Monday, March 16, 2009

March of Dimes

Hayden's birthday ... at 29 weeks, 4 days

Once again, we are participating the in the March of Dimes "March for Babies" to help meet the March of Dime's mission to prevent birth defects (120.000 a year), premature birth (500,000 a year) and infant mortality (30,000 a year).

Dan and I strongly support the March of Dimes. Why? Because if it wasn't for their research, support and development, our boys may not have had the quality of life they enjoy now ... or even survived.A normal pregnancy is considered full-term at 40 weeks gestation. At 24 weeks, my water broke with Baby C (Noel). I also had HELLP Syndrome. I was given 2 shots of steroids, which was to help the babies' tiny lungs to develop faster. We were able to keep the babies in for 29 weeks and 4 days gestation. They were born via c-section and were immediately whisked off to the NICU. We barely got to see our babies as they were rushed off to be examined!

They were quickly hooked up to tubes and wires - this was certainly not how we had hoped the first glimpse of our children would be. Even though we had been educated and prepared for what prematurity looks like, it was still hard to deal with. We knew that these medical miracles were keeping our children alive and that the March of Dimes was part of the research that was helping our babies.Noel was our smallest at just 2 lbs 12oz. He was in the NICU for almost 2 months. Hayden and Tanner were in the NICU about a month and did very well; they just needed to grow and learn to eat, which was a challenge even after they came home.

Without the March of Dimes' funding of research that lead to the discovery of surfactant therapy, and without the March of Dimes' support to equip NICUs all across the country, our lives with our beautiful babies would not have been made possible. If not for the March of Dimes, the wonderful joy we feel each time we receive sweet smiles and the frustration of sleepless nights would have been replaced by the horrible heartache of having lost our children. Because of the March of Dimes and their researchers' tireless efforts to save babies, we are fortunate now to enjoy Noel's sweet soul, Tanner's giggles, and Hayden's irresistible smile. We are eager and excited to spread this message during this time for the March of Dimes, as we work together to combat the serious and growing problem of prematurity and ensure that no baby is born too small or too soon. We all need to understand that placing resources with the March of Dimes – a time-tested organization who has never failed a mission yet - will be an investment; not just in our families, but in our country's future. Seems like a no-brainer to support the March of Dimes, right?

Obviously not for some people.

One lovely-sounding woman even calls it the "March of Death" because March of Dimes doesn't take an official stance on being pro-life or pro-choice. Nice ... classy.

Whatever ... you can take your ball and go home if you can't play nice. Still, I did some research and really don't see how March of Dimes supports or doesn't support abortion. They do support prenatal testing, but there are some defects than can be fixed in utero, giving children born a better chance at a "healthy" life. That doesn't mean they only want babies with no defects born. Also, there are certain birth defects where the babies fare much better if they are delivered by c-section, rather than vaginally. This can only be discovered through prenatal testing.

Obviously, I am biased. The research that March of Dimes has done over the years made my babies' health a possibility, and today I am the proud mother of gorgeous and healthy toddlers. The March of Dimes works to develop research to help babies who are born early, for whatever reason, to survive, even while there are those who say that the burden these preemies place on the healthcare system isn't worth it.

Until you can show me where an March of Dime representative states, "We are working to test all babies prenatally so that we can abort those who are unhealthy, thus delivering only healthy babies.", I have to say that they are still deserving of my support.

Needless to say, if you are uncomfortable sponsoring us and subsequently the March of Dimes, then please don't donate.

If you are thankful for what the March of Dimes has done for our boys and millions of other children, then please consider makes a donation. Just click on the link on the top left of this page.

Last year we raised over $1200. Our goal for this year is $1000 -- we decided to buck the trend and lower the bar. Any bit would be appreciated! Thanks, friends!

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