World Prematurity Day

posted in: Babies, Motherhood, NaBloPoMo, Twins 22 comments

There is much joy that comes with finding out that you’re pregnant with twins. Twice blessed. Even more so when your doctor tells you that they’re fraternal, carrying the lowest risk.

I’ve always had healthy and relatively easy pregnancies. I carried both boys to nearly 40 weeks (#1 was 3 days early, #2 was a day early). I had all the confidence that I would get to 37 weeks (full-term for twins) with my third pregnancy. Other than first trimester bleeding which went on for 6 weeks (and what sent me to the hospital at 6 1/2 weeks pregnant, when an ultrasound was done and we saw two sacs), it was smooth sailing. 

So when September 14 happened, I was absolutely unprepared for my 34 weekers.

I was unprepared for how tiny they were. The sound of the ventilator which helped my little boy breathe. The alarms that went off  on the machines (I jumped the first time I heard one, and that was within the first minute I entered the NICU). The tubes and wires. The unbearable thought of leaving my children behind when I left the hospital. The emptiness of the first 12 nights. The lump in my throat that stayed there until both babies came home. The unbelievable kindness of my Facebook community. The many messages of support and love that came in the first few weeks. The advice other mothers of preemies generously shared with me. 

We are very lucky and blessed that our preemie babies came home only after a short stay in the NICU. They are healthy, growing and thriving. 

Holding my daughter for the first time, and my son, one day old

Holding my daughter for the first time, and my son, one day old

Twins 40 days

6 weeks old

Many other preterm babies don’t fare as well though. And some don’t go home. World Prematurity Day is the day we want to focus global attention on the problem of premature birth. 

World Prematurity Awareness Day

I’m sharing my story as a way to give hope to parents of preemies, just as I was given hope by others. 

For more information, go to March of Dimes, LittleBig  Souls and EFCNI.

Alison
Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and DrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).
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  • November 17, 2014 Janine Huldie

    Aww, thank you for indeed sharing your story and my doctors thought with my second she could be premature. Thankfully, she wasn’t, but I truly was scared and definitely not prepared in the least if it did happen to us.
    Janine Huldie recently wrote…Bringing Back Family Game Night – Tic Stac ToeMy Profile

    • November 21, 2014 Alison

      I’m glad your little one made it to full-term!

  • November 17, 2014 Alexa

    They are so beautiful! Thanks for bringing awareness to this important issue!
    Alexa recently wrote…Are You At Risk for Preterm Birth? World Prematurity DayMy Profile

    • November 21, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, an you too!

  • November 18, 2014 Rudri Bhatt Patel

    Thanks for raising awareness regarding prematurity. I am not certain we hear about it enough.

    Your twins are so beautiful, Alison.
    Rudri Bhatt Patel recently wrote…In the Middle of Things, an EpiphanyMy Profile

    • November 21, 2014 Alison

      We certainly need to know as much as we can!

  • November 18, 2014 Kimberly

    (((hugs)))
    They may be wee peanuts but they are ass kickers 🙂 but they need help an lots of luvin
    Kimberly recently wrote…It’s Ok. I Already Know.My Profile

    • November 21, 2014 Alison

      Yes, yes they do! That’s basically what the NICU nurses said to me. 🙂

  • November 18, 2014 julie gardner

    My son was born at 37 weeks, considered full-term although three weeks before his due date.
    My daughter was born at 38 weeks, induced because she was not thriving.

    She weighed only 4.5 pounds although she was technically full-term. They used the term IUGR.
    Inter-uterine growth retardation. The doctor was right to take her out.

    She ended up being healthy, just small. But I still had guilt.
    Why hadn’t I been able to keep my baby thriving? Why was she shrinking inside me where she should have been safe?

    They asked if I’d smoked and other questions that made me sick. It was a fluke, they finally determined, and unlikely to happen again if I had another baby.

    “Nothing you did wrong.” And yet I was reluctant to put her weight on the birth announcement.
    People asked about her size. Preemie, they assumed. Why bother explaining?

    To this day, she is small. People see me at 5′ 6″ and her fully grown at 4’11” and they insist, “She’ll get taller!”

    No. She won’t. And that’s okay.

    I’ve strayed off topic and I apologize; but my point is this: posts like yours raise awareness and make mothers (and fathers) feel less alone in their fear and guilt.

    So thank you, Alison. I’m so glad your sweet babies are healthy.
    And they’re very lucky to have you as their mother.

    • November 21, 2014 Alison

      Thank you for sharing your story, Julie. I’m so sorry you were made to feel bad/ guilty – things just happen. We don’t will it or make it so. At the end of they day, our children are healthy, and WE DID MAKE THAT happen, and that’s what we should focus on. xo

  • November 18, 2014 Molly

    I know way too many parents who said goodbye to their children too soon. It’s unfathomable. I am so happy your little ones had the care and medication they needed so they could come home to you. They are so beautiful.

    • November 21, 2014 Alison

      I’m so glad too. We are lucky and blessed!

  • November 18, 2014 Natalie

    I’m so glad these beautiful babies are doing great!
    Natalie recently wrote…So Long Fall, Hello Cold WeatherMy Profile

    • November 21, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Natalie!

  • November 18, 2014 Greta

    Technology is amazing. Those babies are amazing. YOU’RE amazing. Happy sighs.
    Greta recently wrote…A thousand words and a hundred thousand more.My Profile

    • November 21, 2014 Alison

      It is, we are SO lucky. Thank you.

  • November 18, 2014 Maureen

    Thank you for sharing your story and journey Alison. Alex was born at 35 weeks and spent a week in NICU it was one of the most difficult times of my life. Your twins are just super adorable!
    Maureen recently wrote…My Secret: Rediscovering Childhood MemoriesMy Profile

    • November 22, 2014 Alison

      I’m sorry you had to go through that. And look at Alex now, almost 8!

  • November 19, 2014 Tonya

    Thank you for sharing your story, Alison! So tiny, but so mighty. Love those twins. xoxo
    Tonya recently wrote…Being BusyMy Profile

    • November 22, 2014 Alison

      They certainly are, thank you!

  • November 19, 2014 Kim

    It’s so great that you are lending your voice and your story to this cause. Your babies are beautiful and I am so happy that they are doing so well.
    Kim recently wrote…Flunking Happy – Could I Be Happy for 100 Days?My Profile

    • November 22, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Kim!

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