A Poem for Preeclampsia Awareness Month


Matthew day one
Krystle’s son, Matthew.

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.

RESOURCES FROM NICU HELPING HANDS

If you’re a family who needs help with neonatal intensive care, please visit Project NICU, One-on-One Mentoring Program, Family Assistance Program, NICU Mom Connect, or Angel Gown® Program.

You took your first breath the day after your birth;

Yet from the very beginning you’ve been proving what life’s really worth.

Krystle's son at 21 months
Matthew at 21 months.

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.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Preeclampsia

me before you poster

To Jojo, Thea, Emilia, Sam and the Creatives From 'Me Before You'

You are part of the problem. I mean that in the kindest way possible. Of course you don’t mean to be part of the problem. As Emilia Clarke said to The Guardian, it wasn’t your “intention” to create a story that says disabled people are burdens and better off dead, to perpetuate the notion that [...]
Dan and Leah Majesky

Husband Shares His Perspective in Heartbreaking Post About Infertility

It’s not often men open up about their experience with infertility, but this one husband really hits the nail on the head with a post he shared on Facebook. Dan Majesky, 37, and his wife, Leah, 36, have been trying to expand their family for over three years. Like other couples with infertility, the Majesky’s have tried [...]
Doctor working on his notebook plus yelp logo

Doctors Caught Revealing Patient Medical Information on Yelp

The front desk was rude, and you waited 40 minutes for an appointment that only lasted five. Despite your lousy experience, a new investigation suggests you may want to think twice before leaving a nasty review on Yelp. The investigation, published by The Washington Post and ProPublica, showed that some doctors are responding to these [...]
Doctor examining a pregnant woman

The One Thing That Helped Me Survive During My Rare Pregnancy Disorder

When I think about hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) my body tightens and dark painful memories flood my mind. There is incredible pain and suffering with HG. And as a two-time survivor, my thoughts about HG have always been dark and scary. HG is officially a rare disorder characterized by severe and persistent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. [...]