands! Look at me! I went from being so fragile and small to a completely healthy adult. I want all the mothers to know to keep strong and hang on there! You will get through this, and you will be able to hold your baby in your arms. When I was in the NICU they let my mother carry me on her chest, they said the warmth of my mother helped me and that it let me know who my mother was. Sooner or later you will have your baby in your arms with you and out of that NICU! Please keep strong and don't loose hope. I know this is hard but please remember this story and how crazy the works of god can do for us. For those who have lost their babies, I want to say my love goes to you and your family. I am sorry for your loss. If you are reading this still, I want to give you a HUGE thank you (: I am attending college in less than a month now and I am going to be studying for nursing to work in the NICU to help more premature babies just like me! Please check out my GoFundMe page. I am sorry for plugging this in but I really want to become a nurse but my mother is on her own taking care of 4 kids who all go to school, and I have never wanted this more in my life. To become a Neonatal Nurse so bad. My family and I need help raising money for me since we have a very low income in our household. Please do if you can help, may god bless you very much and your family. Thank you for reading and don't forget, You will get through this!
LINK TO GOFUNDME PAGE THANK YOU <3
YOUTUBE VIDEO ABOUT MY STORY W/ PHOTOS https://youtu.be/NqTRFG6y_2I
March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies. By uniting communities, we're building a brighter future for us all.
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