My dearest babies:
I got to see you this past weekend. You are both tiny but you are also whole. For this I am thankful and I am thankful for more. Your little fingers complete with nails. Long and graceful, comparison fails. Your skinâ€™s complexion mirrors my own. I wonder what youâ€™ll look like when you are both grown.
I am so thankful you are here though Iâ€™d prefer to hold you tight. But God has a purpose as day turns to night. Your mother is fretting as Iâ€™m sure you know. Tears flow freely as you slowly grow. You hold her finger in one of your hands and time slips faster than the passing of sands. Sheâ€™s fed you a pinch from her bodyâ€™s own milk as I ventured to touch you and you felt like silk.
I pray soon enough your dad holds you close. Kissing your cheeks and your sweet button nose. We talked all about how you two will turn out. But time will tell, I know this without doubt.
Aubriana, youâ€™re feisty, I dare say like your mother. Youâ€™ll be the center of attention and will bow to no other. Antonio my dear, you will be the quiet storm, thoughtful and beautiful quite outside the norm.
These words I say in prayer knowing God will grant me the chance to hold you in my arms and teach you how to dance.
Antonio was the stronger of the two, having been born at 2 lbs 1 oz. His sister was only 1lbs 13oz. Such tiny little creatures at almost 27 weeks. Eighteen days after I wrote this, we lost Antonio to sepsis. My little Godbaby that I had never had a chance to hold. I remember feeling like things had been turned upside down when I got the text. And I remember feeling so helpless as I tried to comfort my best friend. What could I say? Devastated is such an understatement when a mother loses her child. To think that it happens 15 million times every year.
We lost our baby boy even with some of the best medical care in the world. In high income countries, about 10% of preemies die. In low income countries that statistic is reversed and 90% lose their lives. Unimaginable but true. The saddest reality? Seventy five percent (75%) of those deaths can be prevented.
November 17 is World Prematurity Day. I tell you these things and share our story with you to bring awareness to this issue. Million Moms Challenge has more information for you on this topic and how you can help.
I also want you to know that 28 days is enough living to make a difference in this world. Antonio was only here for 28 days but he impacted so many lives. His parents, his family, even his twin sister who today thrives after such a traumatic start. Our story is bittersweet. Filled with tragedy and triumph. It is my hope that it brings light to this very important subject.
My prayer is not only that you educate yourself and get involved in helping improve the statistics but also that you realize that if he could make such a big difference in 28 days, what could you do with the days you are living?