This is my little man on the day he was born, 6.5 weeks early, all 4 pounds, 9 ounces of him. After weeks of bed rest my dude couldn’t wait any longer to meet us and arrived just a tad before he was finished cooking (inside family joke!). He spent 9 days in the NICU. I ran back and forth from the hospital and back home, trying to rest and pump breast milk and recuperate. He wasn’t even 5 pounds when we brought him home.
Today is the March of Dimes World Prematurity Day. About 10% of babies born in the United States are preterm. Around the world it is the leading cause of death for children under 5. In Florida, where I live, our grade is C when it comes to premature birthrates.
Many of those born prematurely have lifelong problems. We were lucky. My son lagged behind developmentally until he turned one. I used to agonize about when he would roll over or sit up or crawl or walk. His teeth came in late. It took him forever to sleep all night. But, eventually he caught up.
Other babies aren’t as lucky.
I don’t give to a whole lot of charities. Being an educator for so many years in urban schools I spent gobs of money on my students and I figured that was my charity. But, I do give to historical organizations and museums (I know you’re shocked!). I also give to March of Dimes because I know how important their work is in advocacy, education, and awareness around the issue of premature birth.
Check out the March of Dimes website for more information.