17 November - World Prematurity Day
It is World Premmie Day and I thought I'd share my story as a celebration...
Our first child was born very early, he was a micro-premmie. Ben was born at 24 weeks gestation and for those doing the math, that's about 6 months early. He weighed in at a whopping 1 lb 6 oz and had a 3 month hospital stay after birth. This was the longest 3 months of our lives, it seemed like every day was touch and go.
It wasn't that long ago that they'd put these babies in a shoebox, say a few prayers, and wait for the poor thing to pass on. Thanks to medical advances these kids have a pretty good chance to make it these days. But the statistics are pretty scary.
Imagine a neonatal doctor visiting you in the delivery room. The doctor gives you the option to terminate the pregnancy right there and then procedes to give you the statistics if we decide to go through with the birth. They tell you things like there is a 50% chance of death, of those that survive there is a 50% chance of severe brain damage, and for those that are lucky not to get severe brain damage there is a high likleyhood of severe delays in development.
Scary shit for a first time parent!!!
3 months in the hospital, spending every waking hour with him, calling the nurses at 3:00 every morning to check on him, spending Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years in the hospital. Watching for brain bleeds (he had some), respirators, incubators, small heart surgery, and a host of other issues, we never ever missed a day. I believe that is why my son survived, we loved him no matter what would come along.
My son is now 13 years old and is very healthy. He is the top student in his class and a member of the honor band. The whole process was a horrific nightmare but thanks to God, and the caring nurses and doctors he is doing great.
My son's story is probably no different than thousands of others but I wanted to share it on this special day.