Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Baby Goat and Prematurity Awareness

If I tell people that baby goat was a preemie they find it hard to believe.  It is hard to believe that my 20 month - 98+% weight, 90% height, 98+% head, daredevil, precocious, precious child was ever 4 lbs 7oz and struggling to breath.  It is baffling really the change and growth that occurs in small children.  Today you'd hardly know.

But I know.

Each moment of 46 days in the NICU are burned into my brain.  46 days where the concept of joy, fear, pain, sadness, and wonder merge into a super emotion both exilarating and exhausting.  I don't wish a preemie or a NICU experience on anyone, but whenever I meet one I know that I can relate.  I know the language, the panic and the hope of the place.

Baby goat was born at 33 weeks - 7 weeks early.  He wasn't ready to come out but my own body made it necessary.  Even so we were so lucky.  My blood pressure could be controlled long enough to give him steroids.  Baby goat hadn't stopped growing at any point.  My doctor had pre-eclampsia herself (3 times) and knew just what to watch for. 

I didn't have the birth story that anyone plans for.  Baby goat didn't have the beginning I planned for him.  1 in 8 children don't.  I didn't hold baby goat until he was 2 days old.  I know parents who had to wait even longer. 
Holding baby goat for the first time

A friend of a friend lost her baby at 23 weeks today and I've thought about it all day.  We know so little about what triggers labor or illness or any of the emergencies that can require babies to be born early.  Too many people know the sorrow of losing a child.  And too many know the joy of watching a too small child grow and thrive through overwhelming odds.

It is imperative to keep supporting the research on prematurity.  It is not that long ago that baby goat and I never would have survived my pregnancy.  And there are still mothers and babies who do not.  That needs to stop.

My child is my daily miracle.  All children are whether they have his beginning or not. 

Baby goat went from this:


To this...


But I pray for a day when no one has to endure the NICU, the wires, the fear. 

Every year, 20 million babies are born too soon, too small and very sick-half a million of them in the U.S. November 17th is when we fight! 

I fight for baby goat.




15 comments:

fritzfacts said...

Knowing what I know about your story, and so many others makes me feel such love for you all. The fight that these children put up, the fight you parents put up. It amazes me every time.

Kathy said...

well said!

GOAT said...

I know that guy!

esperanza said...

I read here all the time but haven't commented in a while. Thank you so much for this, and for all you do to raise awareness.

My 29-weeker is 3 years old, not thriving as well as Baby Goat, but doing pretty well, all things considered. She's not made it onto the growth chart yet and has some developmental delays. (I'm fairly certain that Baby Goat is probably bigger than she is!) Thankfully, she's smart and funny and loving--all things we dreamed of for our child, even if her beginning was rough.

Thanks for sharing your story. All of us NICU veterans appreciate it.

Marie said...

My nephew was born at 24 weeks, weighing in at one pound, ten ounces. He is a fighter - today he is three years old and perfect in every way. 3 weeks ago, a close friend delivered at 34 weeks. Little Ava is home now and doing beautifully. I'll never forget visiting my nephew in the hospital and the fear that we all felt. Thinking of you and all the other parents who give birth to preemies.

Anti-Supermom said...

I'm so sorry for your friend's lose.

Thanks for posting this, Liz. What a great reminder to everyone that we need to fight for our children.

kate hopper said...

What a lovely and moving post, Liz. I'm so grateful that your little man is doing so well, and that you are spreading the word about prematurity! I can't wait to read more of your story!!

Kip said...

Thanks for sharing your story... it's important for others to understand what we all went through and help fight prematurity. http://tubalub.com

MoDBev said...

Thank you for sharing your story and posting for Fight for Preemies. Baby Goat is quite the handsome man.

Susan Bearman said...

Thanks for sharing your story. We spent nearly five months on the NICU with our 24-week twins. Every moment was a challenge. They are now happy and healthy 19 year olds (today is their birthday!), but it was a long road.

krisgetshealthy said...

Thank you for sharing your story Liz (hugs)

trishatfox said...

I'm sorry for your friend's loss. Every child is a miracle.

tracy said...

I am so sorry for your friend's loss. Your baby goat is adorable. I loved this post.
xoxo,t

kristine said...

Amazing! So amazing.

Rebecca said...

I am so sorry for your friend. I just attended a celebration of life for a client of mine, remembering her premature son who was born and died three years ago this week. He was a 24/25-weeker. At the same time, I'm checking in with a woman I met through my doula work whose 23-weeker just celebrated his 3rd birthday.