Wednesday, November 12, 2008

November is Prematurity Awareness Month.

Dedicated to the

More than half a million babies

Who are born too soon,

Fighting for their lives,

And to their families,

Who pray for their survival.

I am the parent of a preemie. He is now 6 years old.

It seems so long since the worry, the stress. The Days of him in the NICU hooked up to a vent. The days before I was able to hold him. The worry, the wait. Waiting to see how he would do. Waiting for him to be able to come home.

So this month, I'm supporting the families who sit in the NICU and hold hands with baited breath. Families who's baby stays far from home for far too long. Or worse...never gets to come home at all.

Between 1981 and 2003, the rate of premature births rose from 9.4 percent to 12.3, an increase of almost 31 percent. Every year nearly 500,000 infants are born prematurely. That's roughly comparable to the population of Cleveland.

Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns. Those premature babies who do survive are often disabled for life.

And his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant near to giving birth, and got to hear the report that the ark of the true God was captured and that her father-in law and her husband had died. At that she bowed herself and began giving birth, because her pangs came unexpectedly upon her.

1 Samuel 4:19

Premature birth has been recognized as a problem since Biblical times.

Remember premature babies and their families in your prayers.

Premature birth is the number one killer of newborns and babies who survive may be disabled for life. Even the best of care cannot always spare a premature baby from lasting disabilities such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, developmental delays, chronic lung disease or vision and hearing problems.

The March of Dimes is leading a national effort to save babies from premature birth by funding research to find the causes and by supporting local programs that offer hope and help to families with a baby in intensive care. As part of that effort, the March of Dimes wants women to know there are steps they can take to reduce their risk of premature birth. You can learn more by going to the web site, marchofdimes.Com, and clicking on “I want my 9 months.”

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