My mother claims I was born three weeks late. I say that she “claims” this because I’m not entirely sure that doctors were as effectively back then of keeping track of due dates. I still tell people this story though as a sort of explanation as to why I’m always late. I was born that way!
Regardless of whether I was born late or right on time, I was born full term at a healthy weight of 6 lbs. even. Although that sounds small, my mother is pretty small (only 4’11”) so she gave birth to four rather small babies. But again, we were all full term babies and we were all, for the most part, born without any complications.
These days, it seems like birth complications are more common. And in fact, they are. When I was born, preterm birth rates were just over 9% of all live births. In the past ten years, it peaked at almost 13% and is now on the decline.
Still, in the United States, one baby is born prematurely every minute and approximately 72 die each day before reaching their first birthday. Worldwide, the number is a staggering 15 million babies that are born too soon each year.
Luckily, the March of Dimes is around to help. Originally founded in 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt to lead the fight against polio, its mission today is
To improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.
My mother never needed the services of the March of Dimes and thankfully, I never did either but it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
My son had a due date of January 29, 2007 but a few weeks before then, he was discovered to be in a breech position. At that point, they gave me several options. I could schedule a C-section or I could have an “external cephalic version” done.
I can’t remember how the doctor described it but I remember it being something along the lines of greasing up my belly and trying to physically turn the baby around, from the outside. The first deterrent for me was that I heard it was quite painful. The second was that maybe the baby just didn’t want to turn (he’s actually turned out to be a pretty stubborn kid). Even if they were successful, he could still turn back around. But the biggest one was this:
I would have had the procedure done when I was about 36 weeks. The doctor told me that in some circumstances the procedure can cause early labor which would then warrant an emergency C-section. And that made my decision for me. I wanted my baby to bake as long as possible.
We ended up with a scheduled C-section on January 24th. He was still considered full term and came out a happy and healthy baby at 7 lbs. 7 ozs. and I’ve never for a moment regretted my decision. BONUS: I’ve never experienced a single labor pain!
I know I am fortunate for so many reasons. I have so many friends that now have happy and healthy kids that started out as preemies. But I also have many other friends that were as lucky with their premature births. For that reason, I’m proud to support the efforts of the March of Dimes and their recognition that every baby is born to do something great.
My son was born to make people laugh and figure out complex problems. I know he has a big future ahead of him. My husband was born to save lives (literally) and make the world a safer place. As for me? Just like Steve Martin in “The Jerk,” I’m still trying to figure out my special purpose. But I know I’m born to do something great.
As we continue to give thanks for our mothers after Mother’s Day and prepare to celebrate dads on Father’s Day (my dad was also a breech baby many decades ago), there’s a way you can celebrate and recognize them while helping support an organization that’s been around for a long time to ensure that every baby has a chance to do something great.
Visit imbornto.com for gift ideas from March of Dimes partners and special partner offers that help give back.
This is a sponsored post for the March of Dimes #imbornto campaign on behalf of The Motherhood. All thoughts and opinions are my own.