Five years, five months, and five days ago, I became a mother.
Fourteen weeks early, our precious daughter was born on June 12, 2008. She weighed 680 grams (1 pound, 8 ounces). I had excellent prenatal care and no warning that I would deliver a micropreemie.
Adeline was born screaming–a good sign!–and transported immediately by ambulance–without either of her parents–from our birth hospital to a Level III NICU 18 miles away.
For the first 135 days of her life, Addie lived in bedspace A3 at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. She endured four surgeries before her release (NEC, PDA ligation, ROP laser treatment in both eyes, and an ileostomy takedown) and another between her second and third birthdays.
Nonverbal until 18 months, unable to walk until her second birthday–she has had more appointments with doctors and therapists in her short life than her father and I have had combined.
Our little girl, born with horrible odds, is now a happy and healthy Kindergartner. She has been reading since she was 3 and a half, and other than permanent peripheral vision loss and scars on her belly and back, has no long-term effects of her early arrival in life. She is now raising awareness and funds for our favorite prematurity non-profit, Hand to Hold.
Addie is a survivor–our precious miracle! She IS a face of prematurity. She has given our lives direction and we are forever changed. Happy World Prematurity Day–today, let’s ALL make a difference.