Connealy Family's Story

Jennifer was 22 weeks pregnant during her first pregnancy when she started having contractions. After discovering that she was in preterm labor, she spent a week in the hospital with her feet over her head, getting pumped full of medications in an attempt to stop the contractions. However, she had to stop the medications because her lungs were filling with fluid. William was born weighing 1 lb., 8 oz. “I was terrified that he would break if anyone so much as touched him.” Over the next 99 days, Will put up a valiant fight. But then he developed an infection after undergoing LASIK surgery to try to save his eyesight. “After three months of triumphs and setbacks, his body just couldn’t fight any more and we had to let him go."

In 2008, they discovered that they were pregnant again. Despite being cautious and seeing multiple doctors, Jennifer ended up in the hospital at about 21 weeks. Patrick was then born at 29 weeks. “He was only 3 pounds, but when I heard him crying at the top of his lungs, I knew he would be okay.” He spent six weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Jon and Jennifer decided not to have any more children, but after talking to one of their doctors, they decided to try one more time. Thanks to help from doctors and the drug 17P, Daniel was born at 37 weeks. 17P is a drug developed by March of Dimes to help keep expecting moms from going into labor.