Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Too Many Are Born Too Soon.

When I was seven months pregnant, my blood pressure spiked. Even worse, there was protein in my urine. The doctors started talking about preeclampsia.

At the sound of that word, my blood ran cold. Preeclampsia, for those of you who don’t know, is a hypertensive disorder (meaning it stems from high blood pressure) that in its most severe forms can cause death. That’s right. When left untreated, it can kill both you and your unborn child.

When caught early (as it was in my case), it’s usually controllable with medication and bed rest. But sometimes it can lead to serious complications—and force the early delivery of your baby.

I was lucky.

After a week of almost total bed rest, the protein disappeared and my blood pressure sank to more manageable levels. I still had to take it easy for the rest of my pregnancy, but Tori was able to continue baking until my due date.

But a lot of women (and babies) don’t get that break. A lot of moms give birth to their babies prematurely.

In fact, 543,000 babies are born too soon in the U.S. every year. That’s one in every eight babies. One in eight. That’s a whole lot of babies, people.

Being born prematurely puts them at risk for a host of health problems, including cerebral palsy, mental retardation, hearing loss and blindness. Even worse, they could die. In fact, premature birth is the leading cause of death among newborns.

There’s one organization that’s working to reduce the number of preemies being born in this country—The March of Dimes.

They research the causes of premature birth, educate at risk women and their families, and support families affected by premature birth. In short, they do everything they can to help more babies make it to their due date.

So what can you do to help?

Support them during Prematurity Awareness Month (and every day). Get active. Make a donation. Volunteer. Heck, even blogging about it helps. Just do something.

Because every baby born too soon is one too many.

11 comments:

  1. One in eight. Those numbers are staggering to me. Just staggering. Wow. So glad it was treatable for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am always so thankful and know how blessed I was to have a healthy baby. You can't take anything for granted...that's for sure!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Though I am in marketing, and write for work, I work at a hospital and often have to work in the NICU for projects... Seeing those tiny babies is just heartbreaking. And, seeing the parents who cannot hold them or rock them to sleep- again, heartbreaking. Preemies are so strong, though they are so tiny.

    Great post. It reminds me how lucky I am to have my big, baby girl.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a wonderful post.

    I always donate to the March of Dimes. It's a fantastic organization.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing your story; I'm glad that things ended well for you and your daughter. I had two friends this year give birth 3 months early. Their children are doing well now, but it's a stress no parent wants to go through. We love the March of Dimes!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a very touching and well written story on your accounts. Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awwww....I know....we've had our fair share of preemies come through our family. Thankfully there are angels on the medical staff and March of Dimes is something we participate in every year. My husbands company does things for them all the time. :) xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a wonderful post..

    My first child was born still at 32 weeks due to unknown causes. So this is a cause I keep close to my heart..

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, preeclampsia is scary! You were so lucky to be able to keep Tori baking until her due date. Thanks for sharing this important information and encouraging others to get involved. We all need to fight for preemies and the March of Dimes appreciates your help.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great post! I had preeclampsia with both of my pregnancies, and my little one was born at 33 weeks because of it. So glad yours didn't get that far!!!

    ReplyDelete

Feed my blogging habit and leave me a comment! Oh, and if you do me a favor and make sure your email isn't blocked, we can keep this conversation from being one-sided!