We have so many reasons for walking in the March for Babies! We walk because of our children, Lilian Hope and Aidan Patrick. We now also walk for our niece and 2 nephews born last year. We walk for all of the babies and families that Lily's Hope Foundation has assisted in the past 3 years. And we walk for all babies born prematurely! See below our personal story of our family's experiences with premature birth, and how we got to today!
Aidan Patrick was born 3 weeks premature at 5 lbs. 2 oz and 18 1/2 inches long in October 2013. He was labeled a high risk pregnancy very early due to what happened with his sister, Lilian. In his first year, he experienced gastrointestinal and pulmonary issues due to his prematurity and saw specialists at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. Having weak lungs from premature birth, Aidan contracted RSV at 3 months old which contributes to his severe asthma and allergies today. He also went through early intervention also for physical and speech therapy like Lily. Aidan has recently been diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder and will be receiving therapies to work through these hurdles for him. None of these issues have slowed him down! He has an outgoing, fun-loving personality!
Lilian Hope was born 7 weeks premature, only 2 lbs. 12 oz. and 15 inches long. Like her brother, she was born early because of preeclampsia and a placental abruption, but was small for her gestational age because of intrauterine growth restriction. After going into fetal distress also, Lily was born by emergency c-section. Her lungs weren't fully developed when she was born; she was on a ventilator and oscillator for 7 days, had a chest tube, erratic blood pressure, jandice, and much more. We held her for the first time when she was 8 days old, and she came home almost a month later. She was late talking and walking and needed speech and physical therapies. Lily also struggled with severe gastrointestinal issues, had failure to thrive, and had a surgery at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia when she was 3. She saw specialists there for almost 2 years. Lily just turned 9 1/2 years old on January 25! She is a compassionate girl who is extremely smart and has a beautiful, outgoing personality. Lily is attending 4th grade in Southern Lehigh School District. She is in the school choir, on the swim team at Swim-In Zone and will play soccer again this spring. She loves to play sports, read, and with her friends and brother, Aidan.
Lily and Aidan both had a very rough beginning, but with their strength, wonderful doctors, hope & prayers, they were able to rise above it all. We thank God every day for the amazing gift He has given us; they have changed our lives forever. We remain forever grateful to the great doctors and nurses at these hospitals for saving Lily and Aidan, and would like to help other babies now that have, or will share their experiences.