November 17, 2009

Fight for Preemies

My son was a preemie, you wouldn't know it by looking at him today.  Nine years ago my son was born at exactlly 32 weeks and only weighing 4lbs.  This was my first child and I was so scared and so worried.  I never got to hold him before they rushed him by helicopter 45 minutes north to another hospital.  He was a fighter and by the second day breathing only with minimal assistance.  He had a small episode of NEC which with medicine went away or so we thought.  When he was about 3 weeks old we were told he would need surgery to close a valve on his heart that in normal babies normally closes on it's own.  In preemies though sometimes it won't close and normally with medicine the problem is fixed.  This time it would require surgery.  We made the decision to send him to St. Louis which was 8 hours away from me and that almost killed me.  I was lucky to be able to go with him and thanks to Ronald McDonald house in St. Louis be close by.  He had the surgery and came through with flying colors.  Two weeks later he was close to being discharged and sent home when another problem arose. 

Apparently the hospital he was sent from where he had the NEC problem didn't tell the new hospital and they weren't aware of the problem.  Well the bleeding in his intestines came back due to a blockage in his colon about 4in long.  So he was prepped for another surgery and the problem was fixed. Finally at 8 weeks old and right after his due date he was sent home only the next day to be admitted to the local hospital due to jaundice.  A few days under the lights we were home and settling in. 

The first year came with challenges and a few close calls but we fought together and came through the other side.  He spent almost two years in therapy due to delevopmental problems after he turned 1 but today you wouldn't know any of it happened to him except for the scars on his back and stomach.He is almost the average size of a 9 year old now and so smart and so brilliant.  I look at him now and would never know he was my little preemie. 

Take a moment today to learn about preemies and the causes behind it.  The March of Dimes is always looking for volunteers in the fight for preemies as well.  For more wonderful stories go here.


MoDLin said...

Thanks so much for your post. Your story really dramatizes the roller coaster ride that so many families with preemies go through. Yes, it's really important to educate ourselves and to fight for preemies today, and every day.

Jason said...

Jason here from BloggersUnite. Thanks for being part of the BloggersUnite event, sharing your story and helping to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and all they do.