Culture & Entertainment

World Prematurity Day: My premature baby birth story

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

World Prematurity Day: My premature baby birth story

charlotte-preemie I was only 28 weeks pregnant when my daughter was born. The day of her birth I had started spotting and had a backache. After consulting our doctor, my husband drove me to the hospital. I was already 3 centimetres dilated when the doctors told my husband that I would be having our baby that day. I had suffered a placental abruption, a leading cause of death for unborn and newborn babies. It was too soon. There was a chance we would lose her. “I am only 28 weeks” I repeated over and over again. And arrive she did. A two-pound, seven-ounce bundle of might. The next few hours were a blur. We weren’t at a hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Our daughter would have to be rushed by The Hospital for Sick Children’s transport unit to yet another hospital two hours away to the only NICU bed available. There was no holding her, so we touched her briefly telling her how much we loved her before she was whisked away. A nurse did snap a Polaroid photo (this was well before smartphones) for us which I clung to all night, stuck in a hospital far from my child. Our daughter spent 72 days—some very grim—in two different levels of NICUs in two different hospitals. It was there that I saw how a preterm birth affects families. I remember the parents of the tiniest of twins, who could only watch as one of their babies thrived while the other struggled. I saw the tired faces of the parents who already had kids at home. I knew they were there every day for their baby, only to go home and spend as much time as they could with their other children. I understood the sadness of those who were told that medical issues would keep their baby there days or weeks longer. Despite different challenges, we all had one goal. To bring our babies home. So today, on World Prematurity Day, I will be celebrating my preemie (now 10!) who continues to be as mighty as the day she was born.
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World Prematurity Day: My premature baby birth story

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