Today is World Prematurity Day-
Each year approximately 15 million babies are born prematurely worldwide, with about 500,000 in the United States alone. With each passing day, we are grateful for the health of our four babies who were born nine weeks too soon. I am grateful for the medical care they received prior to birth, our delivery team, our NICU care team, and for the therapists who have helped them thrive since coming home. Each night, I kiss our children and hug them in gratitude for them moments we are given, and try my best not to take them for granted even on the most trying days. I will never forget the days we spent in the NICU, and each night I pray for families currently facing a NICU stay that they find solace and strength.
These images tell just a bit of our NICU stay.
Wires and tubes became part of our normal while in the NICU.
Unlike typical mothers, I did not get to hold my babies for well over a week. This was the moment I held Mason for the first time.
After birth, our babies were each fitted with a CPAP and bonnet to help them breathe. I did not know what my babies looked like for well over a week.
Our eyes adjusted to days of blue lights in our NICU room, helping to remove the billi from our babies’ systems.
The first time we could hold Sydney, I feared breaking her because she was so tiny and fragile.
In the days I yearned to hold my babies, all I could do to comfort them was hold their tiny bodies through portholes in their incubators.
It still makes me shudder recalling the pain Sydney endured as multiples nurses attempted to set a hair thin IV. At one point, her IV could only be placed through her forehead.