I added a link to my sidebar recently for sponsoring us for the March of Dimes Walk America fundraiser, but thought I'd add a quick plug. My daughter, Charlotte, was born at 36 weeks (full term is usually around 40 weeks if you didn't know). She was actually fine and quite healthy--she weighed in at 6.5 pounds and was breathing and nursing fine from the get-go. Her only complication was jaundice, which kept her in the NICU under bili lights for a day.
My mother has worked for years as a NICU nurse. I grew up hearing her stories about sick babies, and multiple births, and which ones she was taking care of. I got to see her bittersweet days when babies that she'd rocked and fed finally got to go home. I also occaisionally glimpsed the sadness she felt when they lost a little life that she'd been caring for.
We have several of friends with babies more premature than Charlotte. One of Charlotte's closest playmates, Gavin, was 32 or 34 weeks and spent his first couple of weeks of life in a NICU.
The March of Dimes is trying to fund research into preventing and treating prematurity. Charlotte, my husband, and I (and Gavin's mother) walked in last year's event in Forest Park, St. Louis, and at least our family is planning to do so again this year. If you have a few extra bucks to donate, that would be wonderful. If you want to come walk with us, that would be awesome too. If all you have time for is a quick thought or prayer for the littlest ones, then bless you!