Tuesday, November 17

Fight for Preemies!

Do you know a baby that was born too soon, too small, unable to suck, unable to breathe on his own? Premature birth is a health crisis that jeopardizes the lives and health of nearly half-million babies each year. It is the #1 killer of newborns and can lead to lifelong disabilities. Worse: the number has increased 31 percent since 1981. It can happen without warning and for no known reason. Until we have more answers, anyone’s baby, could be born too soon.

I have always known that the March of Dimes was an amazing organization, but their services hit close to home this year.

On July 21, 2009, my beautiful nieces Jozie and Kealie were born one month early.

Jozie entered the world at a "strapping" 5 pounds 6 ounces.

While Miss Kealie chose to sport a more petite 4 pounds 2 ounces.

They were so tiny. Unreal! The girls spent 9 (J) and 11 (K) days in the NICU.

Seeing the girls for the first time. It was so hard not to be able to hold them!

The next day.
The twins and their mama.
I got to hold and feed the babies this day!

Bed sharing in the NICU.
"We are headed in the right direction, Sis!"

I made many visits to the NICU during their stay. Jozie and Kealie received amazing care and came home rather quickly. We were so happy to welcome them home so soon and truly relieved that they were such strong and healthy girls!

Today, Jozie and Kealie are almost 4 months old! They are stubborn still strong and healthy girls. They have big personalities and wear this old aunt of theirs out! I love them so much!

Jozie 10/14/09

Kealie 10/14/09

Sadly, not all preemies are so lucky. They are born much smaller and with many more special needs. Thanks to the March of Dimes and medical advances, even the tiniest of these babies are given a chance of survival. Yet for many babies premature birth is still a life or death condition. It’s the #1 cause of death during the first month of life. And babies who survive face serious health challenges and risk lifelong disabilities.

The rate of premature birth has never been higher. In half the cases, we simply don’t understand what went wrong. We need to fight for answers. And, ultimately, preventions.

November 17 is dedicated to raising awareness of the crisis of premature birth. The March of Dimes invited bloggers like me to get involved. You can help too!

• Learn about premature birth at marchofdimes.com/fightforpreemies
• Put a badge on your blog during November, Prematurity Awareness Month®
• On November 17, blog for a baby you love and to help others

We need to fight ― because babies shouldn’t have to.

No comments: