Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Today is Premature Awareness Day

This letter below is from the March of Dimes newsletter I receive. When my twins were born, they were preemies at 3.8 and 3.13. Twin A was 3.8 and Twin B was 3.13 and they had to stay in the NICU for two weeks. Wow, what a time that was. At that time, I felt as if I was in slow motion. I mean, everything was in slow motion to me, especially my body and mind. They were on two seperate schedules. My body was healing from the C Section and my mind had not caught up to my twins being born at 32 weeks or 7 weeks early. It was a strange time for my hubby and myself.

Since my twins were in the NICU for two weeks, I could only stay in my room for one week to heal, walk around the nurses station to gain strength and walk downstairs to see my very fragile, fraternal twin girls, in their incubators. Everytime I went down to see them, I cried, and hard. It was so surreal seeeing them on a heart monitor and breathing machine. Twin A and Twin B had janudis for a day or two, they both worn purple eye wear and headgear to protect their eyes and head from the heatlamps.

Oh my, this was all five years ago as they just turned five a couple weeks ago. I have to praise God for their health and well-being. They were born early, but looking at them today, you would never know.


This is the third of four installments of Susan Bryant's story about her premature son, Xander. Part 1 | Part 2

Dear Friends,
Today is Prematurity Awareness Day — a day to remember, honor and celebrate special babies. In my family, we’re celebrating Xander. He is one of more than 5,500 babies born too soon this year in Arkansas. Our state scored an "F" on the Premature Birth Report Card the March of Dimes released this morning. That's worse even than the national grade of "D."

As a mother and a nurse, this is unacceptable to me. We have to do better for our babies. Can you help? Please give what you can, so that the March of Dimes can continue the research and programs that may one day prevent premature birth. Thank you so much.

In the newborn intensive care unit (NICU), Xander's progress is agonizingly slow. He had to learn how to suck. His first real meal was less than half a teaspoon of breastmilk. By comparison, a normal newborn needs 1 to 2 ounces every 2 to 3 hours.

My husband, TJ, and I are always in the NICU with Xander. I've gained new respect for the parents here. As a medical professional, I know what's happening and why. As a mom, it's unbearable to see my son like this. I can only imagine how terrified other parents must be. I ache for the young mother quietly pumping milk in a corner even though her baby cannot eat.

For us, we're hoping that Xander will make it home for a very special day — his brother Sebastian's first birthday. It's only a few days away ... to be continued.

Next week, will Xander be home for Sebastian's birthday party?

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