Saturday, November 13, 2010

National Preemie Awareness Month

November is National Preemie Awareness Month. Did you know? Well you do now. Do you know how many babies are born premature? Almost 13 million babies each year...too many. That's 1 in 8. 
 I know from personal experience how trialsome and emotionally draining it is while waiting for your babies to get the "ok" to come home from the hospital. As a new mother, you try to prepare for all of the ups and downs of having new babies, but there's no way to prepare for the delivery of your premature babies. My friend Holly over at Twin Time shared this list with her readers and when I read through it, each and every one hit home.

You know you're a preemie Mom if:
1. You use strange initials (C-PAP, CCs, NICU, NG) when discussing your child.
2. You actually remember how many ccs make up an ounce.

My Hope

3. You count his/her weight in grams.
4. The skin on your hands is peeling from washing so often.
5. You hesitate when someone asks you his/her age but you know exactly what he/she weighs.
6. The answer to "How old is your baby" is a story 30 minutes long!
7. When someone asks his birthday, you reply, "Which one"?
8. You start to understand some of the things they say on ER.
9. You turn into Kung-Fu Mom when someone tries to touch your baby.
10. You attempt to measure how much spit-up he/she just had before you clean it up!
11. You know how much he weighs before you put him on the scale at the doctor's office.
12. You cry at Maternity Ward and get mad at Baby Story.
13. You see a 7lb newborn and say "Wow! She's so big"!
14. Your baby is months old before he can even go to the mall.
15. When someone says how tiny your baby is, you argue that he is huge - and to demonstrate, you whip out pictures of him in the NICU.
16. You do a health check on people when they come to your house to visit.
17. You want to SCREAM when someone says that she just wants to have this baby right now - at week 28, 32, or 34.
18. You are so amazed when someone finally tells you your baby is big for his age.
19. You tried to find a place that sells newborn diapers in bulk.
20. You called half your relatives when the baby grew out of his first pair of pajamas.
21. You never take your child for granted.
22. You worry about RSV season and it's still months away...
23. You know what "RSV" stands for.
24. You donate his/her tiny clothes to the NICU and marvel that they seem so small - when they were too darn big!
25. Your son gets a simple cold and the doc sees him within the hour.
My Savannah
26. It has taken them 5 months to grow INTO newborn clothes.
27. You pick up 2 lbs of ground beef and think that your baby was born at that same weight.
28. You buy "Purell" in bulk.
29. You can stare at your baby hours while he sleeps.
30. In the course of a day you've wanted to slap and bear hug the same NICU nurse.
31. You could drive the route from your house to the hospital in your sleep... and maybe you have.
32. The sound of your baby crying is beautiful, not annoying.
33. You not only know what "bilirubin" is, you have had several extensive conversations about it.
34. You need to have another baby so you can wear all the maternity clothes in your closet with tags still on them.
35. You have acquired a taste for hospital food.
36. You always change your baby by putting a new diaper under the old before taking it off.
37. You are very uncomfortable when you take your baby home and don't know her heart rate, respiration rate or o2 levels.
38. You pray for and celebrate poopy diapers.
39. The following 6 months, or longer, after your baby gets home, they are in the same room with you during every daily activity. Shower, bathroom, dishes, laundry.... doesn't matter, cause if you can't see them, it's "not worth doing".

November 17th is the day where awareness will be STRONG.
Some ways to help preemies and their families this season (or anytime at that matter):
1. Human Milk Matters: To help out a local NICU or the one you might have called home, visit here. Vote for the NICU of your chocie.  "The six NICUs with the most votes will receive $5,000 worth of Medela products or education services for their NICUs." Medela is trying to help out NICU's and the families of all the preemies babies you can too. Please help.

2. You can donate preemie clothing to NICU's. They are always in need of clothing items, blankets, etc.

3. You can make a monetary donation for support here.

4. Participate in a March of Dimes walk in your local area. Visit here to find more info.

There are always way to give to support this cause. Why not start now during this giving season. But don't stop there....the need continues.

Visit the March of Dimes website  for more ways to help.

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But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more Psalm 71:14