MEET REBEKAH MILLER: the premature birth of her son led to a life opened her eyes to life in the NICU and planted in her a desire to serve others.
You son, Judah was born at just twenty-five weeks into your pregnancy. Can you share some of your initial thoughts and concerns about life with a premie and his time in the NICU?
My first thoughts of life with a preemie was will you live through this, and if you do will you have any disabilities in the future. How long will you have to be in the NICU? We honestly had no idea the journey we were about to face. He was this tiny, helpless little baby who was so sick. He had to be on a special ventilator for a while that would help him breath. You constantly watch the monitors to make sure his oxygen levels are staying up and his heart rate isn't dropping. I still hear those beeps sometimes! He ended up being on oxygen until the week of his first birthday. His NICU stay was scary. When he was about a month old, he started having these seizure type spells and would stop breathing. That was the scariest thing to see, your baby just stop breathing. But he overcame that and his lungs got stronger. He had to learn to take a bottle which took some time but he finally got it. He came home after 118 days in the NICU.
What led you to want to fundraise for the March of Dimes?
The March of Dimes is an amazing group who helps moms stay healthy in hopes to have a full term birth. They do research to help the babies who are born prematurely to survive and thrive in the NICU. They provide comfort and support for families in the NICU. I just hope that any amount of money we help raise can help the moms and babies in the future. I wish that nobody would ever have to have their baby fight for their life in the NICU. I know that the research they have done is a reason that Jonah lived!
What do you think made your fundraising efforts so successful?
I think the reason our fundraising efforts were so successful is because of how well our shirts turned out. Even when y'all gave us just the example of how it would look like, everyone was so excited. I also think because y'all did offer kids sizes helped too. I have lots of friends with kids and they all wanted shirts too.
What did you learn through fundraising?
While fundraising for Team Jonah I learned that people are so giving. We raised about 600.00 for The March of Dimes which is amazing! We were very open with Jonah's NICU journey and posted pictures and updates often. I think that everyone saw how amazing he did and how well he is doing now that they want to give to The March of Dimes, which is a reason why he did do so well. Also, I think people just love a good T-shirt that is made well and looks great! But this fundraising could not have happened without Fund the Nations. Y'all were so quick to email me back and got the design back to me quick! The designers are so great! Also, the T'shirts were shipped so quick, which is always a good thing!
What’s one thing you wish everyone knew about life with a premie?
One thing that I wish everyone would know about life with preemie is that you will get through it. I know that it can be so tough at times but trust that God has a plan. PRAY often! Lean on your family and friends, they will help you make it! Cry if you need to, we did often! The bible verse that we had on Jonah's T-shirt is "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26- Trust in this verse because it is TRUE! Jonah is now 3 years old and doing AMAZING!