re·form: (r-fôrm) v. re·formed, re·form·ing, re·forms v. tr. 1. To improve by alteration, correction of error, or removal of defects; put into a better form or condition. 2. To cause (a person) to give up harmful or immoral practices; persuade to adopt a better way of life.
ma·ma or mam·ma also mom·ma: n. (also m-mä) Informal. Mother.


Prematurity Awareness Day

Hey there!

I thought I'd share with you that Nov. 14, 2006 (that's tomorrow, or maybe today, depending upon when you are reading this) is National Prematurity Awareness Day. I thought I'd share with you some statistics and some specific ways that you can be in prayer today and in the future.

One out of every 8 babies was born prematurely in 2004. If you think about all the babies born at Reavis and how many (by my count at least 3) have been born too soon, it kind of puts these numbers into perspective.**

The rates of preterm delivery continue to climb in spite of new medical technology. Prematurity does not discriminate. You can be among the healthiest of women and still deliver prematurely.

The thing is that no one talks about prematurity. Expectant parents don't think about it -- and who can blame them? If you've never had a preemie or known anyone who had a preemie, then there is no reason it would cross your mind. BUT, I believe knowledge is power (yeah I stole that line from Schoolhouse Rock). That's why I am sharing this with you.

There are certain risk factors that contribute to preterm labor. Among these factors are things like smoking, increased stress levels, obesity, and lack of social support. There are also numerous signs of preterm labor. You can read about those on the March of Dimes Website at

Perhaps if an expectant mom that you know is made aware of the risk factors and signs of preterm labor, her labor can be stopped and she will be able to carry to term. So, pass this information along to your pregnant friends.

Now, as to how you can help. Of course, you can donate money to the March of Dimes. That's a wonderful thing to do as they fund a great deal of research towards preventing not only prematurity, but stillbirth and birth defects.

You can also lend a hand to moms who are on bedrest. Bedrest just stinks. Your house is never clean enough, you have to eat your husband's cooking and your are home alone most of the time with nothing to do but worry. If you know a mom on bedrest, just stop by and visit or give her a call to let her know you are thinking of her. Those little things will help get her through the bedrest.

BUT, the most important thing you can do is pray. One thing I learned with Eddie is that God's timing is perfect. It may seem quite whacked out to us and we may not always understand it, but God is God and we are not.

You can pray specifically for:

The moms on bedrest and who deliver preemies: Pray for moms to have peace about God's timing. God knit each one of us together before we were even a thought in our mother's mind. That's no different for preemies. Knowing that gave me such peace when I was in the hospital. Pray that they would have strength to endure the bedrest and the ability to be joyful after the birth of their child -- even if they have a preemie. Pray that the mothers would have the wisdom to know how to handle their preemie and what their child needs.

The preemies: They are such fighters -- Eddie is proof of that -- but they are still quite fragile. The health problems that preemies are at risk for can range from blindness to anemia to apnea of prematurity. Some of these health risks can be deadly. Additionally, after the preemies come home from the hospital they are at a higher risk for catching illnesses that present as the comon cold in adults and older children, but that can be deadly for preemies. Preemies are also at risk for developmental and learning delays. Pray for a hedge of protection around them.

The doctors: Pray for them to have the wisdom and knowledge as to how to treat the mothers when attempting to stop preterm labor. Pray for the NICU doctors to be gentle with the parents and also for wisdom. And pray for the NICU nurses. These nurses are truly a special breed. They see a lot of suffering among the most "innocent" people and they continue to do their jobs with a smile on their faces. They also are used to minister to the parents; whether or not they intend to. Pray that they would have strength to continue with what I would say has got to be the most difficult job on the planet.

I think I've made you plenty aware now. Sorry for the novel. I do hope that you will keep this information in mind and that it will be beneficial to you or to someone you know.

**Reavis is my home church -- this was an email I sent out to the ladies there.


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