Charity,  Motherhood

World Prematurity Day

World Prematurity Day is on November 17, but it has really sparked vivid memories for us. It’s the one day of the year I never thought I’d celebrate. But being the parent of a tiny miracle, it’s a privilege that we’re able to celebrate this day. 

I never wanted to miss out on my third trimester of pregnancy with Julia, but that was the hand of cards we were dealt. My water breaking at 27 weeks 4 days, then ultimately going through the scariest morning of my life (second to my water breaking), Julia was delivered by emergency C section. She was born crying, and at a tiny 2 lbs 4.7oz. While I wasn’t awake and Dave didn’t even have time to get into the OR during her birth, I later learned that she did in fact cry and that it made several nurses emotional. She was born feisty, and it was that spirit and determination that led us through a 50 day NICU stay. We were lucky, we both escaped death that morning she was born and I can tell you this, my life is extremely different because of it. 

The NICU opened my eyes to just how strong you become as a new parent. While our crash course on parenting was vastly different than anyone else I know, I can tell you that we learned so much. With this new understanding of just how capable a tiny little baby girl could be, we also learned the incredible sadness that happens when you loose that crucial third trimester. I was so devastated that I couldn’t protect her from coming early. I have to say sitting here 5.5 years later, I can flash back to that time in a blink of an eye and just be lost in thought.

I finally met my doctor that did my emergency surgery. I say this every time I see him, but he (and a filled OR) saved us. When a nurse screams “CORD” the birth plan you knew and wanted are gone, straight out of the window. I had a crash course from my room until I made it onto the OR of what my birth was turning into. I had an OB on my bed with her hand keeping Julias head off of her cord, and from suffocating her air supply. There was no time for pleasantries, she had to come out. Julia’s cord came out before she did and my placenta was abrupting, her cord was wrapped around her neck. The trifecta of everything that can go wrong in a birth it seemed. She kept her hand on Julia’s head for a long time, long enough to get wheeled down and sedated and for Julia to make her entrance. It probably felt like an eternity for her. But she was trained for this, and what a miracle that she was on my side. I saw her a week or so after Julia’s birth in the hallway outside of the NICU, and I broke down and just held her. In her embrace we both just cried, and I thanked her for saving us. I later saw her in the main lobby of the hospital having a visit with her own daughter and husband, and we just shared a smile. I wanted to tell that little girl what a hero her mom was to me.

 I left the hospital to go home, but my heart was inside of an isolette.


I cried that entire way home after being discharged from an almost 2 week stay including my bedrest portion. I was not ready to leave her side, but I knew that I had to recover from my traumatic surgery. That was so tough. I could barely make the long walk from our car to the other end of the hospital, Dave pushed me in a wheel chair for 3 weeks.  I just felt permanently sad, during our NICU stay. Even though we were lucky to just have to watch Julia take her feeds and just focus on growing, we felt like we missed out on so much as first time parents. My baby shower was three weeks after Julia was born, and it was awful. To not be pregnant at your shower was the weirdest feeling. I just wanted it to be over and to get to the hospital as fast as possible to be by her side. I remember having a meltdown the night before the shower and a nurse telling me that I didn’t even have to go if I didn’t want to, I needed to do in my heart what I felt was right. But I knew that I wanted to celebrate Julia in any way possible. So instead of walking table to table and having people guess with a ribbon how big my growing belly would be, I walked around sharing a picture of her that I felt comfortable with. It was a little picture of her about 4 days old with a little pink bow that a nurse made for her.

It was bittersweet to be at my own baby shower, but I was not pregnant for it.

We eventually took Julia home on Easter Sunday after a long 50 day NICU stay. For the first time in over two months we witnessed a sunset from our own window and all felt right in the world.

When it came time to talk about a subsequent pregnancy, we knew that it would be High Risk. We took every precaution, and created a superb team of nurses and doctors to guide us through it all. I also knew that due to the nature of my emergency cesarean surgery with Julia that I would deliver earlier than full term, the goal was 36 weeks & 4 days.

Audreys pregnancy was closely managed and we were so happy to have made it to my scheduled C section day. My goal was to always walk into Labor & Delivery on my own two feet. We did it. We crossed the finish line. It wasn’t until my triage room started to fill with everyone that would be in the Operating Room with us that the nerves really hit me. My care team knew that we had a traumatic birth with Julia, and they were so incredibly kind. The doctor that delivered Julia was leading charge, and if you know me personally, you know how happy that made me. I also had the same nurse that held my hand while I went under with Julia, in there for Audreys birth. I wanted to somewhat redeem myself from the crazy that went down for Julia.

Audreys birth went well for me, I got to listen to my favorite music. I had the doctor I wanted and Dave was there by my head. What we didn’t account for was Audrey aspirating on fluid, and buying herself 8 days in the NICU. I was again wheeled out of the OR without my baby on my chest and pretty much alone in recovery since Dave went to the NICU with the baby.

Being in the NICU again, was defeating to me, and really out of my control. I felt like I did everything I could to prevent it, but here I was. This time was different though, Audrey was a solid 6lbs. So we just had to go through the protocol of getting her lungs to a stable place and then tolerating feeds. But let me tell you, as a parent that did everything in her power to not go back into the NICU, I was livid. LIVID. I was irritated that I couldn’t hold her when I wanted to, I had to wait for a nurse that was spread entirely too thin to accommodate my request. I waited until 5pm that night to hold Audrey for the first time. It felt like an eternity.

If there is any scenario to teach a Type A person that you can’t account for everything, its pregnancy.

I never wanted to have birth experiences like I endured for both of my kids, but I can’t change what happened. What I can do is realize that we fought hard for our girls to be with us and to not take a moment for granted. Countless emotional moments filled with small triumphs as a preemie parent have quickly brought into focus whats important in life. Every first and subsequently every last thing that they will attempt in their growth will forever redeem their beginnings in my eyes. What I can do is advocate for other babies born too soon and help other new parents through their journey as a preemie parent.

When I think of World Prematurity Day, I think of the women that held me up when I just couldn’t. Who taught me how to pump, how to shower again, and who lifted me up when I was at my lowest. I think of my husband who just endured almost having his wife die but almost lost his first born at the same moment in time. I think of how he must have felt seeing my bed being ripped from the wall and people jumping on my bed as we raced to the OR. I think of my MFM OBs , OR staff, and nurses who saved us.

 World Prematurity Day is so much more than sharing my story, it’s remembering that we survived. We thrived against the odds, we were supported by total strangers who turned into a second family. I could list my entire NICU & MFM care team, but if they see this they know just how much they mean to us. They have made such profound impacts on our lives and we will be forever grateful for the lifelong relationships we formed with them. Thank you for loving all of us.

Julia – PPROM at 27&4, delivered 29&1, 50 days in the NICU

Audrey- delivered 36&4, 8 days in the NICU

💜Happy World Prematurity Day to our Miracles!


If you feel inclined to donate to an organization that is near and dear to our hearts, I have included our teams fundraising link.




Sign up to be notified of future posts