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Saturday, November 17, 2012

What Prematurity Means to Me

Today is World Prematurity Day!

That might mean very little to some people, but to the 15 million moms or dads of babies born too soon each year, it means a lot.

What makes prematurity even harder, is that in so many cases, it can be prevented. With research, access to healthcare, and just spreading the word and awareness, the risks of prematurity can be drastically reduced.

Prematurity is very real and it's something you never expect. I was expecting the birth of my first children to be the happiest day of my life, not the scariest. I was hoping to be able to hold and cuddle my babies, but instead, I saw them wheeled away barely breathing. I wanted to take them home with me, but instead, I left the hospital empty handed and went back to an empty house with my little hearts an hour away from me. I was hoping to spend our first few days bonding and playing together, instead, I watched them struggling to survive through plastic with tubes and chords every where and a constant beeping going on around me of machines keeping them alive.

and it's just not fair. Not fair that my babies got off to such a rough start. Not fair that my husband hardly saw them for the first few months of their lives. Not fair that I could do nothing but sit in the hospital and hold them and pray they'd be ok. Not fair that so many other parents have to go through this same thing.

Prematurity will always be a part of our lives. It's hard to forget about it now as we go to all the doctors appointments, meet with all the specialists, get the beloved synagis shots for the 2nd year in a row, but I'm not sure I'll ever forget those first few months, or this challenging first year with our preemies.

I know a lot of people look at them today and don't even think about them as preemies and I'm so happy that's the case. They have really overcome great odds to be the healthy wild pair that they are. I'm so grateful that we have been so lucky and that our babies are really starting to thrive.

I look at their faces every day and I'm just overwhelmed with how happy I am to have them and how much I love them. If anything positive came out of them being born too soon, it's my never ending appreciation for how precious they are and how lucky I am to have them.

So steal an extra kiss today from your little ones and tell them how much you love them. They are all little miracles.

To end this on a happy is an adorable video of hope. I hope today brings hope to all parents of preemies and that someday, what we went through will be a very rare thing.

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