By Mark Axmacher

I never thought I would have to face death so abruptly. After twenty eight weeks of a statistically perfect pregnancy, I got the call around 2PM that my wife wasn’t feeling well. At 3:45PM my son was born, twelve weeks early, and my wife was in emergency surgery.

I didn’t think about it until much later, like years later, but they both could have died that day. For two hours I was alone and wasn’t completely sure I would have a family when the sun went down. Luckily, that didn’t happen, and my wife and son are fantastic. Looking back, the experience changed my life forever.

I used to be a “glass is half full” person, but going through the experience of a premature child, and seeing him fight through it the way he did, showed me that there can be happiness in almost any situation.

My son endured the daily, sometimes hourly, examinations, analysis and check-ups that the NICU staff had to undergo. He had no idea this wasn’t how it was supposed to be, so he accepted all of it with a happy, enthusiastic demeanor and was soon released for good behavior.

Since then, he has grown into an amazingly happy little boy. He almost never cries, and he is always looking for his next adventure.

My outlook has changed from “the glass is half full” to “the glass is overflowing” because, no matter what the circumstances, his ability to be so happy after starting his life in such a terrifying way has taught me that there will always be something worth fighting for, and being happy about.


  • Peter / 16 April 2016 2:59

    Our baby was born at 24-5 due to HELP syndrome. 15 oz and 12″ he’s completely normal and a growing boy. I can totally relate.

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