November is Prematurity Awareness Month

It’s kind of late in the month to be talking about this, but I have to admit that Declan’s prematurity is almost an afterthought now. We’re very lucky; it was pretty serious when he was born at 32 weeks. And it’s fairly ironic that he was actually due in November, the month that celebrates awareness of premature babies – yet, he decided to come 8 weeks early in September.

No one knows why it happened, yet interestingly enough, it has shaped so much of the rest of our lives. For example, it caused Declan to start Kindergarten a year earlier than he would have, because the cut-off in our district is October 1st. So, now he is among the youngest in his class, where otherwise he would have been the oldest. And yet, (warning: excessive bragging ahead), he is reading at a 2nd grade level and writes almost as well as I do. Certainly better than his father. So, was there some plan in motion for this kid when he decided to come early? We’ll never know.

Danielle has told me that sometimes I make him sound frail on this blog. At least when I tell stories of his time in the NICU, like when I was trying to explain how breastfeeding made me feel. And I see her point. Becasue I haven’t taken enough time to talk about how far he has come since those days. Maybe because I just don’t think of it.

Because he has come through the experience a totally normal kid. Advanced in some areas, behind in others. Sure, he’s still a little clutzy, but with me as a mother – I think that’s just his lot in life.

But when I really think about it, I realize how lucky we are. Physically, he is strong. In fact, he can kick our asses most days when we wrestle. Mentally, he is sharp as a tack. Eyes, great. Lungs – OK, a touch of asthma when he gets sick – but he’s growing out of that too. But all around: NORMAL. Scratch that. AWESOME.

We. are. so. lucky.

Many families with premature babies don’t have it as easy as we did. They still have lingering problems, or don’t make it at all. So, if you are looking for a wonderful charity to help out with end-of-year, gotta-make-it-in before the end of the tax year donations, March of Dimes is a great place to start.

Just think of all those kids we wouldn’t have to worry about next November.


P.S. 30 Days of Thanks
I am thankful for Declan’s health, strength and wisdom.

This article has 21 comments

  1. Sue at nobaddays

    And we, too, feel richer for knowing Declan through your blog 😉

  2. Anonymous

    Declan rocks.

  3. Tree

    “Declan’s wisdom” indeed. Your son is a wonderful person – a very nice blend of you, Bryan and his very self.

  4. sue

    How do you know all these things? I didn’t know that was what November was…I, too, had a premie (my first) and I may have to post.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    Thank you, mostly, for sharing Declan with us. He’s a sweetie.

  5. J at

    I was a preemie too…not sure how much, because my mom isn’t sure when she was supposed to have me, and that’s a whole torrid tale in and of itself. But I was 5 lbs 3 oz, and couldn’t breathe on my own, which in 1965 was a tiny tiny baby, whereas today not so much. And you know what? I’m fine, have been fine pretty much since I came home from the hospital. 🙂

    It was hard on my mom, and she had a lot of trouble breastfeeding, as I was too small and weak to latch well, but hell, that formula turned out to be OK.

    Yay for Declan, yay for you. 🙂

  6. monstergirlee

    Declan ROCKS – I just love reading about him.
    But how could he not? With you and Bryan for parents, you guys rock too.

  7. zipper

    WTG Declan!

  8. Meghann

    Thanks for posting this Aimee.

  9. zenrain

    i’m so thankful for his good health, too:) and so happy i’ve gotten to see him grow since he was 1 week old!

  10. Kelly O

    Aw. I’m thankful for Declan’s health, too, and for all kids who are able to get through dark times.

  11. Anonymous

    Very cool.

  12. Phil

    Thank you for increasing my awareness! A friend of my partner and I just had her baby this morning, and he’s 4 weeks premature. I’ve got a link back to this blog entry on my most recent blog entry, as well as to the March of Dimes.

  13. regina

    As you know, this is a subject near and dear to me. I enjoy reading your tales about Declan… They give me positive things to look forward to with Sofia, who I’m convinced came early because she has a mission to accomplish, and it wasn’t going to happen all couped up inside me!

  14. samantha jo campen

    Great post. My cousin was born @ 30 weeks and fought hard. Today he’s a rough and tumble 2 year old and you wouldn’t know what he had to go through in the beginning. Looking at him always makes me think back to when he was born, and be thankful.

    Thanks for raising awareness for this month. I hadno idea!

  15. MB

    That Declan is a cutie patootie.

  16. Amy

    I can’t relate to the premie aspect but I can relate to the being in awe of and totally thankful for my kids and their health.

  17. Sarah

    It’s so cool that Declan has outgrown everything!

  18. Christina

    It is awesome that he is so healthy despite being premature! Sounds like he’s determined to go past every expectation.

    My family all supports March of Dimes. My sister was born at 31.5 weeks, back in 1975, and didn’t make it to two weeks old. It’s amazing to see how medical advances are helping preemies to survive and thrive. Declan is one of those success stories.

  19. Alida

    I went back and read your blog on breastfeeding. I remember I had a hard time with Luke(my issues really) I didn’t feel confident that he was getting enough milk so I supplemented with formula for the first two months. My husband and pediatrician were on board with whatever made me feel more comfortable…but my “breastfeeding only” friends were just awful. Isn’t that something?

    It’s difficult when babies struggle so much their first weeks of life. Perhaps Declan was just ahead of the game already. How exciting for you to watch him grow and see his successes.

  20. soccer mom in denial

    As you know, even though my two boys are big, strapping, developmentally on-target 7 year olds, I have a very very hard time talking about their time in the NICU. Coming into this world at 30 weeks was awful.

    So while I hope folks give money for the kids it is also for the parents. I wish no parent has to experience the NICU. I wish every baby could come into the world full-term and healthy.

    Yeah March of Dimes! Yeah Declan! But the biggest yeah of all for Aimee!!

  21. carrie

    Aaaaaw! Thanks for sharing this about him, your awesome son!

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