Today, I have a special surprise for you.
We have a Special Guest Blogger in the Korner!
A former co-worker and friend of mine has a very important message to share with you all, and I am happy to give her the forum to do so.
In the hallway, lunchroom, elevator, snack shop, and yes, even the bathroom, she would be asked, 'How's Lucy Clare doing?'
Not because any of us was making idle bathroom chit chat, but because those of us who asked, cared.
But ... I'll let Taryn tell you the story of Little Lucy Clare ...
Four years ago I would not have paid attention to an event like Prematurity Awareness Month and I likely would not have even known about the work of the March of Dimes.
Today I am proud to be a supporter of the March of Dimes and their important work.
On March 8, 2007, my niece, Lucy Clare entered this world after my brother, Jonathan and sister-in-law, Mary, made the difficult decision to have an emergency c-section at 25 weeks gestation.
In the weeks leading up to Lucy’s arrival, Jonathan and Mary knew that there was a chance Lucy would have to arrive early. She wasn’t growing and the doctors said that if she didn’t reach 500 grams there would be very little they could do.
We all held our breath as Mary went to each ultra-sound appointment, hoping that this baby (gender unknown to all but them) would grow – just a little bit more, just a few more grams. They were briefed by the ob-gyn on what outcomes to expect if she was born at 32, 30 or 28 weeks.
A few weeks prior to Lucy’s birth they were given a tour of the NICU so that they would be prepared for what they may encounter.
At their last appointment, on March 8, they were told they had to make the difficult decision – wait another week and risk that she wouldn’t survive in utero or deliver that day knowing that the hospital had never had a baby that small survive.
Wanting to just give Lucy a chance, they opted for the c-section.
25 days old: Dad’s wedding band on her arm
Lucy was a micro-preemie in every sense of the word. She weighed only 400 grams (14 ounces) and was just 10 inches in length.
At her lowest, she dropped down to 290 grams.
She was given surfactant therapy – its research was funded by the March of Dimes – for her lungs. She breathed with the help of a ventilator for five weeks before being switched to CPAP for two months and then on nasal canula until she was discharged.
Lucy’s time in the hospital was filled with ups and downs – it often seemed like one step forward and two steps back. She faced many of the challenges that preemies in the NICU face: infection, retinopathy, the struggle to breathe on her own, a heart condition and feeding challenges.
Lucy spent 182 days in the hospital – six long months – before she joined her family at home.
Today Lucy is a happy, funny, easy-going 3 ½ year old who adores her big sister Stella and is starting to enjoy her baby sister Mallory.
She loves books, colouring, watching Yo Gabba Gabba and dancing.
But she still faces many challenges: she takes medication for pulmonary hypertension, she relies on a feeding tube for 100% of her nutrition and she has deteriorating eyesight. She has therapy appointments with a feeding specialist, physiotherapist, and attends weekly sensory motor sessions.
Our family considers itself lucky that Lucy is here today and we want to do everything we can do to raise awareness for prematurity-related issues. It’s our chance to give back just a little bit.
Visit www.marchofdimes.com to find out how you can help!
Thank you, Taryn. Thank you, March of Dimes.
But most of all, thank you Lucy Clare, for being the fighter you were, and continue to be.
You GO, Girl!
This post is proud to be part of the Bloggers Unite: Fight For Preemies initiative!