In honor of Prematurity Awareness Month, babytalk.com is sharing the stories of 14 families who experienced the birth of a premature baby. Click through the galleries below to read each family's story in their own words, and see pictures of their children, then and now.
Brittany Baldwin, 10
"At birth, she weighed a mere 2.1 pounds. Once my water broke, the doctors tried several methods to stop the contractions..."
More about Brittany's birth
Alexander Barton, 4
"During a routine ultrasound it was discovered that I had a lack of amniotic fluid. I was hurriedly admitted to the hospital for supervised bed rest..."
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Sophia Baum, 17 months
"The first 10 weeks of her life were spent in the NICU at the Children's Hospital in St. Paul, MN. It was a very difficult and emotional time for our family..."
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Lily Valdez Bessone, 2 1/2
"She was on a ventilator for the first night after her birth, and had to remain in the hospital for a month and a half..."
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Christopher Conrad, 2 1/2
"At just 22 weeks, my water broke and I had no measurable fluid. I was told that my baby would be born very early..."
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Nathaniel and Nicholas Derecho, 13 months
"I had no idea what my twin boys would have to go through to survive until I actually saw them...."
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Evan Dillon, 1
"Evan was a 28 weeker: born 12 weeks early due to a condition called preeclampsia..."
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Dante Esposito, 3
"He was born nearly three-and-a-half months before his due date, and weighed in at a whopping 1 pound, 15 ounces..."
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Archangelo Iurato, 3
"On the day he turned 1 month old, he almost died from an infection, which thankfully he was able to overcome..."
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Ana Leis, 8 months
"The doctor announced that he would have to deliver the baby by cesarean, as her heart rate was very irregular..."
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Patience Lemly, 1
"When I first saw her, I was filled with fear, but also an immense amount of love..."
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Zoe McKoy, 22 months
"Zoe was born seven weeks early because I developed HELLP syndrome (a life-threatening complication of preeclampsia)..."
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Zoe, 14; Hagen, 3; and Layla Shonka, 2 1/2
"I have actually been blessed with three tiny (but perfect) babies..."
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Evangeline VanDuinen, 1 1/2
"Weighing just 1 pound, 12 ounces, she was on a ventilator for 17 hours and then..."
More about Evangeline's birth