Archive for the ‘March of Dimes’ Category

In Defense of Georgia

I’m snowed in. I’m not a wuss and yes, I HAVE seen snow before. I understand that we’ve been the butt of a lot of jokes this week. But I couldnt get out of my driveway to go to work today. I tried three times and almost side swiped my pear tree before giving up. This stuff is crazy. And yeah, it’s only a few inches but we just aren’t prepared for this stuff. It’s not that we can’t drive, though many of us can’t. The problem is that our state doesn’t have a reserve of salt or trucks that plow the roads. We’re used to mud puddles. Big sloppy red ones. You Northerners can’t expect us to be any more prepared than you would be if you walked outside tomorrow and found a beach. Would you have a bikini and a pair of skis ready? Come on now… You people vacation here. Your grandparents retire here. It’s supposed to be hot!!! Ok I’m done. 🙂

I signed our team up to March for Babies again this year. And I notice that certain people are beginning to rolls their eyes a bit. I’ve been told that Kyson is better now, so why worry about it. Ugh. But I will keep going. Because I want to help babies. Kyson wasn’t in the Nicu for very long and I feel very fortunate, but I wouldn’t want to see another child suffer.

Maybe my heart’s too big. Maybe I’ve still got a touch of depression about it. Maybe I know that if I don’t, who will? Should I leave it up to next unsuspecting mama? I have a friend in Ronald McDonald house right now! I do this for her. I do this for the babies who haven’t even been born or conceived yet. For the mamas who never got to meet their babies. For the mamas who were told “I’m sorry. There’s nothing else we can do”.

It’s not about me.

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It’s a Preemie Thing – Giveaway for Prematurity Awareness **CLOSED**

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day. We’ve all been in a store and had that stranger come up to us with our baby to “ooh” and “aww” and then the awkwardness starts. “he sure is skinny” or “what’s up with all the wires?” I remember saying not long ago how I wish I could make a shirt that said, “Don’t judge me, I’m a preemie”. Well I found someone who specializes in clothing for preemies!!

It’s A Preemie Thing was created by fellow preemie mama, Julie Howard, to be a one stop shopping site for your preemie while you’re in the NICU, or after you’ve started enjoying your bundle(s) of joy back at home.

Tired of pumping day and night? It’s a Preemie Thing carries hand free pumping bras!!!

Ever wish you didn’t have to keep telling people not to touch your little one? They have something for that too! You have to be agressive when it comes to germs. Here you can find a sign that can be put on your stroller, carrier, or anywhere for that matter!

They also have cute easy on/off clothing for the babies who are still in the NICU or came home with monitors that fit sizes 0-3lbs and 3-6lbs. They have blankets and BEAUTIFUL teething necklaces too! There are so many cute things to choose from!

Here is Julie’s story…

“He arrived the day I turned 29 weeks, the day after Thanksgiving, so we call him our Black Friday deal of the century! The morning after his birth, he weighed in at a whopping 2lbs 5oz and was just over 14” long. By far the smallest baby I had ever seen. We spent the next 64 days in the NICU experiencing things we never thought we would deal with.

During this time, we could not find clothing small enough to fit Spencer, we thought that we couldn’t be alone in this quest. I kept catching myself and others answering questions about our babies with “It’s a preemie thing” since most parents of full term babies had different experiences. So the seed was planted and grew into our site – It’s a Preemie Thing.”

My favorite items from It’s a Preemie Thing are the witty t-shirts and onesies. With sayings like “Got Sanitizer” and “I’m Older Than I Look”, you’re sure to find the perfect shirt for your baby.


Kyson in his “I earned these rolls” shirt

Here’s the deal. For Prematurity Awareness Day, I have decided to giveaway ONE of It’s A Preemie Thing’s “Fun Onesies”!

All you have to do is help raise awareness. Go to your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace… ANYWHERE and post:

“November 17th is National Prematurity Awareness Day. 1 in 8 babies is born too soon and often, very sick. I love one of those babies!”

Then come back and leave a comment for every time you post this telling me where to find it. That’s right, unlimited entries! Don’t forget to leave your email! Ends November 30 at Midnight.

EXTRA ENTRIES!
•1 entry – Tell me how early your Preemie was and how much they weighed.
•1 entry – Go to It’s a Preemie Thing and tell me which is your favorite item they sale.

