Preemie and #RSV Awareness! How Aware Are You? | #ProtectPreemies

Corbin Recovering from RSV

Today, November 17, 2012 is World Preemie/RSV Awareness DayDid you know that there are 13 million babies born early every single year?  More than half of them are born in the United States.  

It’s important that we are aware of premature birth is the leading cause of neonatal death.  Three out of ten mothers of preemies were not aware that there was a possibility their child could be born premature.  75% of parents don’t know the definition of premature  do you?   It’s important we not only educate ourselves, but help educate others.

Premature is a child being born at or before 37 weeks of gestation age, (or full term which is 40 weeks).  The earlier a baby is born, the more severe health problems can be. Often babies born premature require special care for weeks, month, or their entire life’s.  Babies that survive can face lifelong problems such as—

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Breathing and respiratory problems
  • Visual products
  • Hearing loss
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Feeding issues
  • Digestive problems

It’s not always that the mother does something wrong that causes babies to be born premature.  However, some risk factors for premature birth are—

  • Previous Preterm Birth
  • Uterus/cervix issues.
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking while pregnant
  • Using alcohol/drugs while pregnant.

Many of you know my 12-year-old step-son, Bud has cerebral palsy.  He is wheel chair bound, and relays on us for everything.  Bud was born premature, his mom smoked while she was pregnant with him, along with other things.  

Bud is an amazing child, but what’s his life-like?  He’s loved, and cared for, we feed him,  put him to bed, and he goes and plays with his sisters all the time.  We love our little Bud, sure he’s rotten, but he’s one of the happiest children I know.  I think because he’s been handicap since birth things are a little easier to accept for him.    

Shawn and I have 4 children.  Three of which are completely blessed with health, legs that move, the ability to run play, feed themselves, take part in sports, talk on the phone, change the channel, get a drink, draw a picture, they have the ability to wipe their own behind, take a shower alone, and just about anything else they want.  Then you look at Bud, he doesn’t get to run around with his sisters he watches them run, play, jump on the trampoline, fight, drive their cars, bikes, and everything else we have.  HE SITS IN HIS CHAIR AND WATCHES! 

As a mother nothing makes me happier than hearing my children laugh, watching them play together.  I know all we can do is offer Bud the best life possible, and we do.  However that doesn’t make things easy, it’s hard to see him not be able to do anything for himself   It’s hard to not think back to his mom smoking, and wonder.  

I cannot help myself sometimes I get mad that he has to be this way, the doesn’t deserve it.  The thought that it possibly could have been avoided makes me mad.  After being pregnant with my own, I don’t understand how a mother can put anything harmful in their body.  It breaks my heart because they really are not thinking about their unborn baby.

I think when a mother smokes while she is pregnant, it’s because she hasn’t done research.  Really, Google It!  What can happen if I smoke while I’m pregnant.  What we do as mothers, can have an effect on our child for the rest of their life.  So before you go get pregnant be sure you’re ready to give these things up.  

Mom, Dad & Corbie

After my nephew was born he was airlifted to a larger hospital, and eventually ended up at Texas Children’s in Houston.  The Dr. at Texas Children’s informed my brother and sister-n-law they’re newborn baby had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  I believe Corbie was 6 days old when he had his first major heart surgery.  The second heart surgery came at three months old, and he was scheduled to have his next at age three.  The third one is the final one , and it’s extremely important it’s done when he’s ready.  

It was just a few weeks before Corbin was due to start getting everything going for his third heard surgery, when he got sick.  Mom and dad were very careful taking little Corbie anywhere, it was important he didn’t get sick before his last surgery it could postpone it.  His heart isn’t able to fight infection like someone without his heart problems.  Mom took him to the Dr and learned the had RSV, and they were immediately airlifted to Houston’s Texas Children Hospital. His surgery was postponed for months because he had RSV.  Him getting RSV, even over the age of two could have killed him.  

The Dr wanted Corbin well for 6 months before they operated.  Needless to say his parents were on worried.

What’s RSV? Respiratory Synctial Virus (RSV) is a contagious viral disease that can infect.

RSV infects children sooner or later, but normally before the age of two.  It’s important to become knowledgeable about it.  What are some signs you can look for?

  • Cold symptoms such as: Cough runny nose, love fever, coughing, labored breathing, and even sometimes wheezing.
  • Poor appetite
  • Restlessness.

RSV can be dangerous and even deadly, particularly for any child under the age of six months.  It’s also highly contagious and can spread easily.  Did you know that RSV is the leading cause of hospitalization of infants?

