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World Prematurity Day

For most women, pregnancy is a very exciting time.

"At first I was just in absolute shock," said Hayley Crimmons.
 
But some women like Hayley Crimmons face unexpected complications.
 
"Her life is in danger. You could be in danger," said Crimmons.
 
After an otherwise healthy pregnancy Crimmons went to the hospital with complaints of discomfort on September 27 more than a month before her due date.

"They said, 'We're going to have to do the c-section today," said Crimmons.

Crimmons delivered her daughter Cassie at 3 pounds, 2 ounces, and 10 weeks premature.

"To have this experience, especially since it was an emergency to deliver her, was a very traumatic experience for both of us," said Crimmons.

Wilson Memorial Hospital where Cassie was born has a special neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. It's equipped with 16 beds and breathing machines for babies whose lungs are underdeveloped.

"We have a common goal of getting this little person strong and ready to go home," said Paula Farrell, NICU Medical Director.

Crimmons said it's hard to go see her baby in NICU, but she understand it's necessary.

"No parent would want to bring a baby home that's not ready to come home," said Crimmons.

Although facilities like the NICU provide extraordinary care for prematurely born babies, it doesn't stop there.

Tuesday is Worldwide Prematurity Day and organizations like Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network want families with a premature birth to know they provide support groups and learning materials.

"All of those are so essential for families that are going through this," said Sharon Chesna, executive director of Mothers and Babies.

Crimmons hopes she can bring Cassie home by her due date, December 1st.

"I think it will be just as shocking to know, wow, I get to bring her home," said Crimmons.



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