Guest Blogger: Roxy's Mom

Did you know that November is Prematurity Awareness Month?  

Before I became a full-time SAHM, I was a pediatric physical therapist and had the pleasure of working with several preemies. They are my absolute favorites as my heart has always had a special place for these precious babies. {I have dreams of specializing in the treatment of preemies one day} 

Because they are my passion, I just had to ask my bloggy friend Samantha from Mommy to a Princess to guest blog here at Happily Mother After to help us kick off Prematurity Awareness Month.
PLEASE take a few minutes to read her story!
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My name is Samantha and I am the mother of one micro preemie turned toddler and a strong supporter of the March of Dimes. 

When Lauren asked me to write about Roxy and our experience with prematurity, I was excited to be given the chance to help spread awareness.  Prematurity is the #1 killer of newborns in the U.S.  In the U.S., 1 out of every 8 babies is born prematurely.  Over 13,000,000 babies per year are born early with 500,000 of those in the U.S. alone!

Let me give you a little bit of our story. 

At a routine 7-month checkup, my blood pressure was up and the protein in my urine was astronomical.  We were shuffled to the connecting hospital to monitor for preeclampsia.  I felt fine and assured my boss that I would just be a little later than expected.  A few hours later, my blood pressure spiked at 191/101.  I was rushed to another hospital to see a high-risk obstetrician. 

At that point, we were told to expect Roxy to weigh in at 2 pounds, 10 ounces.  If she did, she would remain in that hospital’s NICU.  If not, she’d have to be transferred to a higher level NICU in the same city.  We were given a 48-hour time table.  Within two days, our daughter would be born, 11 weeks early.

Twelve hours later we were rushing in for an emergency c-section.  Roxy was in distress and my kidneys were not functioning well at all. 

Roxy was born weighing 1 pound, 9 ounces.  She would be transferred to the local university hospital with a higher level NICU.
The first few days were the hardest.  I had Roxy on Saturday and was not able to travel to see her until Monday.  On Tuesday, I was released to go home – without my baby.

During Roxy’s time in the NICU we had several scares.  Roxy developed a staph infection just days after being transferred.  After recovering from that, they began to think she might have NEC (Necrotizing Entercolitis) which is potentially fatal to preemies.  She underwent routine eye exams to check for Retinopathy of Prematurity or ROP which could cause issues with her vision.  Roxy had a Grade I Intraventricular Brain Hemorrhage.  She also had to have several blood transfusions and was anemic. 

We quickly learned the terms bradycardia and apnea and learned the reasons for the dings and pings of the monitors.  We made friends with our nurses who knew our baby by first name rather than Baby Girl P. 

We celebrated every mL increase of breast milk Roxy was able to take.  We rejoiced the day she took her first bottle.  The loss of the G-tube and the nasal cannula were major victories. 

Roxy came home from the hospital after a 67-day stay, just 9 days before her due date.  Today, she is 25 months old and is thriving.  We graduated from the NICU Graduate Clinic in September where they found her to have no lingering issues with her prematurity.  She is just your average 2-year-old toddler who loves to tell her Mommy “no!”
During our stay at the NICU, we learned one very important lesson.  Even though our situation was not the most desirable to us, there were so many there with little ones who had problems so much more severe than Roxy.  Little ones who did not make it through and little ones who underwent surgery after surgery to help them out.  This is why we have joined the March of Dimes cause.  No baby should have to fight to live.  Every baby deserves a healthy start.  Healthy babies are worth the wait!
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Thank you, Samantha, for sharing your story with all of us.  You are brave, and you are blessed.  Roxy is absolutely adorable!
 
 
If this story touched you, please consider helping to raise awareness of the impact prematurity has on so many lives by simply putting this badge on your blog.

4 comments:

  1. Lauren, thank you so much for having me here today and letting me share our story. ~Sam

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  2. Oh my goodness what a cutie pie! She is precious!

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  3. I am a mummy to a premature baby (although he is 8 now so not so much of a baby, but will always be mine!) and I still find strength in reading other peoples journey of preemie-hood. I came here from the Bloggers Unite March of Dimes WPD site and really pleased I did. Lynsey (http://lynseythemotherduck.blogspot.com)

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  4. Thanks for sharing this story. My 24-weekers share a birthday with World Prematurity Day (11/17). Tomorrow they turn 20. Good luck to your beautiful toddler, Samantha. Enjoy every minute (it goes fast!). And thanks to Happily Mother After for all your work with preemies. You can read more about our journey at Mike&Ollie: 24-weekers who beat the odds.

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I L.O.V.E each and every comment. Keep them coming!

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