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Micro preemie, PDA, Pregnancy after prematurity

Meet Jaclyn, Preemie Parent Mentor

My preemie(s) was born at: 25 weeks
Days spent in the NICU: 90 days
Parent of Multiples: No
Our NICU Journey included: PDA Ligation, Pumping/Breastfeeding, Skin to skin care, Pregnancy after prematurity, Advocating for your baby

When my son KJ was born at 25 weeks 5 days gestation, it changed our world. I spent my days pumping, snuggling skin to skin and wondering what our future may hold.  KJ struggled with a PDA. The strain of this heart condition was holding him back from big milestones like feeding and began impacting his breathing.  After 2-3 rounds of medication, we decided to let the surgeons operate and close the PDA. KJ was barely 2 lbs. It was one of the longest days in our NICU stay but he recovered well and finally started to make progress.

I remember the night I delivered KJ. Sleep was the furthest thing from my mind.  All I wanted to do was be able to talk to someone that had gone through this before.  I wanted someone to tell me we would get through it. I needed someone to let me know I wasn’t alone.  An online search led me to Graham’s Foundation and I immediately requested a mentor. When Meegan emailed me it was a great outlet, resource, and she gave me the hope I needed.  I know everyone’s journey is different. Not every parent experiences the same outcome, but getting through the journey is one of the hardest things I have ever had to go through.  I would love to be able to be a sounding board, especially for those wondering what another pregnancy may look like after delivering a preemie. I want to help other moms and dads, like Meegan helped me.

Micropreemies Issues

The micropreemie journey can be like walking through a mine field for both preemies and their families. The moms and dads of the earliest babies celebrate not only the milestones, but also the minutes. Every hour in the early days is hard won. Every milestone met, a triumph. A micro-preemie parent’s courage and resilience may be tested to the very limits. The struggle may feel never-ending, but it’s important that parents know they are never alone.