Posted by: Colleen | November 17, 2010

Fight for Preemies

I thought this was on the 7th and I was sad that I’d forgotten about it, but then it kept popping up on S’s twitter feed today and I was happy that I was wrong.

Today, November 17th, is National Preemie Awareness Day. This is important to me, because my brother and I were born two months premature. I don’t know too many details of our struggles.  I know that we had to stay in incubators in the hospital for a while, my brother would all of a sudden just stop breathing for no apparent reason, my ears are slightly underdeveloped; giving me a hearing problem… and I think they said that we might not live past 10 days old.  (We both did though, thankfully.) That’s all I know. I was slightly over 3lbs, and he was a little over 4lbs when we were born. Tiny!

Other than that right there, I didn’t know what else to write about that you guys probably already didn’t know. I mean, everyone knows that it’s really dangerous to have your child early… what else is there?

Turns out, TONS. According to the March of Dimes, premature birth is the LEADING CAUSE OF NEWBORN DEATH in the United States. Crazy, right?  And because we (well, doctors, researchers, etc; and thereby us) don’t know all of the causes of premature birth, it can feel like there isn’t any way we can help. BUT, just getting people talking about this topic helps; that’s why the March of Dimes teamed up with Bloggers Unite to create a campaign to get bloggers talking about it.

The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization dedicated to researching the causes of premature births and educating our communities on ways to prevent them. They have also designated the entire month of November as Prematurity Awareness Month. To find out how you can help the March of Dimes’ Prematurity Campaign to increase the number of healthy, strong babies that are born, click here. Every baby deserves a fighting chance.

New York state got a grade of “D” on their MoD’s premature birth rate report card, which means the preterm birth rate is greater than or equal to 11.3%, but less than 13.2%. What surprised me, was that part of this grade is caused by people doing stuff that they shouldn’t be doing while pregnant in the first place, like smoking. This number increased from 16.9%  in 2009 to 20.3% this year. That is just ridiculous. LADIES, IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, STOP SMOKING. It can make you give birth early & put your baby at risk.

I know I just kind of glossed over this topic, but hopefully I a) said enough to peak your interest to go check out more, and b) didn’t sound like an idiot.



  1. On behalf of the March of Dimes, thank you for raising awareness of prematurity and for sharing your story. I’m glad you and your brother are ok. Thanks so much for being part of this event and best of luck for you and your family.

    Azalia Fernandez, March of Dimes

  2. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. Colleen – Here’s your story 🙂
    Dad & I were expecting a singleton in September and you & your brother were a delightful surprise in July. Back then ultrasounds were not the norm, so no… I did NOT know we were expecting twins! You were 2lb 12oz and your brother was 3lbs 11oz. When Dad called the doctor to let him know I was in labor, he said no…it was false labor…just relax. Well, shortly thereafter I was clutching the bed in great pain & Dad called the Dr to say…We’re coming in! I was attached to monitors and while I was unaware…Dad said the room filled with people in lab coats 🙂 Guess the doctor called the interns to come in and watch the multiple birth. Dad later told me he saw the two heartbeats; but the Dr told him not to tell me – thought I’d be too concerned. I delivered your brother and thought I was done. The Dr told me to push again. I told him no. 🙂 Well I obviously did…and out you literally SWOOSHED 🙂 Glad the Dr was also a great softball player!! I sadly was not able to hold either of you – you were both immediately swisked away. I had taken great care of myself – nutrition, exercise & never smoked. Considering how premature you both were, the medical issues were small and you basically needed to stay in the hospital to gain weight. It was an incredible time! Your brother was in for 1 month and you were in for 6 weeks. The March of Dimes helped me then & I’m glad to see your blog entry. So proud of you & your brother – what you’ve accomplished and so proud of YOUR little one!! You’re a great Mommy!
    Love, Mom

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