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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Face of Prematurity

The March of Dimes is an incredible organization. It has helped to provide funding and research, and has saved the lives of many, many babies. Did you know that prematurity is the number one killer of babies? The March of Dimes hopes that one day, all children will be born full term. I pray for that day as well.

However, there is one problem I have with the MoD. They lead you to believe, with their nice posters and pretty pictures, that this is the face of prematurity:

And it is, to an extent. But what you won't see, what many don't like to acknowledge, is that this, this is the real face of prematurity:

Too often we look at babies like Charlotte and believe that she is "prematurity".

She's not.

Charlotte Amalie is the result of it. Prematurity is the 8 specialists she sees every other month. Prematurity is the three therapists she meets with once a week. Prematurity is the shots she gets every 4 weeks to avoid the common cold. Prematurity is the purell dispensers on my wall. Prematurity is missing Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas Eve parties with family and friends because there are too many germs.

Prematurity is recognizing that Charlotte is the outlier. She is doing remarkably well for a baby born 16 weeks early.

For so many others, prematurity means ventilators in their homes. It means a child who cannot speak, who cannot hear, who cannot walk. Prematurity means children who will never draw their parents a picture. It means children who will never be able to even hold a crayon. Prematurity is devastating.

Charlotte is a miracle. We are grateful everyday for her ever growing list of abilities. But for some, those abilities are not reality. When you pass those March of Dimes posters, please, feel inspired to give. Please donate to their cause. Their research, without question, saved our daughter's life.

But remember that the children pictured on the posters are not the face of prematurity. They are not the reality that many live with. As you read Charlotte's blog, keep in mind that she is what many parents would give anything to have.

So please, during this month of Prematurity Awareness, give to the March of Dimes. And remember. Remember what prematurity really is.


  1. Wow Amanda-- what a powerful post... thank you for reminding me that I am one of the lucky ones. I am up this morning at 5am to bring Eloise back to the hospital for a simple procedure and your post has changed my perspective on the whole thing-- thank you! I'm so happy that Charlotte is doing so well.

  2. Your post is very powerful and really says it all about prematurity. On behalf of the March of Dimes, I want to thank you for your courage and dedication in helping us raise awareness. We are fighting everyday for babies like Charlotte. We Fight for Preemies, because they shouldn't have to. But we can't do it alone, and blogs like yours really help us to get the word out....Thank you again.