As I was checking my March for Babies page this morning (by the way feel free to visit it and make a donation!), I saw a blog entry for today entitled "For Sweet Little Madeline". I don't usually read these blog entries because they are about easy ways to raise money and such (I'm not big on just calling people up to ask for money), but decided to read this one. Madeline Alice Spohr who was born just 3 months before Julianna, and a week older gestation, died yesterday at only 17 months old. I felt compelled to check out her mom's blog to find out a little bit about her. From what I have read, Maddie has dealt with issues related to her prematurity for most of her short life. This past weekend she had a slight cough and seemed to have a cold. Monday, her mom took her to the pediatrician who sent her to the hospital, and sadly yesterday she died. I couldn't help but cry. It struck my "mom of a preemie" chord.
We have been lucky enough that Julianna has dodged just about every preemie related set back so far. Sure, she sees a neurologist regularly(a new one this month!) and there is still the possibility of CP, she has undergone 8+ months of occupational and physical therapy (almost done!) and she is very susceptible to pneumonia if she gets a cold(had it once already), but there are so many other and worse things that she could be dealing with. She is such a great little girl and has overcome so much in her life already!
Reading about the death of a little girl so close to Julianna's age, was a sad reminder that preemies are still preemies even after they grow and meet important milestones. I like to think that Julianna is no longer a preemie, that she is a normal little girl. Part of me is like, hey, she's crawling, eating solid foods, doing the things full-term babies should do, but I'm kind of just fooling myself. I know she will always be a preemie. There are issues from prematurity that don't even show up until school age, puberty, even adulthood. Stories like Maddie's make me appreciate her even more, and if possible, make me even more thankful that she has been doing so well.