Today is my birthday, and it’s just not a typical birthday. I’m lucky to be alive – and so is my Mom! For as long as I can remember I have always shrugged off my “Miracle Baby Story” as no big deal, but you know what? It is a big deal because I might not have ever been born. So today, I’m sharing my story!
Not quite 30 years ago, my Mom found out she was pregnant. However, when her blood work came back she learned she was a “High Risk Pregnancy”, which is always a scary conversation to have with your doctor, especially back in the 80’s. Due to my Mom’s Rh Factor, potential complications were expected and her Doctor was extremely concerned. The Doctor wanted to perform an Amniocentesis to learn more, thinking I may have been breached or have Spina bifida, etc. However, due to the risks involved, my Mom (and Dad!) decided to opt out because they were moving forward with this pregnancy regardless of my potential health issues.
My Mom continued her regular check-ups per usual with no complications until she thought her water broke at 24 weeks. Thankfully the Doctor(s) were able to stop the false labor. However, it was then my Mom learned she had Placenta previa. She was restricted to bed rest in the hospital for the remainder of her pregnancy. In fact, I tried to come out TWO MORE TIMES during that time.
At 4:30AM, the beginning of week 27, my Mom’s pregnancy with me ended. The Doctor(s) could not stop this labor like the others before and they prepped for an emergency C-Section (because of the Placenta previa). My Mom said as they were rolling her to the operating room they saw my head crowning! My Mom was struggling with a lot of issues herself, and almost passed out from shock BUT she is so strong and kept pushing. They coached her through what ended up being a quick, successful labor. At 6:12AM I entered this world and my vulnerabilities were immediately tended to.
I was born at 27 weeks, at a whopping 2lbs, 7oz, and 16in. I stayed in an incubator because my skin was so thin, it couldn’t keep me warm quite yet and my eyes were covered because of the bilirubin lights. I had no gag refluxes, and I was fed through a tube down my throat and my Parents were told I had less than a 10% chance of surviving. All they could do was pray and read my chart.
I was progressing everyday, though, and gained weight collectively as the days passed. About three weeks later I was able to transfer from the Children’s Hospital back to my Mom’s regular hospital where I no longer needed to be in an incubator, could breath natural air on my own, and gained my gag refluxes.
The Doctors were amazed, as my lunges, and eyes, and ears, and everything else was perfectly fine. I had all ten fingers, and all ten toes, with no deformities. It was a miracle. My Mom said she could see Heaven in my vibrant big blue eyes, and even today, calls me her Miracle Baby. ❤
When I finally reached 3lbs, I was released to go home as all I needed at this point was love from my family. My Parents were astonished at this incredible news, and were scared to take such a small person home with them!
All I did was sleep and snuggle with my Mom, Dad, and Big Brother — although, they did have to wake me up for feedings otherwise I would sleep right through that! 😉
I was off the charts until I reached 9 months old… and the rest is history!
March of Dimes Organization
If you’re not familiar, the March of Dimes Organization was founded in 1938, and strives to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. DID YOU KNOW 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely and have a chance to survive with the ongoing research and support of this organization?! So many improvements since the 80’s, when I was born.
I recently participated in my very first March For Babies event back in April. As a preemie success story, I’m so thankful for this organization, the volunteers involved, and the people who donate — giving opportunity for future preemie success stories — which is really the best gift any parent can hope for when experiencing a high-risk pregnancy &/or premature birth.
To learn more, find an event, donate etc. you can click HERE. The improvements over the years for premature babies has saved lives and continue to do so with people’s donations + involvement. If you’re curious about the March of Dimes bookkeeping, you can see an overview of where donations go HERE as well as their Form 990 HERE.