Saturday, November 17, 2012

World Prematurity Day

November 17th is World Prematurity Day. Many organizations throughout the world, including March of Dimes here in the US work to promote awareness on prematurity and how it can be prevented. Wear purple in support of preemies everywhere!

In our case, we were lucky to get to 27 weeks at all. There was nothing to prevent, only expectant management of a situation out of our control. This is the case with so many women dealing with pProm. However, in our time in the NICU I've seen teenagers and homeless people who admit to little or no prenatal care. They admit to doing drugs, smoking, drinking. It was hard for me to witness. Granted, I saw ladies go full term and engage in the same bad behavior but I think it's our moral and ethical responsibility to give our children the best fighting chance possible.

Some stats for you: one preemie passes away every thirty seconds due to prematurity. In the US, 24 weeks gestation or 500 grams weight (1lb 6oz) is considered viability but babies have survived before those cut-offs. Each day you remain pregnant takes three days off a NICU stay. If you were to deliver at 24 weeks, the survival rate is between 40-70% depending on many factors. If you get to 27 weeks, survival can be 90% or greater. However, this is strictly prematurity and doesn't factor in any other birth situations like pProm that we dealt with.

So, how are the little dragons doing today? James is currently 7lbs 11oz, which is 6lbs greater than birth weight! He had a check up with Dr Jim yesterday and is doing well. Maisie is doing awesome and we think she's pushing 9lbs or more. We will find out on their next appointment on the 30th.

They've been well behaved for the grandparents while Jimmy and I work all week. Maisie is sleeping great at night, and James is figuring it out. They love "twin time" and are teaching each other things left and right. It's fascinating to watch them grow.

I will never forget when the Dr held James up over the curtain for us to see as he was screaming, just after birth. I knew they were going to be small but it still surprised me how small the babies were. And when I first Kangaroo held Maisie- her tiny fingernails scratched my chest and she kept sneezing on me. It felt so much more like a tiny kitten than a newborn. They have both grown so much in just a few short months. Prematurity might define their birth and their unique start to this life - three and four months in the hospital... but it's amazing how they overcome.

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