Our son was born at 33 weeks as a result of my complications with serve HELLP syndrome. Delivered at just 3 pounds, we spent the following four weeks riding the NICU rollercoaster. It didn't take long for us to learn that even after the hospital discharge, our first time parent's story would be anything but typical. The journey forever changed our family's lives and almost two years later the feelings are just as raw, the urge to raise awareness is just as strong.
Here is to a world of healthy babies, healthy moms and the end of premature births.
In honor of World Prematurity Day 2016
Delivered at 33 weeks, our son is one of 15 million babies born premature this year. Tomorrow is World Prematurity Day, an opportunity to raise awareness on a global scale, a chance to shine a light on the babies born too soon and a moment to recognize the families and caregivers who have experienced the journey.
Tomorrow is for the moms of a preemie. For the ones in recovery, unable to be with their newborn during their first crucial moments of life. You are the ones that were told that you needed to wait days or weeks until receiving the okay to hold your child. You walked out of the hospital doors time after time leaving a baby behind and a piece of your heart in their isolette.
Tomorrow is for the parents. For the moms and dads who didn't want to leave their baby's side. You absorbed the medical jargon, you were determined not to miss a doctor's round, a baby's first or a health decline. You can hear the sounds of the NICU monitor alarms long after leaving the hospital. You became an expert in changing diapers or giving sponge baths while navigating through the portholes and wires. Tomorrow is for the parents, the ones who continue to face their little one's residual development and health challenges head-on.
Tomorrow is for the NICU nurses, doctors and all preemie caregivers. For the ones who fought for our babies lives and nursed them to good health. You cried with us, cheered with us and encouraged us. Tomorrow is for the nurses who now feel more like family, you set us up for success when it was finally time to bring our fragile child home.
Tomorrow is for the sweet and tiny babies. For the ones who fought and defied all odds. You were poked, prodded and tangled in wires on a consistent basis. You are the epitome of strength and bravery. When your parents are rundown and yearn for a positive moment, you continue to give us a small victory, have a huge milestone or find a way to infuse hope into a situation that can often feel hopeless.
Tomorrow is for Jack, whose sweet smile has kept us alive from the moment that he could finally be in our arms. Tomorrow is for all preemies here on earth and the ones watching over us from heaven.
Tomorrow the world will cast a purple glow. Tomorrow is for the babies, because if we don't raise awareness, who will help give them their tomorrow?
Paige, mom to a preemie superhero
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