Sunday, November 1, 2009

Until you walk in those shoes

Life is full of experiences...some good, some bad and some in between. I'd like to think in all my life experiences I have learned something through each event. One experience near and dear to my heart is prematurity. Until my granddaughter was born, I never thought about prematurity, never knew much about it, never knew the staggering statistics, never knew the harsh reality of what all is involved, and certainly never knew we would be walking in those shoes. First let me say, that I still wouldn't be as familiar as I am with prematurity except for the fact that my daughter and son in law allowed me to walk this journey with them very intimately. I was involved from the moment we got a positive on the pregnancy test. They have been wonderful about allowing us as grandparents to "partner" with them in the birth and life of Morgan Kate. Morgan Kate is our premature miracle baby, born 15 weeks early!

Since her birth, I have learned that 8-10% of all pregnancies in the US are premature births. A premature birth is one born before 37 weeks gestation. Extremely premature infants are defined as those born between 22 and 28 weeks of gestation. This is the category Morgan Kate falls in. Being born at 25 weeks, the survival rate according to some statistics is 50-80%! Think about low as 50%!!!! I have never been one to see the glass half empty, always half full so for me...statistics meant nothing. But in the world of betting 50-50 is not good odds.

The month of November is Prematurity Awareness Month. If you are like I was rather oblivious to this, please take the time to read up on it and see what premature babies are up against. Not everyone has a survival story. We do however and it is with a grateful, overflowing heart that I thank God each and every day, several times a day for the miracle of Morgan Kate! She is not only a survivor, but a thriver. May I never take for granted a full term healthy baby again and may we all think of the families who are affected by premature births.