Sierra Nicole was born as a micro-preemie at only 24 weeks. She weighed one pound, nine ounces. I went into labor with no notice and no other complications, was flown to Stanford and was put on Magnesium Sulfate to stop the contractions. Unfortunately, two days later, Sierra was born anyway on December 22, 1999.
I was perfectly healthy, and no reasons were ever discovered for the premature delivery. Sierra was in the hospital for three agonizing months, enduring countless medical procedures and setbacks. However, after many tears and much prayer she was released to go home in mid-April.
She came home on oxygen and several monitors, which were actually for our comfort since we had become so accustomed to watching them for the past three months. We endured countless sleepless nights, feeding difficulties and trips to the Optometrist due to ROP. The most difficult part was trying to get family members to understand the risk of exposing a micro-preemie to germs, and that “Aunt So-and-so” was just going to have to wait to see the baby until her “allergies” were gone.
Miraculously, Sierra is now a perfectly healthy three-and-a-half-year-old. She has no residual effects from her prematurity and is actually above average intelligence and above average height for her age. Her ROP is completely resolved.
We can’t stress enough what a miracle this is, most micro-preemies have life-long disabilities.
I am now 22 weeks pregnant with my second child. Since we do not know the cause of the first premature delivery, I am not “officially” on any restrictions. However, due to the trauma and the unknown causes of the first delivery, I am self-limiting my own activities and travel (no sex either!) until I make it past 30 weeks: my own self-imposed danger zone. We´re hoping for the best!
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