A little over eight years ago, I was teaching K-8 Music and Drama in three schools. (Yes- three schools. That’s a whole other story) I was pregnant with my first daughter. I loved my job, but I was looking forward to the time when I would be home with my baby. Little did I know it would happen six weeks too soon!

I had gone in for a weekly check up a few days before, and I showed signs of risk for preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that can only be reversed by delivering the baby.

The doctor advised me to call if I had any dizziness, headaches, or weird feeling of any kind. That Friday at school, I couldn’t explain why, but I knew something was wrong. I was terrified as I called the doctor’s office, and they told me to get there ASAP. Thankfully, my husband happened to be teaching at the same school, so some other teachers covered for us and we left right away.

I remember feeling by body go numb when the doctor told me I’d be having a baby that day, within the next hour. She would be six weeks pre-term, and there was no time to travel to Winston-Salem, as was the usual procedure with pre-term babies. We prayed that our daughter would be strong enough to thrive without having to travel to a NICU in a far away city, and that they could deliver her before I went into full toxemia.

So Hip Chick was born that day, without a nursery ready, clothes and blankets packed, and all the other preparations one usually makes before having a baby. It was difficult recovering from the C-Section, while also recovering from the preeclampsia. My mom came and stayed for a while and was such a blessing during that time. My best friend and former college roommate went and washed all her clothes and tracked down as many preemie outfits as she could find in our small town.

HipChick needed to eat through a tube, since she hadn’t developed a strong enough sucking reflex. She also needed help to regulate her temperature and oxygen. But thankfully, she only had to spend 12 days in the hospital, and we stayed with her the whole time. I remember getting to know every labor and delivery nurse that worked there, and watching college basketball with them when they came in to check us.

We survived that first 12 days, and our lives changed forever. HipChick is a thriving, beautiful girl now. She loves to dance and sing, and she has a sweet sense of humor. It’s funny that after her rocky start in the world, she has been our healthiest child!

And that is why I have formed a team for the March of Dimes March for Babies!


For more information on how you can help Premature Babies survive, check out the March of Dimes’ March for Babies