Nov 17, 2015 7:41 PM
MANCHESTER - Tuesday is the March of Dimes 5th annual World Prematurity Day, and November is Prematurity Awareness Month.
The days dedicated to premature babies are meant to raise awareness about the millions of premature babies born each year. One Londonderry mother whose twins were born three and a half months early shared the story of her struggle to keep her babies alive.
Shelly Breen of Londonderry said, "We had to at least get to 24 weeks for the babies to be viable." Shelly made it to 27 weeks, and then gave birth to twins Harper and Quinn.
"Quinn was one pound, 10 ounces. Harper was two pounds, three ounces. Harper did lose weight, so she went down to just over one pound as well and they were about ten inches long," said Shelly.
To put their size into perspective, what looked like a bracelet around Quinn's arm was actually Shelly's husband's wedding ring. The babies had to spend 210 days in Elliot hospital's NICU unit before they could go home.
Shelly said, "They were hooked up to everything, you cold barely see them."
Elliot Hospital Exec. Director of Women's and Children's Services Dr. Kevin Petit said, "Just placement of IV's, maintenance of their body temperature. Both the medical and the nursing care in particular is just an extraordinary level of experience and expertise that goes into being able to promote the best possible outcome for these children."
Quinn and Harper are just two of the estimated 15 million babies around the world born premature each year.
"we used to think that is absolutely non-consistent with life, but 500 gram children can survive now."
October 18th marked their one year birthday. They're healthy and happy. You would never know they were born 3 and a half months early.
Shelly said, "They fight. They love each other. It's great. They're my miracles."
They're living testaments to the miracles of modern medicine.
The March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card gave New Hampshire a "B" grade. It shows premature births are most prevalent in White and Hispanic populations.
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