Dearest NICU Staff

November is Prematurity Awareness Month.

Prematurity is the number one cause of death for newborns and in the US, 1 out of every 8 babies is born early. Our prematurity rate has increased by 35% in the past 25 years, costing more than 26 billion dollars a year.

After our daughter was born early and spent three weeks in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of our local hospital, my husband and I teamed up with the March of Dimes Organization, serving on the Family Teams Committee, making it our mission to help bring awareness to the serious problem of preterm birth.

Our Family Teams Committee uses this month of awareness to show our appreciation for the NICU staffs responsible for caring for our tiniest angels. This month we will be delivery cookies to every NICU in our city as well as presenting the doctors and nurses with letters of appreciation.

Here is mine:

Dearest NICU Staff of Baylor Medical Center Dallas,

Nearly three years ago, at just 34 weeks pregnant, I gave birth to my baby girl. Harper Reese Barnett weighed just 4lb9oz, the tiniest baby we had ever seen, but like life as we knew it, that too would soon change. After 8 days in the hospital on strict bed rest, Harper was born via c-section because of low amniotic fluid. My husband and I had prayed before my surgery for the team of doctors and nurses that would hold our baby days before we would. We prayed for compassionate hearts and steady hands, patience and knowledge, and for clear minds and gentle spirits.

God answers prayers. You all are our angels. You took the hands of two very frightened new parents and lead us through the darkest time of our lives, providing peace and comfort along the way. Our stay in the NICU was brief compared to others, 21 days.  Harper was the “Big Girl”. Her roommates were true miracles, not even 2lbs. Even in our situation, we knew we were blessed.

During our stay we witness the genuine love that each of you have for your patients. Your passion and selflessness is obvious. You all are lifesavers, God sent. And if it weren’t for you all, my very vivacious, very sassy almost three year old would not be here today,  my newest girl would not have a big sister, my husband would not have his “Princess”, and a part of my heart would be missing. I can never-ever thank you enough for saving Harper’s life. I will continue to thank God every day for each and every one of you.

YOU Can Make A Difference

  • Visit www.marchofdimes.com to make a donation and help fund lifesaving research.
  • Go Purple for Preemies- Encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to wear purple on November 13th in support of Prematurity Awareness Month.
  • Educate yourself and others on the dangers and ways to reduce your risk of premature delivery.
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