We are aware and think of prematurity everyday. Do you? No? You should.
Prematurity is defined as a birth before the end of the 37th week of pregnancy. It happens to 1 in every 8 babies in the US. 1 in 8! The effects can be life long for the child.
Or, there can be none at all.
Or, there can be everything in between.
Two babies in our family have been born early: Georgie and his cousin. They are one year and one day apart; his birthday is the 20th and hers is the 21st. Both J's mother and myself had very little risk factors for having a preemie but, yet, it happened to us- to ALL of us.
It's taken me a long, long time to get here but I can say this: I am thankful for my son's prematurity. Even with his struggles in the beginning, the horrid year of moving, and the emotional upheaval, I am thankful.
If I could go back in time, would I change it? I don't know. I honestly don't. While every mother wants her child born healthy and on time, I have met so many wonderful people BECAUSE of his NICU stay. We have done wonderful things, like the March for Babies and we have grown in so many ways.
And if it weren't for Georgie's early arrival, we would not have my ColeBear.
Would I, if I could, would I change anything?
I don't know.
I think his birthday was meant to be Nov. 20. I think he was meant to be early. I think he was meant to be a preemie miracle.
And, yes, today, two years later, I can say that I am thankful for his prematurity.
and that cheesy grin!