Thank you Julie for allowing me to do this!

Neonatal Nurses Day/The Big C

Today I have been chosen as the Spotlight blog for FBLYB. I was totally clueless until I saw where Simply Stacie posted it earlier on facebook. I slept kinda late this morning.

Firstly, I’d like to appologize for my choice of words last time, but I’ll leave them there. Anyone who’s ever had the misfortune of dealing with it would have said the same. My grandpa just found out there is more cancer. And his hair was finally growing back 😦 So Friday, he has to go get scanned and stuff and hopefully it hasn’t spread to any other organs. That’s kinda why I have been slacking lately. So again, excuse my F-Bomb.

It’s also Neonatal Nurses Day so show them some love for all the hard work they do to keep our little ones alive!!

Coming up in November is Premature Birth Awareness month and I am going to be shifting my focus there a little more. Tomorrow, one year ago was when I started having complications. So starting next time I will be reposting some of my writing from last year so don’t be alarmed. I’m okay lol.

If you’re a blogger who loves a preemie, join us November 17th to raise awareness!!!!

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NICU

After watching NICU again this morning, I still don’t know why to think of it. The first one that came on was alot like Kyson because he was a mixture of both babies. But the second one that came on was kind of a let down. It seemed like it was more about c-sections and the mothers’ size, not the actual NICU. Like it was trying to pin the blame somewhere. You don’t have to do something wrong to have a premature labor. I was fat AND my pregnancy was perfectly normal up to that point. I’m not diabetic and I dont have high blood pressure. Maybe I picked up something too heavy, who knows. But if I did know I’d prolly feel like crap. And another thing I noticed is all of these babies weren’t all that early. And the way they showed it made it look so seemless. Very unrealistic. It also makes me wonder if a 36 weeker was still sick enough to stay a few weeks, maybe Kyson was smaller than I realize. I mean, I never look at him an say he’s so tiny, I look at other babies an say “look how fat!!” I hope we get to see some really early babies next week. So until then I can’t tell you if it’s good or not because I haven’t decided.

For Colored Gurls

Check out my friend Jamie’s website forcoloredgurls.com where she wrote a piece about premature birth awareness featuring Kyson and his March of Dimes team. For colored gurls is a really great site created by a very talented writer and would be well worth your time. So click on over there and check it out!

Fast Facts MOD

All my facebook statuses for the Month of March just incase you didn’t catch them.

– Premature birth is a birth before 37 weeks completed gestation.

The rate of premature birth between 1981 and 2003 increased nearly 30% (9.4% to 12.3%). Currently, prematurity affects 1 in 8 babies with approximately 1,367 premature births a day and nearly 500,000 premature births a year in the United States (March of Dimes, 2006).

– According to the March of Dimes (2006), premature birth is the number one obstetric problem in the nation.

– Of all preterm births, most are a result of spontaneous preterm labor, about 25% are a result from early induction of labor or cesarean delivery due to pregnancy complications or health problems, and in nearly 40% of all cases the doctor is unable to determine a cause (March of Dimes, 2007).

– Racial disparities – African American women had the highest preterm birth rate with (17.5%) followed by Hispanic or Latin women (11.4%), white women (10.5%) , and Asian and Pacific Islander women (10.4%) (Healthy People 2010, 2000). Mattison, Damus, Fiore, Petrini, & Alter (2001), note that the disparities in premature birth rates amongst racial and ethic groups have been narrowing, unfortunately, it is due to an increase in the rates of preterm white infants and not due to a decrease in the other racial/ethnic groups.

– Today, premature infants have an increased chance of survival in large due to the advances of technology and the advancement of the medical community. For example, significant expansion of conventional and high-frequency ventilation therapies has taken place over the past decade improving oxygenation in some infants Cryotherapy and diode indirect laser photocoagulation are new therapies that have reduced visual impairment in infants with severe retinopathy of prematurity (when abnormal blood vessels and scar tissue grow over the retina).There have also been alterations in nutrition and feeding of premature infants, including the use of minimal enteral feeding, increased use of human milk and breastfeeding, and earlier introduction of protein and lipids in parenteral solutions.