So what steps can we as adults, moms, dad, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, etc take?  There are several things you can to help prevent the spreading of RSV such as:

  • Washing hand, toys, bedding, and anything else that’s touched
  • Keep hand sanitizer handy (my sister-n-law has it in every room of her home)
  • Keep children away from large crowds during the winter months.
  • Know the signs and be knowledgeable.

Want to learn more?  Head over and check out the Raising Preemie Awareness on November 17 – World Prematurity Day fact sheet.

Help prevent RSV from spreading, become educated!  Learn more and become educated at

It’s important that we become more knowledge, and spead the word.  The more knowledge everyone has, the more we can take control of preterm birth and RSV, and the more babies lives we can save.  It’s worth learning about.

 Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

  • Carolsue

    This is so informative! I have posted it on Twitter to pass along information to others.

    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  • Peggy Bolling

    Jenn I know you don’t post these for praises or anything but I just thank God for wonderful people like you who not only take care of a special needs child but one who isn’t yours by blood. Bud is the luckiest little boy in the world and to think about it, maybe this is why he is this way, he has brought out the best in all of you. What a great family you have and may God continue to bless you all. I really enjoyed your awareness article and will be sure to past it on.

    • Jenn

      Thanks so much, I am blessed to have read your awesome comment… it really made my day and I cannot thank you enough…

  • Crystal Irvin

    I’m so glad you posted this, I gave my sis in law this web address so even she could read it

  • Sandy VanHoey

    so important. I had twin granddaughters born around 3 lbs. and RSV was something watched conrinuously

  • Jessica Thompson

    My first daughter was born at 34 weeks because I had preaclampsia so I didnt have a choice. Your story was very touching thanks for sharing.

  • Jan

    Thank you for the information. I will share it on my facebook page for others to come read also.

  • Victoria R.

    Wow, Jenn. Thank you for sharing this – the information and the peek into your world. I had no idea about RSV and am forwarding this to all my friends and family members who are trying to conceive or pregnant. Thanks again!

    • Jenn

      thanks for helping get the word out, it’s scary stuff and important new mommies know so they can protect their little ones!

  • jose gueits


  • Tamie Tarbox

    I tweeted and Posted to facebook. Hope the contest brings tons of awareness to your cause.

  • Brandi Price

    Such Great information. I am happy to say I know several preemies that are thriving in every way!

    • Jenn

      I love hearing that, makes my heart happy… I know we sure are glad my step-son is here…. I think there’s plenty of cases that just happen but sadly there’s the ones that could be as well… such as my son, one cannot help but wonder if his mom had not smoked would he be able to do more…

  • Dorothy B.

    Thank you so much for all the infomoration, . my friend had a premature birth, her daughter is now 9 , she has to be in a wheel chair, very smart very loving.. and yes we do have to get the word out so people can understand… thanks so much for this and God Bless YOu

    • Jenn

      thanks for you’re awesome comment… agreed it’s important that people are knowledgeable..

  • desiree

    im am mom of twin and yes they were 2 and half month premie and then i took them home early they did have a lot orblme and still do they are in the 30s now but tehey
    went back and forth

    • Jenn

      Wow 2 1/2 months early, thanks for sharing you’re comment Desiree

  • Sandy VanHoey

    Shared on twitter and G+…we had to exercise the caution with my twin granddaughters also who were very tiny. Glad you are raising awareness of this

    • Jenn

      Thanks for sharing Sandy… I totally agree people need to become more educated..

  • Denise Taylor-Dennis

    Thankfully I have not had any experience with having a premature baby but I can see how you have to be very careful infants are so susceptible in general. You are such a great mom to help take care of a child that can’t do anything for themselves, I can tell you take care of him as if he were your own. God will bless you for what you are doing.

    • Jenn

      Denise, thank you for your kind words…. yes I love him very much.. it was hard to get him to feel the same way, I think he some way related his mom not being around anymore with me.. It was very hard at first but things fall into place the way the lord wants….. it always works the way it’s supposed to.

  • Cristina Gomez

    thank you for such amazing information. My little one was born at 28 weeks weighting only 3.5 lbs. He’s now almost 5 months and 16 lbs. :) I am very careful of where I take him and and make sure that who ever visits me has no symptoms of a cold. :)

    • Jenn

      WOW, only 3.5 lbs.. He sure has grown, It’s hard to always make sure anyone who visits isn’t sick, but so worth it.. Bless you and you’re little one so glad to see everything is going well… The winter months are hard too.. The holidays, everyone wants to be around. It’s also the worst time of year for RSV and other colds.. Thanks so much for you comment!