When I found out that I was having trouble conceiving, I wasn’t exactly surprised. I was in my early 20’s, but I had already been through 3 surgeries.
The first was to remove a cyst the size of a grapefruit along with my right fallopian tube (at age 22). The second, 8 months later, to remove another rapidly growing cyst along with my right ovary (age 23). At the age of 25, after a year of trying to get pregnant to no avail, I had a third exploratory surgery to figure out just what was wrong.
I never received a concrete answer.
“It might be scar tissue build- up from past surgeries that is causing a blockage between sperm and egg” was what the doctors said. So I guess the third surgery did more harm than good due to the new scar tissue that would be formed from that one!
We walked into the fertility center on that cold February morning, and were given no promises that it would work.
Except.. it did.
Two Blastosis were implanted on that May afternoon, and both of them decided to stick around.
When we found out that we were not only pregnant, but having twins- our mouths dropped.
I can truly say that it was the HAPPIEST day of my life.
My pregnancy was fairly easy.
I didn’t have much morning sickness, if any. I may have thrown up once or twice in my first trimester. That is pretty awesome for someone carrying twins (so I hear).
Aside from being tired all the time (and HUNGRY) my first few months of pregnancy were very uneventful.
You know… that is until I went into pre-term labor at 25 weeks and was told I would probably deliver that night.
The neonatologist came in to speak with me.
I was told with no sugar-coating, that if my girls were delivered that night they would have a 40% chance of survival.
“Of course, even if they survive, they may have a plethora of problems including vision, hearing, brain bleeeds etc“
It was October 7th.
It was the WORST night of my life.
I suddenly went from a young woman expecting her long-awaited children, to a statistic.
I was scared.
By some grace of G-D, I managed to stay pregnant for another 5 weeks. The viability went up to 97% (if there were no serious problems).
After 6 weeks of hospital bed rest, I gave birth to my daughters.
They were 30 weeks and 4 days.
Which made them just about 10 weeks premature.
Those pictures are hard to see.. even after 2 years.
Over 500,000 babies are born prematurely in the US Every year.
This can happen to anyone.
I was 26 years old!
I remember walking into a baby store a few days after giving birth and asking the sales clerk where the preemie section was. She looked at my stomach (with what still appeared to be a pregnant belly) and said “Hush your mouth, you don’t want to have no premature baby” – my mouth dropped.
I looked at her, told her my daughters were premature. She felt horrible (the look on her face said it all) and pointed me in the right direction.
November is Prematurity Awareness Month, and today November 17th, is Fight For Preemies day
It is the #1 killer of newborns and can lead to lifelong disabilities. Worse: the number has increased 31 percent since 1981. It can happen without warning and for no known reason.
I never thought my daughters would be a statistic.
I am writing to raise awareness.
I am writing for a cause.
I am writing for babies like my daughters, like Madeline Spohr.
Go here to learn more.
Because no baby should have to fight for their life….