National Prematurity Awareness Month - Premie Portrait Project

Today, November 17th, is World Prematurity Awareness Day. The Centers for Disease control states that preterm birth rates have risen slightly to 9.8% in the United States in recent years, and the March of Dimes gives Indiana a "C Grade" with slightly worse than average rates at 10%.  In the Prematurity prevention community, the entire month of November is devoted to prematurity awareness and prevention.  

I wanted to celebrate these amazing miracle children, their families, their healthcare providers, and the research and technological advances that are keeping premature infants alive, and often even thriving.  Below are just a few examples of the amazing children - with amazing stories - that are living right in our own community.  

I think it is such a wonder to learn about people's back stories.  So many people walk in and out of our lives every day and we have no idea what they or their families have been through.  I also think it is important to show new families, who may be facing life with a newborn infant in the NICU, success stories.  It can be an emotional roller coaster of unknowns in the first weeks and months after a premie is born.  But I want to share some hope and positivity with the images below!  

Thank you so much to all of the families who volunteered, and to the awesome kids I got to meet through this project!  

Click here to view these images as a video slideshow! 

Brooklynn 4 years old -  born at 28 +5 weeks, 2 lbs 10 oz, 72 days in NICU at Riley Children's Hospital

Brooklynn 4 years old -  born at 28 +5 weeks, 2 lbs 10 oz, 72 days in NICU at Riley Children's Hospital

Cameron 11 years old - born at 27 weeks, 2 lbs 7oz, 75 days in NICU at St. Vincent Women's Hospital

Cameron 11 years old - born at 27 weeks, 2 lbs 7oz, 75 days in NICU at St. Vincent Women's Hospital

Lane 4 years old - born at 26 weeks, 1 lb 15 oz,  11 months and 3 weeks in NICU at St. Vincent and Riley Children's Hospital.  

Lane 4 years old - born at 26 weeks, 1 lb 15 oz,  11 months and 3 weeks in NICU at St. Vincent and Riley Children's Hospital.  

Connor 11 years old - born at 32 weeks, 4lbs 13 oz, 3 weeks in NICU

Connor 11 years old - born at 32 weeks, 4lbs 13 oz, 3 weeks in NICU

Finn 2 years old - born at 26 +1 weeks, 14 oz, 155 days in NICU at St. Vincents

Finn 2 years old - born at 26 +1 weeks, 14 oz, 155 days in NICU at St. Vincents

Makenna 12 years old - born at 28 weeks, 1 lb 6 oz, spent 87 days in NICU at Riley Children's Hospital

Makenna 12 years old - born at 28 weeks, 1 lb 6 oz, spent 87 days in NICU at Riley Children's Hospital

Trevor 6 years old - born at 31 weeks, 2 lbs 15 oz, spent 6 weeks in NICU at St. Vincent's

Trevor 6 years old - born at 31 weeks, 2 lbs 15 oz, spent 6 weeks in NICU at St. Vincent's

Dominic 16 years old - born at 32 weeks, 6 lbs 2 oz, 5 weeks in NICU at Riley Children's Hospital.  

Dominic 16 years old - born at 32 weeks, 6 lbs 2 oz, 5 weeks in NICU at Riley Children's Hospital.  

Payton - 18 years old, born at 34 +5 weeks, 4 lbs 14 oz, no NICU stay!  

Payton - 18 years old, born at 34 +5 weeks, 4 lbs 14 oz, no NICU stay!  

Oliver 1 year old, born at 29+1 weeks, 1 lb 15.5oz, spent 77 days in NICU at Methodist Hospital.  

Oliver 1 year old, born at 29+1 weeks, 1 lb 15.5oz, spent 77 days in NICU at Methodist Hospital.  

Jackson 13 years old, born at 33 weeks, 4 lbs 3oz, spent 2 weeks in NICU

Jackson 13 years old, born at 33 weeks, 4 lbs 3oz, spent 2 weeks in NICU

Brody 7 years old,  born at 28 weeks, 2 lbs 13oz, 69 days in NICU at St. Vincent Women's hospital.  

Brody 7 years old,  born at 28 weeks, 2 lbs 13oz, 69 days in NICU at St. Vincent Women's hospital.  

Jonah 6 years old, born at 31 weeks, 3 lbs 6oz, spent 5 weeks in St. Vincent NICU.  

Jonah 6 years old, born at 31 weeks, 3 lbs 6oz, spent 5 weeks in St. Vincent NICU.  

Sarah 16 years old, born at 25 weeks, 1 lb 13oz, spent 114 days at NICU in Grand Rapids Michigan, and IU Special Care Nursery.  

Sarah 16 years old, born at 25 weeks, 1 lb 13oz, spent 114 days at NICU in Grand Rapids Michigan, and IU Special Care Nursery.  

Today is a great day to donate to your local March of Dimes 

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