NATIONAL - Parents love telling the story of their baby's birth, and that goes for moms and dads who experience a preemie birth, too. This month, the March of Dimes is launching their new campaign, "Every Baby Has A Story."
Melissa Zavorski and her oldest son, PJ, are recalling his early birth.
PJ was born at 28 weeks, weighing under two pounds. For Melissa and her husband, PJ's early arrival was overwhelming.
"We had no idea what to expect," said Melissa. "We had never seen a premature child before our own."
PJ joined the ever-expanding world of premature infants.
Dr. Amy Zucker, "The incidence of pre-term birth is going up. In fact, it's increased by almost a-third over the past fifteen or twenty years."
According to the March of Dimes, that increase means more than 1,400 preemies will be born today. For their parents, it's a transforming experience.
Dr. Zucker says the "first reaction is one of shock and disbelief and denial, as it is with any major life trauma or stress. And then once it's accepted, because it has to be, it's redefining the experience and accepting the child that you've received instead of the one that you expected."
For many of the babies, birth is just the first hurdle.
Dr. Zucker says "one is continuing respiratory difficulties and the second one is visual impairment."
And for parents just beginning this journey, Melissa encourages them to reach out to the March of Dimes.
"There's 'Share Your Story,' there's the ability to get involved, so that you can feel that comfort, you can feel that sense of community with other people who are going through what you're going through."
It's a journey the Zavorski's have woven into the story of their family.
To add your baby's story to the "Every Baby Has A Story" celebration, go online to marchofdimes.com and click on the link.