Alright, time to raise awareness for another condition. I choose World Prematurity Day!
Both of our kids were premature. Elvis was born 4 weeks early and I feel like this was 100% my fault. I didn’t take care of myself like I should have. I ate junk, didn’t exercise, and we moved when I was 32 weeks pregnant from Arizona up to Idaho. I had horrible preeclampsia and looking back, I really should have taken care of myself and my baby better. We were in the hospital for 4 days, released on July 4th, then readmitted from July 5th – 8th. It was so hard but at the same time, I didn’t necessarily know anything else. Elvis ended up being a healthy, happy kid 🙂 I’m very lucky!
With our 2nd child, I was VERY healthy. I was at a good pre-pregnancy weight. I worked at a job where I was on my feet moving a lot and it felt great. I craved healthy foods and ate a lot of yogurt, fruit, vegetables, and whole grain cereal. I felt fantastic, other than a little bout of morning sickness. This was the first time in my life that I have ever had a bladder infection. I didn’t know exactly what it was but gave my doctor my symptoms. They skipped over them like they were nothing, and a few days later I was in labor 6 weeks early. It was a horrible experience. Kennedy was born in the evening, and 6 hours later flown to the University of Utah Hospital where she stayed for 10 days before we were able to go home. This was one of the hardest experiences in my life. All I wanted to do was take my baby home, not live in someone else’s home for 10 days. It was extremely hard trying to balance our attention between our son, who was 4 at the time, and our daughter who was being kept alive by the miracle of science. Luckily, we had/have family in Utah, so they were able to help us out with Elvis, but still, the guilt of ‘ignoring’ one child for another was very hard. When I see the pictures of Kennedy in the hospital, they do make me sad, but at the same time, she has grown into such an amazing little 3 year old. I am very happy that she went to the U of U hospital. They were FANTASTIC! I also couldn’t have asked for a better daughter, minus her little 3 year old tantrums. 🙂
The whole situation showed me that it’s important to push and question your doctor. They don’t know everything and if you feel something is wrong, speak up. We are a very lucky family where we have 2 healthy kids, who mean the world to us. I know some families aren’t as lucky, and we met some of them while we were in the hospital with Kennedy. Maybe one day we can get the prematurity birth rate lower with the help of modern science, awareness of our bodies and the unwillingness to settle because our doctors said so.