The statistics are that 1 out of every 10 babies around the world are born prematurely. I have had 5 children in which 3 of those were born prematurely. So today I will share a little bit about those births to mark the occasion of world prematurity day.
My first 2 children were born at 39 weeks with no complications but then when I was pregnant with my third child I started having complications around 28 weeks. I woke up one morning with really bad stomach pain. Not contractions but a really bad burning sensation down the right side of my stomach and had a small amount of bleeding. I headed off to my G.P to have it checked out and he sent me straight off to the hospital where they admitted me for a few days. They came to the conclusion that I may have had a small tear in the placenta but the pain settled and they let me go home. Then 4 days before I turned 32 weeks pregnant my water broke out of the blue. I was admitted to hospital until I went into labour on my own or they felt they needed to induce for some reason. Four days later at exactly 32 weeks gestation I went into labour naturally and delivered a little boy weighing 1575grams or 3lb 7 1/2 oz He did fairly well in hospital with only one minor infection and he came home 4 weeks later.
My 4th child was also born prematurely. At 25 weeks and 5 days I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and my water broke with him too. Once again I was admitted to hospital for the duration until he was born. With him I only lasted 2 days and I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night (at the hospital thank god) and I felt something strange and called for a nurse. They discovered that the cord had prolapsed and that I needed to be rushed in for an emergency C section. Things were so rushed that they gave me a spinal block but didn't give me enough and I felt the whole C section taking place. He was delivered at exactly 26 weeks gestation and weighing 948 grams or 2lb. He suffered a lot more complications at birth with collapsed lungs and heart issues. We finally got to take him home a very long 10 weeks later. His stay at home was short lived though and a few weeks later he became very ill. I had taken him to the doctors and hospital several times and they kept sending me home. Then one night he kept frothing at the mouth and I was wiping it on a bib and realized after it had sat for a bit that it was turning bright green. So I took him back to the hospital and they were about to send us home again saying that I was over reacting when they realized that his saturation levels were dropping. So they admitted him and a few days later we almost lost him and he ended up in ICU with Severe pneumonia and his left lung had fully collapsed and most of his right. A few days later he also turned septic. We ended up spending another month in hospital. After that we had about 2 years of issues with reflux and the normal cold and things but then he has thrived since then.
My 5th child was born at 35 weeks. She was a planned C section due to complications from the previous C section delivery. This time around I had to see the professor of the obstetrics department and he was the one who delivered my baby. I had some rare complications that are not seen very often these days and because it was a teaching hospital I ended up with about 35 doctors in the room watching. She was born weighing 2575 grams or 5lb 13 oz and only spent 1 night in the special care unit then spent the rest of the time on the ward with me. She got to come home with me and after having 2 babies previously that had to stay behind it was a dream being able to bring her home and not leave her at the hospital.
Sorry that the photo's are not of the best quality but this was back in the day before digital camera's and camera phone's.
Our little premmie babies are such little fighters and have to learn how to fight well before their time. They are our little hero's. We are so lucky that we live in a world where it's possible for these little miracle's to get the help they need to keep them fighting.
So lets take a moment to honour these babies that are born way too soon and have struggled to survive and for those ones who sadly lost their fight for life.