Today is World Prematurity Day, a day to raise awareness, and, for me, one more chance to celebrate. Did you know that on average there are 15 million babies born prematurely each year? Did you know that 1.1 million of those children pass away from pre-term complications? I never knew either, until 2006.
Here’s my micro-preemie, born at 24 weeks, 5 days, weighing in at a tiny 1 pound, 9 ounces.
It was 10 days before I got to hold her.
It was 105 days before we took her home.
She had two brain bleeds. She almost lost her left leg. She developed a life threatening blood infection. Her lungs stayed so weak for so long and she had to stay on the ventilator for so long, that, statistically she should have had major vision problems. She had several blood transfusions. She endured more in that three and a half months than I have faced in my life.
Today she’s a healthy 9 year old who loves books, animals, and superheroes. I will forever be grateful for the medical advances that saved her life more than once, and for the truly amazing care she received from doctors and nurses in the NICU at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
I am forever humbled by the privilege to be her mom, that God chose my husband and I to witness the miracle that she is, and my heart overflows with thankfulness to Him for her life.
Today she is giving a speech in her class about an invention that has made a difference. She chose the ventilator. I can’t think of anything more appropriate.