Jane- age 20 months. Born January 21st, 2009 at 33 weeks.
I learned about the March of Dimes from my mother, who has supported them for as long as I can remember. I never expected to benefit from the funds she raised for them over the years, but life is like that sometimes!
My first pregnancy went smoothly until the beginning of my third trimester, when my blood pressure began to rise. We thought we had things under control by week 34, and I was settling down for a month of modified bedrest before my due date. However, I woke up to pee at 4 a.m. one morning and realized that my water had broken. Six hours later, my Emma Katherine was here, weighing in at 5 pounds 14 oz. We were lucky- 35 weeks is barely a preemie, in fact some hospitals label it as near-term. Her only complication was jaundice, and today she is a happy and healthy preschooler.
My second pregnancy was more difficult. At my 20 week ultrasound, I was diagnosed with a complete placenta previa, where the placenta lies over the cervix, making it impossible for the baby to be safely delivered through the vagina. In many cases, this causes episodes of bleeding, and mine was one of those situations. I had multiple bleeding scares and was in and out of the hospital for two months. On top of the bleeding, I began having contractions. After a 10 day struggle to stop the contractions, my daughter Jane was born at 3 am via emergency C- section.
Again, we were extremely lucky. At 33 weeks, she was already a very healthy 4 pounds 15 oz. She required oxygen and a feeding tube for one week, and she spent a total of twenty days in the NICU before we were able to bring her home. Today, she is a perfect toddler, running around and speaking in two word sentences.
My daughters are both miracles, and I am so grateful to the March of Dimes for supporting the research that made their care in the NICU routine. I’m so glad to be a part of this project!
~ Karolyn (heavyinfinity)