The month of November is National Prematurity Awareness Month.This is a month I was glad and honored to hear about. Not that premature birth is something to celebrate. However it is something that happens to many families everyday. I am happy that this very difficult experience is honored in such away. I am also glad that there is information out there for others to learn more about premature birth. As a mother who had four premature babies myself I know how hard this life experience can be. Today I will share with you some of my story about premature birth and provide other resources for others that may need this information. I am a mother of four biological children and one living child. I have had four pregnancies that resulted in premature birth. I also know many mothers and families that have experience this very trying life experience. First lets talk about what premature birth is and what does that mean. A premature baby is one who is born too early, before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy. Premature babies may face certain health problems.
Having a premature baby involves a lot of different things for parents and families. There is sometimes uncertainty of how healthy a baby will be, there are nights of over night stay at the hospital for parents and the new baby even months of time staying at the hospital. And even more challenging some babies that are born prematurely do not make it thru infancy. Or some babies may have life long special needs from being born premature. Here is why I am so passionate about this topic and honoring this month. I am the mother of four children that were born premature.
I experienced total stress and pain thru much of my experiences with premature births. I however was also very appreciative of resources such as hospital social workers, grief information given and some wonderful medical professionals that offered top of the line medical services. Still these experiences are ones I will never forget. For me I have had four pre-term births. Two of these births resulted in labor at five months of pregnancy. And these two babies Xavier and Angel never had a chance to come home. These two babies lungs were not developed enough for them to survive. I however did go thru labor and had both of them naturally. And I was able to see these two babies. Yet I could not bring myself to hold them per the loss was so painful! I found out that I had an incompetent cervix, which resulted I in the loss of these two babies. I cannot express how hard it was losing these children.
When deciding to try to have a baby again I did choose to seek even more specialized medical care. I had to be on total bed rest and I was in full alert mood! Well guess what my next baby Zaria was too born a preemie. She ended up being an emergency c-section and in the hospital for months due to health concerns. Due to her being born early, being breeched at birth and an emergency c-section Zaria had a host of special needs such as Cerebral Palsy, digestive issues, seizures and more. Still she was here and I spent many nights at the hospital, doctor’s appointments, and working with different types of therapist per Zaria’s various needs. It was very difficult having a child with such needs but still having her out weighed all the needs. Now fast-forward a few years and I find out I am expecting another baby. Again I was a bit concerned due to the previous experiences yet I was ready.
Now again I had to be on bed rest totally and now with a toddler at home with me. Needless to say I had to enlist some help such as a sitter to come in and help with Zaria and daycare services sometimes. Now about a little less then seven months after finding out I was expecting another baby and taking all the safe and right steps that I could I again went into prê-term labor. My little Jade was born too a preemie via an emergency c-section. Also Jade too had to stay in the hospital for some time before coming home. Jade did not have many health concerns but did need to be monitored for quite some time.
Of course doing all of these experiences I had to deal with family, friends, co-workers and more. Some of the things people said were probably not intentional yet not things you would like to hear when dealing with having a baby premature.One other thing I would like to say to family and friends please try to be gentle and respectful for family and friends that might go thru this experience. Sometimes it is hard to know what to say and to do for loved ones going thru such a thing. The best thing is to just be able to be there for them. They may need you to just lend a listening ear or just sit with them. Maybe if they already have kids they may need you to watch the kid for a few hours. Please just be respectful and understanding as possible this is the story of my experience with premature births. I have experienced total loss of children per premature birth. I have experienced having a child with multiple disabilities due to premature birth. And I have a thriving healthy active seven year old that was born as a preemie. To this day I consider myself the mother of four children because that is what I had four children! With all that I have gone thru I know that there are families out there hurting or confused by some of these same experiences. Please pass my story on to help other families and please do see and share some of the resources below.