A Poem for Preeclampsia Awareness Month
On July 21, 2014 my second child was born via emergency C-section at a gestational age of 34.5 weeks due to severe preeclampsia. This was my second battle with preeclampsia and my second premature baby (my first son was born at 31.5 weeks). I also developed the much rarer postpartum preeclampsia a week after delivery. In honor of Preeclampsia Awareness Month, I edited the poem which was originally written for my son’s first birthday. Preeclampsia is the leading cause of premature birth worldwide. An estimated 76,000 mothers a year die due to this disorder, and 500,000 mothers a year leave the hospital with coffins instead of car seats.
On the night you were born, my head pounded with impending doom,
For I knew what it was like to have a child born too soon.
On the night you were born they said it was too late,
To give steroids to the life I worked so hard to create.
Therefore you were a baby born floppy, lifeless and blue,
Despite making it farther, my worst fears were coming true.
On the night you were born, I laid awake until dawn.
Afraid if I slept, by morning you’d be gone.
You took your first breath the day after your birth;
Yet from the very beginning you’ve been proving what life’s really worth.
Seven nights after the day you started to thrive,
I found myself fighting once again to survive.
All I could think about that dark night in July, was you and your brother,
And the lives you would lead, growing up without a mother.
Thankfully science and faith collided once more,
And God gave me more time to live as a family of four.
It has been nearly two years since the night you were born;
And it seems like for now, we’ve both weathered that storm.
You appear to have escaped any significant delay or effect;
Of a life started to soon — a life I once failed to protect.
In the 21 months since the day you arrived,
No moment has gone by that I am not pleasantly surprised,
by the strength of your heart and your fighter’s soul.
Your birth my dear son,
has made my heart whole.
And in the end I hope you’ll always know,
in spite of any qualities I lack,
forever I’ll love you,
to the edge of the universe and back.
The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing people might not know about your experience with disability, disease or mental illness, and what would you say to teach them? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.