March of Dimes Fight For Preemies

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
Elkins Triplets
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

elkins baby Discharge photo of the Girls together
Today the girls are happy, healthy, beautiful 10-year-olds!  I cannot believe how far these girls have come!  They have overcome so many odds and are absolutely perfect today!!
elkins older
Recent shot of the girls 

Harrington Triplets
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!

triplets2  First group photo in the NICU
Yikes!  Today, the trio are in their terrible-twos!  However, it really isn’t ‘terrible’ all the time at all!  They are a lot of fun with a whole lot of energy!  These three have also come a very long way and are no longer preemies at all!  They love to play together, chase each other and love on each other!  They have their moments, but I really think their ‘terrible twos’ are better of!f described as ‘terrific twos’!  They are awesome!
DSC_0061
All 3 Now!  Yes, I bribed them with candy!

Emmalee Paul
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.

emmalee going home  discharge photo
Emma is now 10-month’s old!  She is still having ‘preemie issues’, she has problems at times maintaining her body temperature and breathing still is off occasionally.  But she’s been thoroughly checked out my her pediatrician and doctors at Children’s Hospital in Seattle and everyone says she is fine, and will outgrow it, it’s just a matter of time!  She now army crawls and is on the verge of really crawling.  She gets up on her hands and knees rocking.  She also has started standing holding on to furniture and that means walking is soon!!  She is a beautiful little girl, and I’m so happy she’s part of my family!
emma9m  9-month photograph

[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.

3 Responses to March of Dimes Fight For Preemies
  1. Sadia
    November 18, 2009 | 4:49 PM

    Thank you for sharing these stories.

    I wish I'd learned more about prematurity before my (now perfectly healthy) twins were born at 33 weeks. It was too scary to think about. I think there's such a taboo against talking or thinking about this that might go wrong in a pregnancy. However, if I were to get pregnant again, I'd be far more educated and better able to advocate for a preemie. Of course, we're perfectly satisfied with our two!

  2. Pam
    November 18, 2009 | 5:53 PM

    On behalf of the March of Dimes, thanks for sharing these stories and for helping us spread the word about the problem of prematurity. Beautiful babies, all of them!

    With support from you and others, we will some day be able to end premature birth. To learn more, go to http://www.marchofdimes.com/fight.

    Pam
    March of Dimes

  3. Jason
    November 23, 2009 | 4:09 PM

    Thanks for being part of the BloggersUnite event and helping to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and all they do.