Life as the “Miracle Baby”: Living as a former premature baby

On November 15th 1995 I was born 2 months premature. My mother had me when she was around 7 months along. I weighed one pound nine ounces and was around 12 inches long. Due to being a premature baby or preemie, I had to spend months in the NICU or neonatal intensive care unit as a baby as well as have constant watch, medications, and a feeding tube and IV in to help me get the food and nutrients I needed. When I was finally able to go home I had to have two nurses throughout my infantry to help with my medications and watching me when my parents could not. By the time I was about 4 I was able to have no feeding tube or nurses. I could go to preschool like many other children my age.
Medications, Doctors visits, and weight management were some of the few things that I still have to deal with today. While an infant, I had to have multiple surgeries such as having half my intestines removed. Due to the problems and complications due to being a preemie I had to take many different medications in different forms to help me live a healthy life. I have to take about 12 different pills every day and twice a month I have to take Nascobal nasal spray to help with a Vitamin B 12 deficiency. Over the years medications have lessened or been added to my daily schedule. Some I will or have grown out of while others I will have to take for the rest of my life. Doctor’s visits are another accommodation that I have to make in my life due to being a preemie. Every 6 month I have to go to visit the Children Hospital in King of Prussia to get my weight, height, check up, and occasional blood work completed. This is due to being a preemie I have to make sure I keep a healthy growth for my age group even though I was smaller than most people my age when they were born. That leads me into the final aspect of being a preemie I have to deal with still today which is weigh management. Throughout my life I was always smaller or shorter than most of my classmates. This was an effect of being a preemie and something I have lived with my entire life and probably will continue to live with. Being small and skinny though was not exactly the healthiest weight for someone like me to be. For the longest time I had to focus on gaining weight so I would not be underweight and be on the chart for my age group healthy weight range. Currently the important thing for me like most premature babies is to try and maintain that healthy weight and not go under that weight or go to much overweight.
My life is not as hard as some people have it. While I do have medications I will have to take for the rest of my life and struggles I will have to deal with due to being premature, I do not feel that has made me less of a person though or someone to feel pity or despair towards. I have had a great support system of doctors, nurses, and of course my parents who have helped me throughout my life. I am grateful for all that I have and the strength that being a premature baby has given me. By Jessica Pupillo