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Almost Born Too Soon

Updated: Aug 18, 2022

Hello Bonsie community! Emily here, a proud writer for Bonsie Skin to Skin Babywear.

I am so grateful to work with a company that helps parents in need and their babies. This month Bonsie is donating 100% of their profits from preemie sales to March of Dimes, an organization that works tirelessly to reduce premature birth rates, spread awareness and assist babies born prematurely. 1 in 10 babies are born too early and premature birth is the leading cause of death for babies in the USA (March of Dimes, 2021).

Baby in Bonsie's Avocado Footie

November is Prematurity Awareness Month, an infant health crisis that is close to my heart. To promote awareness of the serious health risks with premature birth, I would like to share my near preterm labor experience.

At 26 weeks pregnant I was told to go to the birthing center because I was experiencing persistent cramping. The phone nurse told me it was probably a UTI or growing pains.

My husband, Drew, and I were taken to triage to monitor our baby. After it became clear that I was experiencing labor contractions and that I was dilating, the nurse ran a FFN test (fetal fibronectin) to determine the likelihood of labor. The test results were positive.

I was then told by one of the nurses that my water had broken, which was a sure sign of imminent labor. The next few hours are a blur of more painful tests and tears. The memory of standing in the tiny bathroom, wearing my hospital gown, sobbing and hugging Drew is forever etched in my memory. We believed our little girl, already named Darcy, was about to arrive. She weighed less than two pounds.

Thankfully, that nurse was wrong; my water did not break that day, but the threat of delivering a 26 week old baby was enough to move me into labor and delivery.

I was given magnesium to slow labor and the first dose of a steroid shot to help Darcy’s lungs develop. Several different doctors came in to talk with us about the potential risks of delivering so early. Here’s what we learned:

At 26 weeks gestation, Darcy had a 86% chance of survival. Still considered “extremely premature” at this age, Darcy would not be able to breath on her own and was at risk for brain bleeding and heart complications. Babies born this young also have a 20% chance of having a lifetime of medical problems such as blindness, hearing loss, intellectual disabilities, chronic lung disease, cerebral palsy and social and behavioral challenges.

A baby born before 24 weeks has a less than 50% chance of survival. These babies are called “micro preemies.” A baby born at 24 weeks has a 68% chance of survival, and of those that survive, 40% will have significant health complications (Healthline, 2020).

Darcy, Drew and I spent three days in the hospital. These few days were truly the scariest of our lives, and our challenges didn’t stop there. I was allowed to go home because I stopped dilating, but I was still having consistent contractions. My instructions were to stay in bed until I reached full term. I spent over 100 days on bedrest and would go to the hospital six more times before Darcy was born. I couldn’t teach, coach, drive, or even go up and down stairs. I spent every day praying and writing letters to our unborn daughter, begging her to be patient. I used up all of my vacation days, as well as my eight weeks of maternity leave before I even gave birth.

At 39 weeks pregnant I gave birth to a healthy baby girl who is the center of our universe. (To put it mildly!)

I am now 36 weeks pregnant with our second daughter. I have been on modified bedrest since my second trimester and, due to similar complications, at risk for premature labor. I am thrilled to report that our baby girl is healthy and very eager to meet her family. We expect her arrival any day.

My family and I are extremely fortunate. Too many families are not so lucky; 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the U.S.

Look for future blog posts to learn more about how you can spread awareness to save our nation's most vulnerable.


Fighting Premature Birth: The Prematurity Campaign. March of Dimes. (2021).

Premature Baby Survival Rates. Healthline. (2020, May 29).

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