* Age: 14 * Born at 25 weeks gestation *
Even though I have been fortunate enough to have carried my own children to full term, I have had two nieces that were both a month early and my baby sister was born at 25 weeks. Luckily, my nieces had no complications and were sent home as a normal newborn would have. My baby sister Tiana Shanice was a different story. She was truly a miracle.
Tiana was born on December 10, 1995, but my mother wasn't due until March 19, 1996.
I was only 11 years old when she was born, but I remember it like it was yesterday. My mom's water actually broke 2 days before she realized it.
We were standing in the kitchen cooking when she cursed under her breath claiming to have peed on herself. She had been suffering from Bronchitis making the accident a normal occurrence for her. I remember freaking out over stepping in her 'pee'.
I remember watching tv in her room 2 days later while she was in her tub and my step-dad shaving. I remember her asking him if he was ready for the baby to come because she could feel the baby's head with her hand as she washed. It was my step-dad's turn to freak out now and boy did he ever.
I was told to bundle up my other sisters, ages 6 and 12 months, and to pack up an overnight bag because we were being taken to my grandmother's. Just as soon as my parents got to the hospital, we got the call that my mom had given birth to Tiana and she weighed exactly 2 pounds. My mom had literally coughed her out before she got into labor and delivery good.
They were both rushed to another hospital that had a NICU but was 2 hours away. Tiana was put in an incubator, fed through tubes, and had to breathe with the assistance of a ventilator. She was there for 2 months. We were told that even though she was big for as early as she was, that she was more than likely to have developmental delays at the least. You may have noticed, 2 is her lucky number.
They were wrong. Although she didn't talk for years and preferred to be left alone, she was completely healthy. She had selective speaking which meant it wasn't that she couldn't talk, she just didn't want to talk. She was also just a bit more shy than the average shy child her age. She was titled 'disabled' until she started kindergarten.
Today, Tiana is a 14 year old all A student that just started her freshman year in high school. She has plans to go to Harvard to become a doctor and marrying Taylor Lautner. Yes, she is Team Jacob all the way. She loves to read and now the only way to get her to stop talking is to leave. Have I mentioned that she is VERY thick all over. You'd never know she was a Preemie.
I hope reading these Preemie stories show you what a big deal premature birth is. The March of Dimes is a big help to those who go through it. I hope this fandom inspires you to help out in one way or another. Premature birth not only affects the Preemie and its parents, but family and friends as well. You never know who it may affect next.