If you listen to any of the popular Top 40 type radio stations, you've heard the Lady Gaga song "Born This Way." It always makes me think of Charlie and Lily because of the line, "I was born to survive." I feel like those 5 little words sum up our miracle babies perfectly. From the moment they were born they had to fight to survive. There was no cuddling in a cozy bed with their mommy and daddy or being held by their loving, adoring relatives for the first time. Instead, there was air being pumped into their tiny, underdeveloped lungs. Tubes being jammed down their throat. Needles being shoved into their minuscule arms. It would have been so easy for them to give up - after all they were born 15 weeks early. Everyone would have understood. But Charlie and Lily, like many preemie miracles, were born to survive.
Unfortunately, their fight is a not a unique one, but they are fortunate enough to be counted among those who won the fight. Their sister, our beautiful Annaleigh, was among this terrible battle's many, many casualties.
Today, November 17th, is National Prematurity Awareness Day. Every year, half a million babies in the United States are born too soon, too small and very sick - that's 1 in every 8 babies. Since 1981, the rate of premature birth has risen 36%, and in half the cases it is not understood what went wrong. The March of Dimes is leading the fight for answers, and ultimately, prevention.
Please visit the March of Dimes' Prematurity Campaign to see how you can help. We fight, so babies don't have to.
Charlie at birth - 1 lb, 13 oz.
Charlie now, 28 months old
Lily at birth - 1 lb, 8 oz
Lily today, 28 months old
Our Annaleigh, just days before she was diagnosed with the NEC that took her life.