Did you know that November 17th is World Prematurity Day? This day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the global effort to stop premature births. Each year over 15 million babies world wide are born too soon and of those over 500,000 are in the United States. In 2006, after it was discovered that my twins were suffering from Twin – Twin Transfusion Syndrome, my baby girls were two of those premature children, born at gestational week 25 and weighing just under 2 pounds each. While we knew the cause of our situation, many families do not. Education, adequate medical care and funding all play an important role in bringing down these numbers and saving lives. Of these children born too soon, 1 in 30 dies.
Although we did lose one of our daughters, Big Poppa and I consider ourselves beyond blessed to have been able to bring our other baby girl home with us after 94 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. By the time she was discharged, she was a 4 pound warrior! While I make it a habit to thank God for all of my children because each of them enrich our lives beyond measure, often there are days when I look at her and I am over come with gratitude. We fought to save her and she fought to live. Triumphantly! And God, in His infinite wisdom and unfailing mercy performed the miraculous in those 94 days. Right in front of our eyes. Because everything that could go wrong did. Brain hemorrhage, eye problems, intestinal issues…everything that should have killed her, blinded her or delayed her. And then it vanished. And my heart can only shout Hallelujah in praise! I am reminded pretty much on a daily basis that God is beyond awesome. For that I am thankful.
There are so many more with similar stories to tell. There are so many more who have witnessed miracles. There are so many more who have received such an extraordinary gift. Doctors and nurses working with these micro-preemies are amazing and they need our help to continue the effort to bring down the number of premature births world wide. If you would like more information on what can be done to help, please visit the March of Dimes website.
*This post is in response to a writing prompt “Day 6: Children, 28 Days of Celebrating Thankful”. You can read the other posts on Champagne to Crayons.