Almost exactly two years ago, Kevin and I learned we would have to lean on medical advancements for the life of our baby. When my body began expelling vast amounts of blood at 16 weeks pregnant, we questioned whether the pregnancy would last and if so, how long it could manage.
11.5 weeks later, it could last no longer. Oaklee was born three months too soon. Her road was rocky at first. She spent 69 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She received an absurd amount of treatments and tests and scans for someone who was only 69 days old, but she came home with us.
Now she’s almost two. You might never be able to tell she was a preemie, but you probably didn’t have to live the life that follows prematurity.
You probably didn’t have to let the doctors sweep your baby and the machines keeping her alive out of the operating room minutes after her birth. You probably didn’t have to leave your baby in the hospital when you were discharged to go home. You probably didn’t have to cart your baby to specialist after specialist for the first 18 months of her life to determine if she was developmentally ok.
And you probably didn’t have to re-consider your future family planning because of how the birth of your first child went.
In one month, my family walks for Oaklee at the March for Babies. My family walks for Oaklee, and my family walks for any of my yet-to-be-born children. I want to believe I am never going to face the situation we faced with my first pregnancy again. But just in case, I cling tightly to the important research and changing practices in the healthcare of moms and babies like me and Oaklee.
Please consider supporting the work of March of Dimes with me – for my family, for my yet-to-be-born children, for your family, for your neighbors, for your friends… You just never know who will end up using these life-saving resources.