I have to admit that both of my girls had a fairly easy time with birth. Cordy was a scheduled c-section during the 38th week because she was determined to never come out and had arranged herself in such a way to guarantee that. She was unaware that doctors could forcibly remove her by surgery. I still remember how pissed off she was at being dragged out into the cold air, and I’m not sure she’s ever completely forgiven us for that.
Mira was an extremely uncomplicated birth, other than the fact that she waited a full week past the due date to make her appearance.
I’m lucky that both of my girls were born healthy, requiring no assistance in breathing or feeding. Some aren’t so lucky, though, and have to fight much harder for their place in this world.
If you haven’t met Mama Spohr (Heather) yet, you should really take the time to go read her blog. She has a beautiful little girl named Maddie who had a very rough start to life. Maddie was born at 28 weeks after Heather had been on bedrest for 19 weeks because of pregnancy complications.
Heather had PPROM, which is an acronym for Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes, which is medical-speak for premature baby coming now – NOT GOOD. Maddie was rushed to the NICU when she was born, where the medical team fought to keep her alive. At times her lungs would rupture with tiny holes, forcing air into her chest cavity. The slightest touch could overstimulate her and send her heart rate plummeting downward. (Note: I’ve seen this happen in the NICU – it’s amazing how strong yet delicate preemies are!)
More than once Heather was told her daughter would not survive. But thanks to a well-trained team, a state-of-the-art NICU, and of course Maddie’s strong-willed spirit, she’s here today.
One reason I agreed to be a March of Dimes Mom is that I stand firmly behind the research and advances they have helped make happen. There was a time when nothing could be done to save a baby when the mom suffered a PPROM, and preemies under 32 weeks had a small chance at survival. Now NICU doctors and nurses are saving babies born at 23 weeks gestation. As the technology improves, outcomes will improve also, and hopefully fewer babies will be born too soon.
Heather is participating in the March of Dimes March for Babies on April 25 in Los Angeles. She’s already done an amazing amount of fundraising, and at this very moment is only $140 away from her $2000 goal. To help get more donations, she’s giving away an all-in-one printer and Kodak digital camera – every dollar donated counts as one entry. Her contest ends tonight, but you can still donate beyond today, too.
I want to see her surpass her goal. This money goes directly to help fund research so children like Maddie get that help they need to survive. And even if you don’t have the money to spare, check out her blog and cheer her on, OK?