I've always been aware that some babies are born way too early. I always knew that could be a little scary for the families involved. I just never truly understood. I don't think anyone can really understand what it's like to have a baby come earlier than expected, to have a baby in the NICU, until it happens to you (or someone close to you).
Today symbolizes a day of hope, fear, love, loss, and miracles for so many people. We waited 14+ years for our two little miracles. There was a point in time that we thought we'd never get to be parents. We knew what it was like to get our hopes up, only to experience loss through miscarriage. Our story has a happy ending, but there are many who don't get that same happy ending. Did you know that 1 in 10 babies are born too soon? Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death in children under 5 years old. Today is a day to bring awareness to prematurity and to honor all the babies born too soon.
Preterm is defined as babies born alive before 37 weeks gestation. Rylee and Ayden were born at 33w2d, almost 7 weeks early. They were amazing weights for being so early. Rylee weighed 4 lbs, 10 oz and was 16.5 inches long. Ayden weighed 5 lbs, 4 oz and was 18.75 inches long. They spent 19 days in the NICU learning how to keep their body temperatures up, and how to suck, swallow, breath so that they could eat on their own. As hard as those first few weeks were, I feel incredibly lucky and blessed. Our NICU stay was relatively short and uneventful compared to others.