FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - The rambunctious 2-year-olds bouncing around Jimmy Shaw's office at the Florence Education Department are Jacob, Caleb and Jayden - the Shaw triplets.
While they are beautiful, healthy little boys now, their dad said there were big concerns while they were still in the womb.
"We knew having triplets was a high risk pregnancy to begin with. About week 13, my wife had a lot of fluid on her stomach. We basically had to go to the NICU or emergency room in Birmingham to figure out what was wrong at that time," said Shaw.
The bottom line is the boys were ready to be born but woefully underdeveloped.
Felicia Shaw was placed on bed rest at Huntsville Hospital and stayed there until the 29th week of their gestation. Since many doctors will say the average length of pregnancy, or gestation, is calculated as 40 weeks, they were considered very early deliveries.
"When the kids were actually born, we actually went away from worrying about if we would have a child with a major birth defect or cerebral palsy to wondering if our kids would live," Shaw added.
"We were told for our kids in particular, lung development, heart development could be a major issue. Eye sight and hearing could be a major issue, and so we worried about that. When our kids were born, two of them were put on breathing apparatuses," said Shaw.
That is where the March of Dimes comes in.
"So March of Dimes basically pumps money into research for all of those areas, as well as trying to prevent premature births and birth defects in particular," said Shaw.
He said that money for research also helps parents gain the knowledge they need to make healthy decisions for their families. He said it's a very worthy cause.
For more information, contact the March of Dimes in your area.