Saturday, November 17, 2012

Preemie Awareness Day

Today is Preemie Awareness Day.   I technically don't consider myself a preemie mom, I really don't think of 36 weeks as a preemie.  But I am a NICU mom, X3.   All 3 boys have spent the beginning part of their life in the NICU.

Blake, the oldest had the longest stay.  Blake was born at 39 weeks on New Years Eve and weighed 5lbs 2oz.  Not preemie material.  But he did spend the first 12 days of his life in the NICU at Cardinal Glennon Childrens Hospital in St. Louis. Blake was born with a virus that caused him to have low platelets when he was born.  Because of the low platelets he had to have a platelet transfusion while in the NICU.  The virus also caused him to lose the hearing in his left ear. 

Blake in the NICU

The 1st 6 months of his life he was pretty much cooped up inside for fear of all the winter illnesses.  Which brings me to RSV.  RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, is the leading cause of infant hospitalization.  Preemies are not the only ones at risk for RSV.  But so are low birth weight babies, children with certain lung or heart diseases, a family history of asthma and children who have frequent contact with other children.

Once Blake hit one we thought we were out of the clear, but boy were we wrong.  At 16 months old Blake contracted RSV and was transferred to the PICU at Cardinal Glennon where he spent a week.  Thankfully Blake only had that one bout of RSV. 

Fast forward 8 years and here comes Jeremiah.  Jeremiah was my 3lb 15oz 17.5 in 38 weeker.  You can read his full birth story here.  He spent 5 days in the NICU.  Fast forward another 2 years and here is Carter.  He is technically my preemie born at 36 weeks.  He was 4lbs 10oz 17.5 in.  You can read about my pregnancy and his birth here.  He was the shortest of the NICU stays at 3 days.



We got away with no RSV for a few winters with them.  But last winter they both caught it at the same time.  Luckily we caught it soon enough that they were able to stay out of the hospital. 

I am hoping we get lucky again this winter.  But poor Jeremiah was diagnosed with Asthma last year.  He is on 2 inhalers numerous times a day.  Already this fall, just a few weeks ago, he had croup.  And I think it is quickly sneaking its way back in.  So keep your fingers crossed that it doesn't turn into something worse. 

Here are some known facts about RSV.

To learn more go to and/or download the World Preemie Day/RSV Awareness fact sheet.


  1. My daughter had RSV at 3 months, and it was terrifying. While she was in the hospital throwing up and on oxygen for low blood saturation, I had a double ear infection and a bad sore throat. What a rough couple of days!

    Your boys are just darling, especially as wee newborns!

  2. I've not had to deal with it with my own kids, but I had a cousin who was born 34 weeks(23 years a go problems were so different then too) and just last year my friend had her daughter at 27 weeks she was just under 3 lbs. Spent the first three months in the NICU-I know she is keeping up with EVERYTHING and its wonderful to know that special awareness is being to the subject! I saw that Empire State Building was lite in purple for it!

  3. I had no idea that RSV could hit an older child!! Thank you for the info!

  4. It breaks my heart that you have been through it 3 times! I hope and pray that Jeremiah will get through the season without getting sick-as having asthma doesn't make it easy.
    Thank you for sharing each of your birth stories and raising awareness about RSV as there is no telling who will get it!
    Your boys are very handsome(;

  5. Thank you so much for this post.