We are just hours away from the start of November. November is Prematurity Awareness Month, as I sit here tonight, my boys tucked into bed after a busy night of tricks and treats I can help but think about what the month coming up symbolizes for me. November 17th is Prematurity Awareness Day. This year on November 17th will be 34 years ago I arrived premature. I was very sick. The doctors told my mom to be prepared, that due to how sick I was brain damage was a strong possibility.
Prematurity stole so much from me. It stole those first moments as a mom. My first son was born blue and there was no sweet baby cry in the delivery room. Instead it was chaotic, NICU nurses ever where, me struggling to understand why he wasn't crying. I remember the whole thing being scared because I didn't know what to expect. Then when he was born it was not the picture I had imagined.
Prematurity stole the first 5 years of his childhood. Often times we missed out of things a lot of kids his aged did because he was sick a lot. We spent so much of his first few years in and out of Doctors, specialist, emergency rooms, and admissions in the hospital. He struggled.
Prematurity stole my daughter. Our daughter arrived at 25 weeks and passed shortly after she was born. There was so many thing that contributed to her arriving so soon. Prematurity stole the chance of me mothering a little girl on earth. I will never have mother/daughter events to attend. I will never get her dressed up for a father/daughter dance. Never seek out the perfect homecoming/prom dress or ever a wedding dress. I will never watch her play with her brothers and nights like tonight I wonder who she would have been.
Prematurity stole my joy while pregnant with Jaxson. Prematurity stole my ability not to worry that I would also say goodbye to this child too. The whole pregnancy I constantly feared that he would also die. Prematurity stole the last 8 weeks of my pregnancy with him. It stole my belief that babies can be born healthy.
Prematurity stole my chances of having more kids.
Prematurity caused guilt. That my body failed my kids. It failed me.
Prematurity caused anxiety in a way I can not put into words. I am still fearful that something will happen to my two boy that lived. I feel like I can't let my guard down. Like if I let go even a little something will happen to them.
Prematurity changed the relationships I had prior to my kids arriving. My relationship with my family, husband, friends, everybody just changed. They all waited for me to be the person I was before prematurity stole so much.
Prematurity allowed me to love differently. It opened my eyes in a way that only another mom who has walk the journey will understand.
Prematurity taught me compassion. Through my journey I have learned to have compassion for others and their journey. I may not understand what they are going through but I don't have to, to have compassion for their journey.
Prematurity gave me a fight. I fought for my life at birth and I fought for each of my kids. Now I fight so that my kids will not have to fight.
Prematurity showed me how strong I really was.
Prematurity stole so much from me, however I have learned I can not change what has happened. Someone once told me "If you can't change it, Change the way you feel about it" I have chosen to take the hand I have been dealt and try to use my journey to help others who may find themselves on a similar path.
So this November we will raise awareness for Prematurity. Prematurity is the number one cause of neonatal mortality in the U.S. Nearly 40% of premature birth are due to unknown causes. We have to continue to work to help give all babies a full 40 weeks.
I know that November 17th is a very special day for you and your family. I love the way you encourage others with your babies' stories. Thank you for all that you do and give back to MOD and Share!
I so wish I could give you a big hug and tell you how much I admire you and all that you do here and for your kids. Its so hard to endure the life shattering events that you have, let alone see the positive and try to do more for others. You have done that and so much more. Thank you for all that you do and for always being here.
Love and Hugs
Thinking of you and your family and all that you have gone through. Thank you for all that you do to help raise awareness for prematurity.
I enjoyed reading this most, like many other post that you write. As you illustrate how prematurity stole your chance to have that mother daughter relationship I could relate to every word that you wrote. As November 17 is a few hours away I pray that your heart and your mind are at ease, along as the heart and the mind of your family as well. Hugs to you.
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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