preemie-thing-1November 17th is a pretty big day to me and to many of my preemie mom friends. It’s a specific day that is set aside for people to put the importance of education about prematurity in your face. We blog, we wear purple, I have friends doing radio spots and some making speeches. Prematurity is a big deal to us because we have experience and we talk because if you don’t have experience we want it to stay that way.

Last year I gave a general blog about premature stats. The stats haven’t changed in the past year. 1 in 8 babies is till born premature. Many babies spend the first days, weeks, and in some cases months in the hospital. This year I want to make it a little more personal and talk about why I had to give birth early.

Pre-eclampsia, or “pre-e”, is a disease of pregnant women. The only cure is to deliver the baby. This is why I am now the mother of a preemie. In my pregnancy book they didn’t talk about pre-e until week 32. I delivered at week 28. I was ignorant of any of the signs of pre-eclampsia. I had excessive swelling, vision disturbances and trouble breathing. I thought it was July and pregnant women had swelling when it was hot; I figured I was moving too fast which caused the vision disturbances; and I thought Brady was sitting in a way that was causing me to have trouble breathing. All of those symptoms where signs of something much worse.

I had no clue what my body was going through. Every symptom I had I could just pass off as regular pregnancy symptoms. Unfortunately I was very wrong. Had I known someone like me who was very vocal about these signs I would have gone to the doctor much sooner.

I insist on being that person who might help someone realize that what they are experiencing is not normal. If I help just one person become more aware of what this disease can do then I am thankful.

Just a few stats:

  • 81,708 premature births are caused by pre-e each year which is an estimated cost of 4 billion dollars
  • pre-eclampsia occurs in about 10% of all pregnancies
  • about 18% of maternal deaths are cause by pre-e. This means hundreds of babies are motherless because of pre-e each year
  • there is still no known cause of pre-eclampsia

Risk Factors for Pre-eclampsia:

  • previous history of pre-e
  • pregnant with multiples
  • transplant
  • first pregnancy
  • obesity
  • over the age of 40 or under 18
  • family history of pre-e
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • autoimmune disorders
  • in-vitro fertilization
  • sickle cell disease

* ALL INFO HAS COME FROM www.preeclampsia.org

I had one of the 11 risk factors. Brady was my first pregnancy. I write all this to emphasize that this can happen to anyone.

I also want to say that 40% of premature births are because of unknown causes. Brady’s birth could have been prevented with some education, but many can’t which is why the March of Dimes needs our help.

The March of Dimes does research specifically to find ways to treat and prevent pre-eclampsia. They are a wonderful organization which wants to stop prematurity in its tracks and they need or help to do so. Please get educated about prematurity. Please be aware that it can happen to you.

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