Today, November 17, is World Prematurity Day. This is the day we celebrate and honor all of those who were born too soon.
LB was born at 35 weeks 2 days gestation. She weighed 3 lbs 14 oz and spent 19 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Germany. Prior to her birth, she had Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) which caused her tiny size. She had IVs during her NICU stay that provided her nutrients. She was born with a hole in her heart, which later closed on its own. LB spent years in Occupational Therapy overcoming sensory challenges as well as motor skills delays. She is now 8 years old, and thriving. She has asthma and anxiety, but faces each day and each challenge with a smile.
LN was born at 35 weeks 5 days gestation. He weighed 4 lbs 3 oz, my biggest preemie. He also had IUGR prior to birth. He did not spend any time in the NICU, but he did dance a fine line between admission and going home. His nervous system could not handle the outside world, and he spent the first several months of his life shaking from the over stimulation of life. He spent years in Occupational Therapy as well to help cope with sensory issues and impulse control challenges. He is now 6 years old, and doing well. He still sees a speech therapist, and has extra help at school to prevent him from becoming overstimulated. He’s a head strong, hyperactive kid who is a joy.
LK was born at 35 weeks 1 day gestation. She weighed 3 lbs 15 oz and, like her older siblings, had IUGR. She spent 11 days in the NICU. She showed her feisty side from the start, and we initially thought she would arrive at 25 weeks. Boy did she surprise us! She spent almost 3 months on oxygen but you would never know it looking at her now. She’s now 2 years old and full of life. She talks up a storm and makes us laugh daily.
These are my preemies. These are my life. These are who I honor on World Prematurity Day, and every day.