From the World Prematurity Day Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/WorldPrematurityDay/app_203351739677351#!/WorldPrematurityDay):
"While other parents are counting happy milestones -- baby's first smile, first tooth, first step -- the parents of premature babies are counting heartbeats. Premature babies aren't just small. Many of them -- more than one million babies each year -- won't make it to their first birthday.
More newborn die from premature birth than from any other cost. Yet, 75% of these deaths can be preventable, even without intensive care.
Funding is needed to improve care in countries around the world -- from low-cost steroid shots to promote lung development, to wider adoption of "kangaroo mother care" (the profoundly beneficial practice of skin-to-skin contact between a mother and her newborn child). And research is needed to identify the causes of premature birth, and develop treatments and preventions.
Raising awareness of premature birth is the first step to defeating it. Please help us spread the word."
When I went into premature labor and Casper was born prematurely, we were so lucky to have the necessary medical care that saved our lives. So many babies and mothers worldwide do not have that basic medical care that is so necessary in these situations, and we need to make that happen.
To be honest, this was something that I thought would never happen to us. I was having an easy pregnancy, no complications, taking care of myself... And then my water broke in the middle of the night at 31 weeks. We rushed to the hospital and I think we were both more scared than we had ever been in our lives. We got checked in to the maternity ward, the nurse confirmed that my water had indeed broken but I wasn't actually in labor. They started me on antibiotics and steroids shots as well as medication to prevent labor. This entire time is such a blur to me but I still remember the panic and fear I felt knowing that my baby who was much too small to be here could come at any moment.
I didn't end up going into labor immediately. I was in the hospital on bed rest for what we were hoping would be the long haul. I had lots of tests to monitor the situation every day and a week later I went into labor. Casper was breech and in the end we had an emergency c-section. I was so scared but they let me see him for a minute before he was rushed to the NICU and Chris went with him. I was out of it for the next several hours, I'm not even sure how long it was before I got to see him. Chris was with him the whole time though.
He was in the NICU for three weeks. I think we were lucky that our hospital understood the importance of skin-on-skin contact/kangaroo care, breastmilk/nursing, and that we needed to be with him as much as we possibly could. He had some issues while were were in the NICU, but overall he was so strong and we came home when he was only 35 weeks (4 weeks before he was even due) because he was strong and healthy enough. There were so many babies in the NICU that weren't able to go home on time and had so many complications. My heart still goes out to those families and I pray that those children are running around happy and healthy like Casper.
We are so blessed that he has had no complications as a result of his premature birth. So, so, so blessed. We are blessed that we had excellent medical care when I was pregnant with Owen and we were able to prevent another premature birth.
Every mother and baby should have access to the necessary medical care to help survive a premature labor and birth and the complications that can arise.
The pictures below are from our week on hospital bed rest through his first day at home. We actually don't look at these pictures too much, I start to get very emotional when I do look at them.
|Chris's feet in my huge hospital room (they said I had the best room in the place)|
|My snack table|
Chris cutting the cord
Meeting Casper for the first time
Reunited in the NICU
First family photo
He still makes this face when he screams
So tiny, he fit in Chris's hand
Diet of kings- pumped breastmilk
First day home
My love :)