Prematurity & Me
If you haven’t heard about our adventure with delivering a micropreemie, you can read Addie’s Arrival on PreemieBabies101.com.
And for those of you who would like the brief version:
Our daughter Adeline was born 14 weeks early on June 12, 2008. She weighed one pound, 8 ounces and measured 13 inches long. She took her first ambulance ride at two hours old without her parents or any family members. Since I had a c-section, I had to stay at the birthing hospital for 48 hours while Addie was taken to the children’s hospital. Adam had to go back and forth between two hospitals, taking care of both me and Addie.
Addie’s head was smaller than the length of Adam’s thumb. Her eyes were still fused shut for the first eleven days of her life.
Addie’s first surgery was on my 29th birthday (day 11). Her bowel perforated; she had 13 centimeters of intestine removed that day and two stomas attached to her belly. My gift was that she survived the procedure!
Second surgery was on July 4th (day 22). The PDA in her heart did not close on her own so it had to be clipped.
I was not able to hold Addie for the first time until she was nearly a month old.
The hardest part was having to leave our baby in the care of strangers every night to get a few hours of sleep and then having to call a different stranger every morning to find out how she did during the night. 135 nights and 135 mornings away from our girl is just not right.
Addie’s baby shower happened a month and a half after she was born…still two months before her due date! We both went back to work while our baby was fighting for her life in the hospital because we needed the health insurance.
Addie had laser eye treatment to combat Retinopathy of Prematurity. She lost most of her peripheral vision, but it’s better than permanent blindness. (Stevie Wonder’s blindness was caused by ROP.)
1 in 8 babies are born too soon. One of them happened to be ours.
Addie is doing very well! She is 3 years old now and doing all of the things she should, including testing her boundaries at home. :) She started walking the day before her second birthday and can now run and climb steps all by herself. We started signing at 18 months to jumpstart her speech, and wow–not only is she speaking in sentences, but it’s helped her learn her colors and her letters. She can even read over 100 words!
Addie only had one minor health issue in 2010–outpatient surgery to repair an abdominal hernia that resulted from her two previous abdominal surgeries.