November 17th is a day where many families stop and think about how strong their little ones are. It’s a day filled with endless emotions, from sadness, anger, happiness, relief, heartbreak, joy and all the emotions in between. World Prematurity Day is a day to raise awareness of premature births and to talk about the struggles and challenges that families have to go through with preterm birth.
For many families, its a day to look back and reflect on their journey with their premature babies and also the time they may have spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). They remember and talk about not only the challenges they faced but the accomplishments and milestones their little babies have achieved in order to help other families experiencing the same thing.
As you all know, Jackson, Olivia and Levi are our 2-year-old triplets and they were premature, so World Prematurity Day is a special day for us as well. They were born at 35.3 weeks and weighed 5.6 lbs, 5.1 lbs and 5.3 lbs. I delivered them via c-section, as I developed a condition called pre-eclampsia near the end of my pregnancy. We found out on Friday May 22, 2015 that I had pre-eclampsia and after returning to the hospital for more tests the next day, the doctors told us the safest and best option for the triplets and myself was to deliver them.
I trusted the doctors and knew it was the best decision to deliver them, but the unknown was very scary. We didn’t know how they would be when delivered at 35.3 weeks and we had to prepare for a stay in the NICU. I was at Mount Sinai in Toronto, Ontario and before we could go in to deliver the triplets, we had to wait for room to become available in the NICU. We were also given the option to split up the triplets and have them at 3 separate hospitals in order for them to find space in a NICU. We decided to wait for space to become available at Mount Sinai, because I couldn’t imagine separating them and having to visit hospital to hospital all while trying to recover.
On Monday, May 25th, space became available and it was time to deliver our babies! I remember being very excited and nervous at the same time. What would happen to the triplets? How would their health be when they were born? Would they be able to breathe on their own? How long would they be in the NICU? There were so many questions I had to wait to find out the answers for.
At 7:09pm, 7:12pm and 7:15pm, Jackson, Olivia and Levi were born! I remember seeing their little faces when the nurses brought them over and I was so happy. After checking them over, all 3 were breathing on their own and stable enough for us to bring them right back to our room. They did not need to go to the NICU, which was a complete shock and huge relief for me! From the moment we found out we were expecting triplets, I was anticipating their stay in the NICU and I was even trying to figure out what we would do and where we would stay in Toronto in order to be with them everyday. To hear they would be coming right to the room with us that day and even to this day, is something that I will always know how lucky I am to hear!
So many families face the challenges of having premature babies who spend time in the NICU and the fact that we had to wait for space in the NICU before delivering the triplets, shows just how common premature births are. Pampers knows how important the needs of preemie babies are, which is why they have developed a new innovative flat diaper designed with them in mind, the Pampers NICU Flat Diaper. The diaper provides all around absorbency, an absorb away liner to pull wetness way from the baby’s skin, a wetness shield to stop run-off from the pad and premium skin protection with its breathable materials. The flat diaper was designed to provide protection for the delicate skin of premature babies and provide comfort with minimal disturbances, which are so important.
This year for Prematurity Awareness Month, Pampers has partnered with Graham’s Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Jennifer and Nick Hall in memory of their son, providing support to families with preemie babies and will be donating a box of Pampers NICU Flat Diapers to every NICU in the country!
Together they are encouraging everyone to participate this month by sharing your #LittlestFighters story. Your #LittlestFighters story is about the first time you were inspired by your baby’s fighting spirit. Everyone is encouraged to share their story on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter before the end of November and don’t forget to include the #LittlestFighters! For every share, Pampers will donate $5 to Graham’s Foundation (up to $10,000)!
Pampers has always been there as a proud supporter for preemie babies and NICU nurses and continues to develop new innovations to meet their needs. Click here to view the Pampers “Littlest fighters” video that champions the fighting spirit of all preemies!
Premature birth is something that is unexplainable and may always be around. As hard and challenging as it is to go through, it’s days like World prematurity Day and months like Prematurity Awareness Month that are so important for spreading awareness and knowledge of what it is and the challenges that go along with it. My heart goes out to all the parents and families who have experienced premature birth, time in the NICU and being there for their little babies. My heart also goes out to all the little warriors who are fighting as hard as they can to survive and who constantly show everyone how tough they really are.
It is so amazing to see and hear stories of premature babies who are born weeks before their due date, who are so tiny, sometimes weighing less than a pound, fight for their life and go through so many procedures, to beating the odds and living a healthy life! I truly believe babies are so much stronger than we may think and days like World Prematurity Day are here to bring awareness and to also showcase their stories!
We would love to hear your #LittlestFighters stories, so don’t forget to share and use the hashtag #LittlestFighters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
Thank you to Pampers for sponsoring this post. All opinions and thoughts are my own.