March of Dimes Monday

Please welcome guest blogger, Beth. Before I had my daughter, I really didn’t pay attention to the March of Dimes. During my pregnancy I had received a pamphlet, and I probably glanced at it and then returned to what I thought were more important items in the mail. Sure it’s important to get more folic acid to prevent birth defects, but I was healthy with great prenatal care. I did not need the March of Dimes. Ignorance is bliss for those that don’t know what the future holds for them. Lucky for our family, the March of Dimes is there to support and prevent premature birth from occurring and improve survivability of the littlest babies. Through their research and your donations our nightmare has turned into a gorgeous giggling miracle. As I mentioned above, I had a great pregnancy. We barely had to even try to conceive, and I was pregnant. No vomiting, no nausea, I was tired but it was bearable. I quit drinking alcohol and caffeine, and ate as healthy as possible. I was not showing at all, and I enjoyed keeping it my little secret. I didn't tell people at work until I was 20 weeks pregnant. Nobody had even guessed. I worked full time. I modified my exercising, but kept running. I felt fine, no pain and I was keeping up with everything. My doctor’s appointments were all normal. Blood tests were all normal. We found out we were having a little girl. She was wiggly on ultrasound, so we did two to get everything measured. I could feel her move all the time. We named her Kate. I started to talk to her on my way to work, during a run, or just when I was sitting watching t.v.. For us, the nightmare all happened in a matter of week. Without realizing it I started to go into preterm labor in my 22nd week of pregnancy. I then awoke having bloody discharge. We immediately went to the nearest emergency room. I was dilated to 5 cm with my amniotic bag protruding from my cervix. I was instantly given a shot of betamethasone. A magnesium drip was started. I was then transported via helicopter to Spokane, WA where they had a level III NICU that would be better able to help me. I want to repeat one part of this because I think it is the most critical. I WAS INSTANTLY GIVEN A SHOT OF BETHAMETHASONE. I received another shot 24 hours later. My labor was delayed for another 10 days, and I then delivered our daughter at 25 weeks gestation. She was 800 grams at birth (1 lb 12 oz). She entered the scary world as one of the smallest of the small, fighting for life for over 90 days in the NICU.

Our daughter in general had a very good course in the NICU for such a small individual. She was never on a ventilator, never needed surfactant, did not have any intracranial hemorrhages and escaped NEC infection. And these are all things that I feel were prevented in part by the use of steroid and being at a level III NICU. And this is directly related to the March of Dimes.

The March of Dimes has been working for decades to help educate families and the medical world in ways to prevent premature birth as well as providing the best treatment for those born too early. A simple shot of steroids has the ability to change an individuals life, and their families. The delay of a birth for week, especially in the case of those born before 27 weeks is literally the difference between life and death.

Our life with our daughter has been a long adventure. I am proud of who she is becoming and the challenges she has already over come. She will be 2 in June, and keeps us on our toes all the time. She is now almost 24 lbs now and though she has some delays our lives are incredibly rich because she is in it. I had no risks factors for premature birth. We still do not know why I went into premature labor.

Each day I get to hold a precious miracle. I am able to physically see the work that the March of Dimes has made possible. We all have to remember and educate others that every single day and even the simplest of treatments matter in pregnancy. Please continue to support this great organization and fight for babies like mine and others.

Thank you Beth for sharing your story!

Please, if you would like to help, go to the Team Kyndall page and make a donation.

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