November is Prematurity Awareness Month and we’re thrilled to spotlight a very special family from the Chandler, AZ Gymboree Play & Music who has firsthand experience with having a micro preemie.
Dylan was born at just 26 weeks and spent 4 months in the NICU. When he was a year old he joined Gymboree Play & Music with mom Mitzie. Here is their story.
Meet Mitzie & Dylan
Hi Mitzie! Can you share a little bit about yourself and Dylan?
My husband and I are first time parents and baby Dylan was born a micro preemie. He weighed one pound eight ounces when he joined the world. I went into pre-term labor at 25 weeks unexpectedly. Thankfully, I got myself to the hospital when I sensed something wasn’t right. A few days after I was admitted, the NICU staff talked to my husband and me. They told us the odds were stacked against us but they would do whatever they could for the baby if he arrived early. We were heartbroken but stayed hopeful. The next thing you know, at exactly 26 weeks, I’m having an emergency c-section. It was a blur. Dylan spent four months in the NICU, endured painful procedures, PDA heart ligation surgery at two pounds, and had nearly every life threatening issue out there for a micro preemie. Each day was a rollercoaster ride to say the least. He is a miracle!
How did you find out about Gymboree Play & Music?
I credit two people. My dear friend Olivia, who is a morning show anchor and mommy in Phoenix and my favorite aunt who took my cousins about 30 years ago. Both had the best memories with their babies at Gymboree Play & Music. It wasn’t on my radar initially because for the first year, we couldn’t leave the house. Once Dylan turned a year old, we got clearance to go out and about. He was in absolute awe at his first Gymboree Play & Music class. I’ll never forget it.
How has Gymboree Play & Music benefited you and Dylan?
Even thought he’s still tiny for his age, Dylan is smart, social, and engaged. We always have the best time and once class wraps up, he is ready for a nice two hour nap!
What is Dylan’s favorite Gymboree Play & Music activity?
It’s a tie between bubble time and climbing on everything!
Do you have any advice for other preemie moms about choosing a play program?
Go at your baby’s own pace and find a play program where there’s balance. Since Dylan was born four months early, we’re still working on certain milestones, so be patient. Don’t be shy about sharing your situation. Gymboree Play & Music staff helped me navigate the best class options to help baby Dylan once I looped them in, and today he is thriving!