Happy Mother’s Day!
My mom is one of my heroes. With the help of my amazing doctors and nurses, she brought me into this world via a c-section, at 24-and-a-half weeks, a very tiny babe weighing only 1 pound, 1 ounce. I was the size of standard typing paper. I was a micro preemie, a very tiny premature baby. With the birth of premature babies, there’s so many things that could go wrong. With preemies, you have to worry about everything: lungs, heart, brain, eyesight to name a few. I was extremely lucky. I’m forever grateful to the men and women at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis who helped keep me alive and safe during the first 6 months of my life.
I was very lucky. My doctors were worried I wouldn’t be able to see. I had a major surgery at one month old because I had NEC, or Necrotizing Entercolitis. (NEC is where the intestines of the baby burst and begins to seep into the baby’s stomach.) In the operating room, they had trouble sewing me back up: my skin was very thin, and looked translucent in pictures.
With the help of my doctors, nurses, and God, I made it. I survived being born so tiny. I still have lots of scars from when I was a tiny baby: my surgery scar from when I had NEC where my belly button used to be, a scar on my foot that’s grown with me, and a scar on the back of my head where a shunt saved my life. I also have a few scars from where I was pricked for blood in the hospital. I’m proud of these scars: they are reminders of how lucky I am to be alive.
This Mother’s Day, I want to thank my Mom and Dad for keeping cool heads during my early birth. Your love, the books you read to me on cassette tapes, and your many visits helped nurture me. You were always so patient, waiting several months until you could finally hold me. Your faith helped give you strength to walk an uncertain path.
This Mother’s Day, I also want to thank all of my amazing doctors and nurses who helped keep me healthy. Your diligence, scientific knowledge, and faith in God all guided each of you as you interacted with me–whether it was through surgery or by being one of my nurses. Thank you for everything you did for premature babies. Your work and love is still a miracle to many adult preemies and their parents.
I wish you all a wonderful Mother’s Day!