TAMPA (FOX 13) - FOX 13 News is working to raise awareness for the March of Dimes and its mission to prevent babies from being born too soon.
With the help of the March of Dimes, the Bay Area medical community makes significant progress every day.
Robinson High School Assistant Principal Niki Lockett is a well-rounded educator, but she learned the lesson of her life when her two daughters were born.
"I never experienced anything like that," Lockett said.
Her first pregnancy with Jordayn ended at 26 weeks, when labor pains struck in a classroom full of students.
"A normal pregnancy is 40 weeks, and for me to be only 26, they were like ok something is not right," Lockett explained.
Doctors at Tampa General had no choice but to deliver Jordayn at just over two pounds. The medical term for a baby so small is micro preemie.
"She stayed at Tampa General for eight weeks," Lockett said. "I never experienced anything like that. This was my first child."
Six years later, Nicki Lockett was back in the NICU a second time, when her second daughter, Brookelyn was born less than full term, weighing just five pounds.
"She was bigger than her sister, so I felt a little more at ease because I had already gone through the process. She spent two weeks in the NICU," Lockett said.
Today, both girls are healthy and active, showing no ill effects of their premature births. Lockett credits March of Dimes for being proactive in funding research and treatments to keep babies alive.
"March of Dimes is always near and dear to my heart," she explained.
This Saturday, the FOX 13 News team is involved in the March for Babies. Join in support of the March of Dimes and the entire community in this life-saving event.