Khloe Woo, 10, Premature Birth, Cast
How would you explain premature birth and cast to a Child?
Premature birth means that a baby is born before they are fully developed and ready to come out of their mommy's tummy. Sometimes, babies are born early because their mommy got sick or there was something wrong with the pregnancy. When a baby is born early, they might need to stay in a special place called the NICU.
A cast is like a hard armor that doctors put on your arm or leg to help a bone heal. You might have to wear the cast for a few weeks or months, and it might feel uncomfortable or itchy, but it's important to keep it on until your arm or leg is all better.
What did it feel like as a premature baby and to live with a cast?
I was born less than 3 pounds (1360 grams) via emergency cesarean section. I'm actually a twin, and my twin weighed almost twice as me. I had an intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) as a result of a twisted placenta. It is a condition where a baby does not grow at a normal rate inside the uterus during pregnancy. My heart rate was going up and down a lot, so the doctors decided I needed to come out of my mommy earlier so they can better monitor me. I stayed in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) for a few weeks where I was fed through a tube and learned to regulate my body temperature. Afterwards, I did occupational therapy to get stronger and saw an ophthalmologist to make sure the blood vessels in my eyes were growing properly.
I broke my arm at a birthday party going down a bounce house slide. And another time, I broken my little pinky. For the first one, my bone broke in half, so I had surgery and the doctors placed four long pins to hold my bones in place. I was in a cast both times. It hurts a lot and you can't move much. It's a hassle when I have to change and take a shower. It prevents me from playing the piano and soccer, and I miss the monkey bars.
What do you want the world to know about premature birth and cast?
Being a premature baby sucks because my twin brother thinks he's older than me. But now, I'm way taller than him, haha!
It's tough and challenging to be in a cast, but you'll get over it. Keep smiling and keep a goin'.
What brings you joy?
Kissing, hugging and cuddling with my family, being with my friends, singing, drawing, and getting the mail on rollerblades.