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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pennies For Preemies

(post courtesy of Talking Trash)

The number of premature births in America are on the rise. A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks. Anything less than 37 weeks is considered preterm. 70% are delivered between 34 and 36 weeks; 12% at 32 and 33; 10% at 28 and 31; 6% at less than 28. Even at 37 weeks, there can be complications and the babies are placed in NICU. The survival rate is even more staggering....40% chance at 24 weeks increasing with each week until 90% at 28 weeks. The medical advances over the last 40 years has been phenomenal, but the numbers demonstrate why every precious day that can be bought for these babies is critical.

Bella was born a micro-preemie which is a baby born under 26 weeks and weighing less than 1 3/4 pounds. The complications that can arise for these babies are a mile long beginning with lung problems, eye surgery and the list goes on and on. These babies haven't had time to finish cooking.

Delivering these micro-preemies even by C-Section is a risk with possible brain damage as a result...through no fault of the doctor. Imagine if you will how tiny they are...then picture in your mind how tiny the lines are that are inserted into them and the risks to the lungs. It takes a skillful hand and a lot of prayer. The odds are not in their favor, but God is.

November was National Premature Awareness month and purple designated as the official color. Bella is asking y'all to help beyond a the month of November and on into December. If you visit the March of Dimes web page, you can read all the statistics, advancements, and ways to help.

For five months, we called Baylor Dallas Hospital NICU home. We traveled back and forth daily to be with her and to learn how to care for her.

Bella was blessed with God's favor. Her only major complication was a heart defect, PDA, which required surgery. She'll have the scar to remind her of how much God loves her always.

We were fortunate. We brought Bella home in August 2009 with just an oxygen tank. We say just...she had to be on oxygen all the time as well as an apnea monitor until December 24, 2010. We took her off on Christmas Eve night and from that point on for the next month she slowly began to vein off the oxygen.

We knows we have been blessed and have constantly prayed to God about what we can do to repay this blessing. He has placed this in our heart the need to help those parents who are in those NICUs. After much more praying and soul searching, we have decided to try and start a special program that we have named Pennies For Preemies. With the donations we receive, we plans on using the money to help parents who will be spending Christmas at Baylor Hospital with their premature babies this holiday season.

I can not even being to imagine how it must feel to know you will be spending your baby's first Christmas in a NICU. We were blessed we brought Bella home and only had to spend a few holidays in the NICU. Even with that it is probably one of the hardest part of the NICU stay to be around family and friends without your baby.

We have added the donation button on both blogs and our donations are growing! Thank you to everyone who has given so far.

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