I don't often post things like this, but this is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. After Stevie died, one of the first places I stumbled upon as I was scouring the internet looking for support, was Cora's Story. Over the last (almost) two years, I have gotten to know baby Cora and her amazing mother, Kristine. Cora passed away when she was just five days old because of an undetected congenital heart defect (CHD). Since her daughter's death, Kristine has worked tirelessly to prevent the same tragedy from happening to other babies, other families, by advocating that a simple life-saving screening procedure--pulse oximetry--be given to all newborns before they leave the hospital.
I'll admit it. I had no clue what pulse oximetry was before meeting Kristine. I also had no idea that there were other newborn screenings that I could choose to have performed on Elliot after he was born. I was so hyper-vigilant about making sure he was monitored for every possible complication during my pregnancy, yet I was completely clueless about how to make sure he was checked for potential life-threatening complications after birth.
Thankfully, I learned more about what newborn screenings to make sure to ask for through my relationship with Kristine, and through the Savebabies website, in the weeks before Elliot was born.
Our first night in the hospital after Elliot was born, I asked the night nurse if we could have the pulse oximetry screening done (in addition to the other screenings they had already performed). She gave me a funny look and said they normally didn't do that unless there were signs of a problem. I told her all about Cora. How there were no 'signs of a problem' for her either, and that I would sleep better that night (I didn't realize yet that I wouldn't really be sleeping at all for the next few weeks anyway, ha!) knowing my son had been screened. The test took all of two minutes, and as you can see from the picture below, Elliot clearly wasn't too bothered by it :)
Not all states require all the newborn screenings your baby should receive (like I said, Minnesota, for example, doesn't do the pulse oximetry unless requested), so its really important to be aware of suplemental screenings before your child is born. It's also important to know how to follow up and get the results. Savebabies is a nonprofit organization that provides this crucial information. I want to encourage you to learn more and stay informed by following Savebabies on Twitter, Facebook, and by signing up for their Save Babies Newsletter.
Also, if you're a fellow blogger and would like to help get this important information out to more people, please check out Blogging for Babies. Together, we can make sure that all parents and parents-to-be are armed with the tools and information they need to be the best advocates possible for their babies.
Lastly, please watch and consider sharing the video below. Thanks for your time and support, friends! More pictures of E's second week coming soon! :)
**I am a paid Save Babies Through Blogging Ambassador but everything I've written above is sincere and the opinions are my own**