Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Today, November 17, is
Prematurity Awareness Day!

This cause is near and dear
to my heart because our sweet
Ella Rae was born 6 weeks premature.
We were definitely on the upper side
of the 'premature spectrum' so to speak,
as many babies are born waaay earlier.
We did, however, spend 14 days in the
NICU after Ella's birth.
It was a whirlwind to say the least.

Did you know that
1 out of 8
babies are born premature?
And the amount of premature births
has risen 30% since 1981.
That means too many babies
are coming early
and too many parents
have to endure the
unknown of their child
being born prematurely.
Today is a day to fight for those
babies and families.

In honor of Premature Awareness Day,
I thought I would share some
pictures of Ella Rae's Birth.

The very first photo ever taken of Ella Rae. Kelly took this picture through the door when they were evaluating Ella right after she came out. A few minutes later they allowed Kelly in the room. Of course that left me alone. But I was fine and more concerned with Ella Rae anyways.
This is the very first time I got to actually touch my babe. After she was born, I looked at her for a quick second, and she was whisked away to the next room to get evaluated and an IV put in. Then they brought her to my room before taking her up to the NICU. Also notice that she doesn't have a breathing tube. We were very fortunate in that aspect. Ella did not need help breathing or eating during her NICU stay.
Looking in at my cutie-patotie!
Finally, about 5 hours after Ella's birth, we got our first family picture.
That's my girl! The white thing on her left arm was a brace that held her IV in. Ella Rae was not a fan of all the probs and cords attached to her so they had to tape them onto her!
This is Ella Rae's hand holding onto Kelly's fingertip. I think this is a good visual to show how tiny she really was. Her pinky fingernail was the size of a ball point pen. Again, I know many babies are born much smaller then Ella was, but this was crazy small to our family and friends.
And finally, Ella Rae all snapped in to her car seat ready to go home. The crying was only temporary, because she was a perfect angel the whole 2 1/2 hour ride home. I think she just didn't want to leave all her new friends in the NICU! But we did leave. And we have been celebrating our miracle baby for the last 21 months.

Ella Rae is a happy, healthy, striving, full of life-toddler.
The evidence is in the pictures of this blog, like this one:
Happy Prematurity Awareness Day!
We Love You, Ella Rae!

*** I found this beautiful story on another mommy's blog and had to share it. I hope and pray it gives encouragement and peace to other Mommies of premature babies. ***

How Preemie Moms Are Chosen
(By: Erma Bombeck)

Did you ever wonder how the mothers of premature babies are chosen?
Somehow, I visualize God hovering over Earth, selecting his
instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he
observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew.
Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia.
Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint…give her Gerard. He’s used to
Finally, he passes a name to an angel and smiles.
“Give her a preemie.” The angel is curious. “Why this one, God?
She’s so happy.”
“Exactly,” smiles God.
“Could I give a premature baby a mother who knows no laughter? That
would be cruel.”
“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.
“I don’t want her to have too much patience, or she’ll drown in a sea
of self-pity and despair.
Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it.
I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so
rare and so necessary in a mother.
You see, the child I’m going to give her has a world of its own.
She has to make it live in her world, and that’s not going to be easy.”
“But Lord, I don’t think she even believes in you.”
God smiles. “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect She has
just the right amount of selfishness.”
The angel gasps, “Selfishness?! Is that a virtue?”
God nods. “If she can’t separate herself from the child occasionally,
she will never survive.
Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.
She doesn’t know it yet, but she is to be envied.
She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary.
When her child says momma for the first time,
she will be witness to a miracle and know it.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see–
ignorance, cruelty, prejudice–
and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone.
I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in
the air.
God smiles. “A mirror will suffice.


  1. Love this special post! Our sweet angel Ella Rae, does indeed have a very special mommy!(and daddy!) God always knows what He is doing! What a miracle she has been - from the beginning! We love ya'll!!!

  2. Love the Erma Bombeck piece. Any stay on the NICU, no matter how short or long, is scary for parents. My 24-week twins spent nearly five months on the NICU. They share a birthday today with National Prematurity Awareness Day. I felt that was such a unique coincidence that I created a new website of the journal I kept during their five-month NICU stay. It's called Mike&Ollie: 24-weekers Who Beat the Odds. Glad to have found you through Bloggers Unite: Fight for Preemies.

  3. On behalf of the March of Dimes, thank you so much for sharing your prematurity story today. You have certainly been through so much, but Ella Rae looks strong and healthy now. We appreciate your help in raising awareness. Together we fight for Preemies...because they shouldn't have to.

  4. Ella is beautiful! Thanks for sharing this lovely post!

  5. I loved reading this post!! Ella has come so far and you guys are an inspiration for others going through the same situation! MOD is one of my favorite charities :)

    I tried to respond to your comment but didn't see your email - just wanted to say thank you for your prayers! They mean a lot to me! Happy Friday :)