On November 9th, I blogged about this event [HERE]. Today, is the day we will fight for preemies because we need to fight ― because babies shouldn’t have to. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have personally known three families who had premature babies, the Elkins’, the Harrington’s and my cousins’ little girl Emmalee.
The Elkins girls were born at 32 weeks, 1 day. Their mom, Charity, spent one month at home bedrest, and one month on hospital bedrest before she delivered them on April 1, 1999. At birth the girls weighed: Angelique- 2#15oz, Melissa- 3#3oz, and Kennedy- 3#9oz. Even though the girls were so small they broke all records and went home 1 week (Kennedy) and 2 weeks (Melissa & Angelique) after they were born. When Kennedy was released at 1-week-old, she was the smallest (weight & gestation) preemie ever to be released from The University of Washington Medical Center NICU.
The Harrington’s were born at 33-weeks gestation on April 29, 2007. Their birth weights were: Jack- 4#7oz, Nate- 3#1oz and Gabrielle- 4#1oz. I had the honor of getting to visit them in the NICU when they were a day old! They were so little and on so many instruments it was almost scary. But amazingly none of the triplets had any real issues. They spent about a month in the NICU to learn to suck, swallow and breathe on their own. I had the opportunity to visit them a couple times a week during the month they spent in the NICU, so that was really special!
Emmalee was born at 36 weeks, 3 days and was just shy of being full-term (37-weeks) on January 3, 2009. Emma tried to come at 34 weeks, but thanks to the doctors and preterm labor stopping medication, they were able to stop Jaime’s labor and Emma baked a little longer. One born, she had a good stay at the hospital and was able to be discharged with Jaime the day after she was born. However, right after going home, she started to show some real preemie issues. Emma started having apnea/brady-cardia’s a lot, she couldn’t regulate her body temperature very well and was very jaundiced. At her first check-up after discharge her jaundice levels were way to high, and they were debating putting her back in the hospital. However, her doctors chose to give her a few more days to see if her levels would level off and begin to drop, which they did.
[Edited 11/17 @ 9:42pm] Emmalee tried to come at 32 weeks, but labor was stopped with tributiline. She then tried to come at 34 weeks, but Jaime’s labor stopped on it’s own!
I hope these three stories have moved and inspired you to also feel the need to Fight For Preemies. They are precious children, who were born to early, but thanks to the amazing doctors and technology available today all will have healthy, great lives!
For more information about the Bloggers Unite Fight For Preemies, please visit their website HERE.