Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Prematurity Awareness Day

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day and I would love to share Fletcher's NICU story. But I have been so busy, and his stay was so long, 90 days long, and so much happened in those 90 days that I could type for hours and only scratch the surface. So many people think that preemies are just mini-newborns that just need a little extra time to grow. That all of these cute teeny tiny babies "catch up by age two." Oh, how that could not be further from the truth (at least in the case of "micropreemies" weighing less than 1500 grams at birth, such as Fletcher). Pre-mature means just that. At birth, these babies are not yet mature. No part of them. Their lungs, skin, digestive tract, eyes, brain... every system is affected by prematurity.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing Fletcher's NICU story, but I have been busy preparing for and attending an eligibility meeting with the school district to determine if Fletcher meets the requirements for special education preschool. The accompanying report states that "Fletcher does not demonstrate age-appropriate skills across all developmental areas" and concludes that the district will need to provide "occupational therapy, physical therapy, early childhood special education service, speech and language therapy, vision services, and assisted technology."

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy assisting Fletcher this morning during his special instruction and vision therapy with his EI therapist and his new ECSE through the school district.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy this afternoon taking Fletcher to aquatic therapy with his physical therapist.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy coordinating tours of special needs preschools, including one we are visiting tomorrow morning.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy scheduling appointments including the hearing screening tomorrow required by the school district.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have been busy tonight attending a Parent Advisory Council meeting at the hospital where Fletcher was born with the hope of helping parents of future NICU babies find the support that they desperately need.

I would love to raise awareness of the effects of prematurity by sharing his NICU story, but I have to stay up until Fletcher is sound asleep and hook up a machine that applies gentle pressure to his core muscles throughout the night in the hope of preventing future muscle and bone deformities.

And this has been a fairly typical day. You see, for some people, the effects of prematurity extend far, far beyond the NICU.

5 comments:

Katy said...

Perfectly said, Erin.

Erika said...

Great post, Erin! It was good seeing you last night. Rylie is already looking cute in one of her new outfits - thanks again!

Alison said...

Not sure how I stumbled across your blog - but this post is SO true. As the mother of 2 micro-prems I could really relate!

K said...

Fantastic!

Jacolyn said...

Great post!!!