{National Prematurity Day} Four Precious Babies

National Prematurity Day is November 17th. I know this is a day late, but this day is dear to my heart.

All four of my precious babies were premature.

Mr. Lego - born at 35 weeks weighing 3 lbs. 15 oz
Bookworm - born at 33 weeks weighing 2 lbs 13 oz
Dasher - born at 31 weeks weighing 2 lbs 12 oz
Nutsy - born at 34 weeks weighing 4 lbs 8 oz

Each of my pregnancies had different sets of challenges.

With my first pregnancy I was on modified bedrest for the last 3 weeks because of premature labor. Mr. Lego also had symptoms of IUGR - intrauterine growth retardation (as did both Bookworm and Dasher) which basically meant that my placenta and uterus were not doing their job well enough.

 {First day as a mama}

He was in the NICU for 10 days and came home weighing a little over 4 pounds.

{wearing his glasses and chillin' under the bili lights}

Bookworm's pregnancy was long and scary - I did not have much amniotic fluid and early ultrasounds showed that her kidneys were malfunctioning. Then we were concerned that her joints would be fused because of the environment in the womb and that she ran the risk of long term lung problems.

 {first photo, 2 lbs, 13 oz.}

 Thankfully and by God's grace, she was born without any of these problems and never needed to be on the ventilator. She did get tube fed for a couple of weeks and was home from the NICU almost exactly 5 weeks after her birth.

Dasher's problems were different but just as scary. At 26 weeks my cervix was effacing and the cord had slipped into the birth canal. I was on very strict bedrest and spent the last two weeks in the hospital. If my water would have broken, we would have had only a few minutes to get her out without long term damage. As my smallest and earliest, she did need ventilator assistance and was on oxygen for a few days.

 She also had issues with eating so she had a central line placed for the first couple of weeks and needed gavage feedings a little longer than usual. She also struggled with A&B's or apnea (forgetting to take a breath) and bradycardia (her heart rate going down), but thankfully she outgrew that problem while she was still in the NICU. After 6 weeks she was able to come home with us. She did need a few follow up clinics to help her catch up.

Nutsy's pregnancy was highly monitored mainly because of the other three and the damage I had in my uterus from the traumas of the others' births.

 [sucking her thumb}

 She was the first of my babes to not be diagnosed with IUGR and her delivery, except for the concerns with my uterus and blood loss, was normal. She needed time to get the whole suck-swallow-breathe pattern down for eating, and came home 12 days later.

Each time we had a baby, I basically lost a whole year. After they were home we had checkups, developmental clinics, and had to really watch it that they didn't get sick. And while each one was in the NICU, we spent weeks shuffling back and forth, sometimes three times a day to feed and hold them.

{visiting his sister}

Don't even ask me if it was worth it, because I would do it all over again to hold my precious babies in my arms.

{diaper changes}

What I want to remember about this day first of all, is God's faithfulness. He actually gave us six precious babies, but took two of them home to heaven. Throughout all of those hard yet joyous days, He was merciful and we took comfort in His sovereignty.

I also want to acknowledge the perinatologists, neonatologists, and NICU nurses that helped our family. Our doctor during Bookworm's pregnancy once let My Sweetie try to find her with the ultrasound machine. When I was in the hospital pregnant with Dasher, one nurse always made sure my toenails were a fun color, so I would have something pretty to look at.

For the most part, our experiences with these professionals were good, and I was so thankful for their expertise that at times, kept both myself and our babies alive.

God is good. And I am so thankful and so blessed to have these four precious children. 


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