Dear family & friends,
Since today is National Prematurity Day, we figured it was the perfect time for a brief update on Jake & Josh plus some news about the fight to help prevent other babies from being born too soon.
Our miracle men turned 3½ last week and are continuing their remarkable progress. They have healthy appetites and enjoy a variety of food. They still get a night-time tube feeding, but only to make sure they’re getting enough calories each day. Basically, we’re still trying to fatten ‘em up. Both weigh around 25 pounds. Jake is eating so well that he’s being weaned from his tube feeding. We hope to start doing the same soon with Josh; he eats fine, he’s just so active he burns off a lot.
Otherwise, the boys are pretty much how you’d expect kids their age to be. They love going to preschool and their time at home is filled with singing, dancing, coloring and playing outside. They are each other’s best friend and both idolize their big brother, with good reason. We’ve attached a few pictures so you can see for yourself how happy they all are. (Yes, that is a cast on Josh’s arm and it has nothing to do with his pirate makeup. The cast, and the makeup, are off now.)
In hopes that other families can have the happy ending we’re enjoying – or, better yet, avoid the traumatic beginning – we’ve become involved with the March of Dimes and their work toward preventing prematurity. Thanks again to those who sponsored our Family Team in this past year’s WalkAmerica. We raised more than $3,000, which ranked among the top 25 in the state. You’ll be hearing from us again next year, too, as we are now the co-chairs of the local chapter’s Family Teams program for the 2006 Walk. We’d love for you to join us on April 29.
So, what is National Prematurity Day? Basically, it’s about awareness. The state of Texas is getting into it in a dramatic way by having the governor’s mansion shine in pink and blue lights at sunset tonight. In Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s will be pumping out pink and blue ice cream.
A great step you can take is letting your federal representatives know that you support the Preemie Act, which aims to expand and coordinate federal programs to the care, treatment, and health concerns of preterm and low birth weight infants. Details are available at http://www.marchofdimes.com/aboutus/855_17469.asp. Making your voice heard is not difficult, but it does take a few minutes to sort through. If you’re interested, reply to this e-mail and we can send you a how-to form that speeds up the process. Other info about the March of Dimes and today’s event(s) can be found by clicking your way to http://www.marchofdimes.com/pad/.
As always, thank you for all your love and support of Jake and Josh, and this important cause.
Lori & Jaime
Tuesday, November 15, is Prematurity Awareness Day 2005, a day designated annually by the March of Dimes to focus national attention on issues related to premature birth.
More than 12% of babies in the United States are born prematurely, which means born at less than 37 weeks of gestation. This can be as early as 23 or 24 weeks the earliest cusp of survivability today.
That comes to more than 499,000 babies, or about 1,360 on a typical day, according to the report released by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). That's an average of nearly one a minute all through the night and day ... every day. Think about that the next time you're stuck in traffic and the clock is ticking.
Someone you know has experience with prematurity as a parent or a child. Just ask around. You'll be surprised at how common it is. And the trend is growing: the rate of premature birth has increased by 31% since 1981.
These numbers may represent a lifetime of medical issues for the babies and shattered dreams for hundreds of thousands of parents. Many of them are your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers ... just ask around.