Thursday, November 17, 2011

November is Prematurity Awareness Month

(please bear with me....I have had a bad headache for a couple of days.  I wanted to do a nice fancy post with links and pics and propper spelling... but instead, I did my best.  This is important to me to share this, so I opted for getting the post done, even if its not well done....thanks for understanding.  HAHA!  Now add to that an ER trip with my littlest for a dog bite.  He's fine, but now this is going up really late!)

Today I am wearing purple.  I wear purple to bring awareness to prematurity.  Each passing year prematurity effects more and more families.  I personally know many, too many,  friends who have experinced premature births, with no explanatation as to why.  I am one of those families.  Our story turned out well, about as well as a premature birth story goes.  So I will share a little with you about my first child, Aiden Quinn Smith, who joined us at 33 weeks, 6lbs, 4.5oz.

Aiden came so early that we hadn't even done our labor and birth classes yet...only the first one, the intro. class.  So I had NO idea what to look for or watch for.  In hindsight, I had ALL the symptoms of premature labor, and had no idea thats what it was.  I just felt odd, had pains, GI issues, nothing out of the norm for being pregnant, I just figured it was more pregnancy stuff, and nothing to worry about.  I woke with some very rhythmic low back pain, but just thought it was my growing belly putting pressure on my back muscles and they were complaining.  After about 2 days of odd symptoms, and the back pain, I finally prayed.  I asked God to give me a sign if there was something I should be concerned about. I told him that I wasn't planning on calling the doctor for these little things, so if I should call, I need a better sign.  Well, thenext morning I woke up with spotting.  I still got dressed for work, thinking I'd call my doctor and bump my appt. from friday to thursday (it was Wenesday at this point)  Well, I got sent right to the hospital.  My mom and husband met me there, where they told me I was having contractions, but everything seemed ok.  They ran a couple tests, and while we were waiting for the results, I was still debating about going into work (I was a dedicated employee!!!)  The doctor came in, told me I was leaking amniotic fluid and this baby was coming early.  I got transfered to Lehigh Valley Hospital via ambulance, and was put on bed rest.  They gave me steroids to help develope the baby's lungs.  I had ultrsounds every 4 hours, and we finally found out we were having a boy.  That saturday night I went into full labor and by lunchtime sunday we had a baby boy.  He was breathing on his own, and all was well.  He spent two weeks in the NICU until he learned to suck, swallow, breathe and gained enough weight to be allowed to use a car seat. 

Everytime I use hospital soap, it brings back memories of him in that incubator.......having to leave him each night to go home.  Its so unatural to leave the hospital without your baby.  It was an extrememly emotional time for us, and yet, our story had a happy ending.  He does have asthma and many allergies, lots of lung issue I attribute to him being premature...but all in all, hes perfect.  And we were blessed. 

My heart breaks for those who have not been so blessed.  For the babies that come home with sleep apnea, or are blind, or who dont' make it at all.  My heart breaks for those parents in such a way, its hard to put into words.   You see, even though things went so well with Aiden, we were given no guarentee's that he would make it.  I remember the feeling of not knowing what tomorrow would hold.  With that knowledge that each time we left could be the last time we'd see him.  I truly can't imagine how hard it would have been for things to turn out that way.

I hope by sharing my story, its helped you to be aware of what a growing problem this is in our country.  Please, if you can, dontate to March of Dimes, take the time to do so, because they do so much for families going through this struggle.

Here are some picture of my Aiden.  Please forgive the quality, I do not have the office today and had to take phone pictures of the albumn ILO scanning them in. 

My little miracle.
Just like Daddy

As you can see, he did not have eating problems...LOL!

He became a big brother at age 3

cutie pie.


  1. Awwww, Staci, that's a beautiful story. So good that yours had such a happy ending. You have a sweet family. Love the pics! :)


  2. thank you for sharing your story - it is so hard to leave the hospital without your baby... i cried in the car... nick was born at 23 wks 4 days, 695grams... and we are lucky too - he could have had so much more 'stuff'... i didn't know about the awareness for prematurity... thank you for sharing it... nicholas is my youngest, and his big sister (who was 6) used to gown up and wear a mask so that she could read to him...
    and i have the same reaction to the soap...

  3. yep- the soap gets me every time. I mean- when you scrub for two minutes each time you enter the NICU, the smell gets burned in your brain. Its a good memory though....seeing him. I would visit him each day, go home and have dinner with justin, and then we'd go see him that evening. I'd cry the whole way to the hospital, and Justin would be like, "what wrong?" and I'd say, "I just miss him!" And he'd look at me like I was crazy.

  4. Oh, Stacie, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am happy it's had such a good ending. I know it doesn't always. My daughter started out as a pediatric nurse rotating through the NICU on nights. Maybe it is some consolation now having had to spend those nights away from your newborn baby. Sarah would tell me stories of her nights in the NICU. She would touch the babies all night long to let them know that someone was there. That someone was loving them. All of the nurses she worked with did this.

  5. Oh LeAnn- you just made me cry! It brings me GREAT comfort to know that those babies were loved by the staff! And as we type, there are babies there waiting for mom to come back tomorrow and I hope someone is touching them and caring for them with love too!!!

  6. Thanks for sharing your story Staci. Very moving.

  7. what a heartfelt story Staci :) Aiden grew up to be a dashing young man! thank you for sharing your story. i can totally relate to everything you wrote ... the soap,(even the detergent they use on the floor!), the nights leaving without baby ... we are all so blessed to have our babies with us! and yes ... what LeAnn wrote made me cry too ...
    Luthien :)

  8. Staci, I had no idea that this was Prematurity Awareness Month. My grandson--Aiden Jonathon--was born at 25 weeks and 4 days--on October 4th. Her membranes ruptured two weeks before that, so the neonatologist told us he had the lungs of a 23 weeker. He has been septic twice, and now has pneumonia--diagnosed two days after his PDA was surgically closed. He weighed 2.2 pounds, and was 13 1/2 inches long--he has grown an inch and managed to gain almost a pound--but has been a very sick baby. They had tried to get pregnant for a few years, he is their first one. My son and DIL are so stressed. Thank you for your story, your Aiden is a very handsome young man! Gina Hockett

    1. I didn't realize this post was two years old, duh! Gina Hockett