– Premature infants are born with underdeveloped organs leaving them at an increased risk for disabilities and health complications.

– Possible outcomes include respiratory, gastrointestinal, hearing, vision, neurological, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive problems as well as, mental retardation and cerebral palsy

– Parents of premature infants have heightened levels of stress compared to those of full term parents.

– Substantial emotional and economic costs in their families and communities.

– According to the March of Dimes Perinatal Data Center (2005), hospital charges for 25,000 infant stays with a principal diagnosis of prematurity/low birth weight in 2003 totaled $1.9 billion, with an average per stay charge of $77,000 significantly higher than uncomplicated newborn stay costs of $1,700. The March of Dimes estimated the total national hospital bill for inpatient hospital stays with any diagnosis of prematurity/low birth weight for this same year was $18.1 billion.

In 2001, the preterm birth rate was 11.9%, reflecting more than 476,000 newborns and the highest rate ever reported for the U.S. This represents 1 in 8 babies in the U.S. born prematurely.

The rate of preterm birth increased 27% between 1981 and 2001 from 9.4% to 11.9%.

On an average day in the U.S., 1,305 babies are born preterm (before 37 weeks), 213 are born very preterm (before 32 weeks).

Periodontal disease has been associated with preterm births in some studies.

Among racial/ethnic subgroups, preterm birth rates were highest among infants born to black mothers (17.5%) in 2001.

Major risk factors associated with increasing rates of preterm delivery include multiple births, advanced maternal age, induced deliveries and additional factors as yet unknown.

In 2000 prematurity/low birthweight was the leading cause of neonatal mortality in the U.S., accounting for 23% of deaths in the first month of life.

Causes of nearly half of all preterm births are unknown.

Preterm labor can happen to any pregnant woman.

THINGS LINKED TO PRETERM BIRTH

Infections/Inflammation. Studies suggest that premature labor is often triggered by the body’s natural immune response to certain bacterial infections, such as those involving the genital and urinary tracts and fetal membranes. Even infections far away from the reproductive organs, such as periodontal disease, may contribute to premature delivery.

Maternal or fetal stress. Chronic psychosocial stress in the mother or physical stress (such as insufficient blood flow from the placenta) in the fetus appears to result in production of a stress-related hormone called corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH may stimulate production of a cascade of other hormones that trigger uterine contractions and premature delivery.

Bleeding. The uterus may bleed because of problems such as placental abruption (the placenta peels away, partially or almost completely, from the uterine wall before delivery). Bleeding triggers the release of various proteins involved in blood clotting, which also appear to stimulate uterine contractions.

Stretching. The uterus may become overstretched by the presence of two or more babies, excessive amounts of amniotic fluid, or uterine or placental abnormalities, leading to release of chemicals that stimulate uterine contractions.

Three groups of women are at greatest risk of preterm labor and birth:

Women who have had a previous preterm birth
Women who are pregnant with twins, triplets or more
Women with certain uterine or cervical abnormalities

Team Kyson

After my water broke at 31 weeks, I was put on hospital bedrest and given shots of steroids to speed up his lung maturity. And exactly a week later on October 17, 2009 at 32 weeks, I was blessed with my son Kyson Aidan. He was born weighing 4 lbs 15oz, most of which was due to my own size being pretty fluffy. I only got to see him for a few seconds before they rushed him to the NICU for me to not see for about 24 hours. As most parents will tell you, the NICU experience is a rollercoaster ride. The first time I saw him he was under bililights because of his jaundice. He was hooked up to fluids and had a tube in his nose for feeding.

When he turned 34 weeks, he was gradually given bottles in place of his tube feedings. Also that night, they decided that he was finally well enough to come off the bililights. And on Halloween, he was finally put into a crib and I got to feed him his bottle for the first time!! The March of Dimes also let us borrow tiny Halloween costumes and took the babies’ pictures. It was so fun! Then on November 4th, they took out his feeding tube and he was discharged the next day weighing 5 1/2 pounds.

Now Kyson is 5 months old and weighs 12 pounds. He might be small for his age but he’s keeping up just fine when it comes to milestones. He’s even learning to sit up already and LOVES eating greenbeans!!!

Please help our team help other babies born too early or sick so they can come home. Prematurity rates are rising and these babies deserve all the help they can get.

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