Human Interest

Viral Twitter thread celebrates preemies and their accomplishments

preemie, late-term abortion, abortion survivors

Premature babies, or “preemies,” are constantly proving that life begins well before birth. A recent Twitter thread started by Dr. Jennifer Sedler celebrated these lives, born when it was still legal to kill them. And that thread went viral, causing the term “NICU” to trend.

“My new favorite hobby is hyping up my NICU babies to their parents,” tweeted Sedler on January 1. “I list their accomplishments for the day, say how proud I am of them, or highlight how strong they were today. It’s such a joy to see/hear their parents beam with pride over their tiny fighters.”

Twitter users took the opportunity to both show their joy and pride about their own NICU babies and thank the doctors and nurses who work in NICU departments, fighting for these young lives.

Vickie Natale wrote, “Our baby boy was a micro preemie! 23 weeker. He’s almost 7 months now. The good vibes and positivity meant everything to us being at the NICU. We would sing to him & tell him how awesome he was daily. We were so grateful for our nurses & docs. Thank you for all you do.”

“I had a micropreemie in 1997,” said Laura Kaye. “I’d often arrive in the NICU to find Polaroid pictures of her accomplishments. It buoyed my spirits. I used to travel to medical conferences to discuss how the smallest gestures made the biggest difference.”

“Our son (who is 16 tomorrow) was a 26 weeker,” wrote beachgirl43. “We used to love hearing stories from his primary nurses about what he did while we were away, took pics for us & made beautiful crafty things to commemorate milestones. We still cherish everything. Thank you for all you do.”

Ariel wrote, “From a mom of a 1 pound 3oz, 23 weeker that lived nearly 6 months in the NICU, THANK YOU. It is so important for conversations [to] being with what things our tiny humans do WELL before the morbid laundry list of issues lurking around the corners.”

Nils Headley shared pictures of his son after birth and more recently: “Here’s our big guy. On a vent for weeks. Resuscitated twice. This is him at about 2 months. And now after earning a varsity letter in cross country and playing 4 years of HS baseball…”

Crystal said she still has a photo of her baby as a preemie hanging in her office. “He’s 4yo & healthy now. I love the reminder that he’s been a fighter from day 1 & I think often of the NICU staff, like you, who made sure to cheer him/us every day. Hard to describe how much it meant,” she said.

READ: Two families rejoice as their micro-preemies come home for the holidays

“Our daughter was born at 33 weeks and her NICU team did this every day. I can’t tell you how much it meant knowing her doctors/nurses loved her & were some of her biggest cheerleaders,” wrote Amy Cordes. “Now, our preemie is 24 & applying to law schools. Thank God for NICU doctors & nurses!!!”

“The best of the best work in NICUs and I thank you for everything you do for these babies. These are my NICU twins,” said Jennifer. “My twins not only survived, but thrived. The twin on the left is obtaining a PhD in physics, the twin on the right is a neurology resident. All thanks to NICU staff.”

In addition to parents, some former NICU babies shared their own stories. “I was a preemie in the 70s and spent the first two+ months of my life in the NICU,” said one Twitter user. “My mom telling me what the medical staff thought of me formed a significant part of my internal narrative as a fighter. I think of them often and am grateful for their contribution to one so small.”

Another said, “Former NICU baby here, just turned 30. Couldn’t have done it without the amazing doctors and nurse who hyped up me and my brother to our parents.”

Thousands of responses flooded in, including stories that sadly ended in the deaths of some premature babies. While not all preemies will survive, it’s worth it to try and save them every single time. Babies born as young as 21 weeks can sometimes survive outside the womb when given proper medical care, though not all hospitals are equipped to do that. This map was created to help parents at risk of having premature babies find hospitals that are able and willing to help save their babies.

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