I love the preemie community

April 5, 2012

When I gave birth to Sam in 2010, I became a member of the preemie parent community.  Those of you readers that have your own preemie know what I am talking about.  For those without a preemie, let me tell you... in some ways you are really missing out.  Nobody knows how to rally around when you or someone you know is in need like the preemie community.

All of us preemie parents have survived some really overwhelming trauma.  We have all learned how to lean on the people around us.  We have reveled in the power of positive thinking and have a lot of experience asking people near and dear to us to think positive thoughts when our babies were in crisis.

When something bad happens, we know that all we have to do is ask for people to think good thoughts, and not only will the people we are connected to jump in, but they will then reach out to their friends and family and ask them to join in.

It is truly an amazing thing to watch and something I am so proud to be a part of.

In the past week, I have needed these good thoughts - not for me or Sam, but for my mom, a friend of mine who went into delivered her twins just shy of 29 weeks, and another friend whose preemie has been having a really rocky time.  Each time, the community responded.

New Preemies:
When word started to spread that Sam's case worker from the Regional Center of Berkeley had PPROM'd at 28 weeks, I was struck by how many people I knew were posting about her.  This is a woman who has touched the lives of many of the preemie's in the Bay Area, and now, here she was, about to become a mom to preemie twins.  Immediately the community went into overdrive, contacting the hospital where she was to ensure that she had the best L&D nurses, emailing with the NICU to let them know that a VIP was on its way, and sending good wishes to the mom to be along with a long list of the best primary nurses the NICU had to offer.

Rocky-Road Preemie:
Only the 4th smallest preemie to be born and survive... this little one is a real fighter.  She was just 9 ounces when born, and is now tipping the 2 pound mark on the scales.  This little girl has real lung issues, but in the past week made major strides moving from the ventilator to the bubble CPAP.  She has a long road ahead of her, but from what I have seen, the people around her and her amazing mommy... she will do great.

My Mom:
Oy.  My poor mom.  Last week she had to have part of her toe amputated.  My mom is a diabetic with little to no feeling in her feet.  She had an infection raging in her toe, but due to the lack of feeling, didn't notice it until it was in her bones.  She was lucky, as she could have lost more than her toe!

Now, if that wasn't enough... on Tuesday, mom was driving herself to physical therapy when she passed out at the wheel of her car, crossed the double yellow line on a very busy road, knocked over a telephone pole, took out a concrete retaining wall, some trees and a two fences before her car finally stopped.  It is a complete miracle she is alive - and that she didn't hurt anyone else.

The car damage

The car damage


Sam the Anti-Preemie

The damage - close up


Tutu and Irene cuddling in the hospital

Tutu and Irene cuddling in the hospital

She managed to walk away from the accident with some bruises... but has spent the past few nights in the hospital for tests while they try to find out what caused the issue.  Right now she is in the cardiac cath lab having a test done to see if she has a heart arrhythmia.  This would explain the blacking out and can be fixed by implanting a defibrillator in her chest.

Tying this back to the preemie community... when my dad and I got the call that mom was in this accident, we were in Los Angeles visiting my grandfather.  Since mom was in the ER at the hospital where Sam was born, I reached out to my social worker, Misty, and Sam's main nurse, Laura.  Misty dropped whatever it was she was doing to go down to the ER and sit with my mom until a family friend could get there.  Laura made her way down there at her first possible break.

Just because a post wouldn't be complete without a whole bunch of images...

Kenna sure is keeping us on our toes. And I really do believe she will do well. I am convinced it is primarily because of all the love and support we have received. (Thank you!) Thinking of your family, too. Hoping for a speedy recovery for Tutu.

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