Preemie Awareness Day


Your life changes with any baby.  As a new parent it is very easy to find resources and books on parenting.  When you have a preemie it is not as easy.  There are many reasons for premature birth.  I used to think it was all in pre-natal care and as long as I followed my doctors advice I would be ok- well that was obviously a misconception.  I learned that we can never be too sure of ourselves.  Whether your second child or your fifth.  Each pregnancy is different.  With my first I had gestational diabetes.  That is a required screening for pregnancy, so the second child I was super careful and was so excited when I didn’t have it.  Yeah I was free and clear.  Smooth sailing.  Or so I thought.  I didn’t know much about pre-eclamspia.  I knew it scared me so I tried to not learn too much about it.  I also knew my swelling was not normal.  Now I know I had many warning signs- feeling like I was drowning (fluid in my lungs), out of breath, pain in my upper abdomen, gaining 28 pounds of water weight in one week.  But I felt ok.  I assumed people who were having “difficult” pregnancies were laid up and couldn’t move and felt sick.  I was fine albeit tired and uncomfortable but fine.  I only went to the doctor to see if I could get a water pill in 2 days my feet grew 3 sizes and it hurt and I was no where near my due date.  If my best friend had not pushed me to call for the water pill and if my husband did not have off work that day, so we could go on a day trip, which I cancelled since I couldn’t walk, I probably would have had dire consequences.   I try not to think about it.  I try not to think about how hard it was for my husband to have me beg to be able to wait two more weeks before being enduced to help protect the baby.  He knew I didn’t have two more weeks, but would not allow himself to tell me that.  I know that there was a reason bigger than me for why this happened to us and I am trying to live each day to the fullest.  So much has changed in the almost two years since I had a preemie, there is more info online.  I was so frustrated and for months tried to figure out how I could have missed this in myself.  What did I do wrong?  What could I have done differently, because no mother wants to see her child in the NICU, so I was trying to find a way to blame myself.  I still get so mad each year when Parents and Parenting magazines annouce on the cover prematurity awareness day and then have one silly little paragraph about it.  But then run full stories on rare issues that don’t effect even 1% of the population.  They need to do stories on preemies and their parents.  Stories so other moms know what to expect, what to look for.  I wish my doctors office would have had a pamphlet or sheet on signs and symptoms of pre-eclampsia, so I could have been more prepared.  I wish there were groups for moms of preemies, because to me being able to spend one hour a week talking with other moms about the challenges of bringing your preemie home would have been amazing.  So now all I can hope is that each year prematurity awareness day will let more people know about premature births.  We were blessed.  Our preemie has only had a few bumps in the road.  There are people with micro-preemies and preemies with very serious conditions.  So if you are pregnant or know someone who is pregnant go to the March of Dimes.com and get info on premature births, warning signs, tips on healthy pregnancy or ask your doctor and if anything feels off make a phone call to your doctor, because all we really want in this world is healthy babies!

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