In all the hustle and bustle of beginning my sub job and getting ready to head out of town this weekend, a very important day went by without mention. One year ago, on April 8, we brought Michael home from the hospital, 30 days after his birth. Our sweet boy spent the first 30 days of his life in the NICU, instead of home with us, and it was a very long 30 days.
Michael was in the NICU to give him time to grow and to learn the skills babies need to survive. How to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing in order to eat and maintaining their own body temperatures are two things preemies are generally not born able to do. Michael's difficulties as a preemie were mild compared to many, but it was still one of the most difficult times of my life and of our life as a family.
Throughout our experience with a pregnancy that became difficult and Michael's early birth, we were mindful of those who'd come before us to inspire research and discover ways to help babies be born healthy or rise to meet the challenges they face as a result of being born too soon. We are especially grateful for the work of March of Dimes on behalf of babies like Michael.
Last year I was too shell-shocked to participate in our local March for Babies walk, but it has been in the back of my mind that our family needed to get involved. Some difficult events in the past week or two have helped me decide to take action. This year I am walking. I am walking for Michael. I am walking for other babies like Michael. I am walking for families whose stories don't have happy endings. And I am walking for all the babies and families March of Dimes has yet to help.
You may be reading here today because someone directed you to us as Michael's story was unfolding. You may be here because you are a long time friend or part of our family. You may have landed here by accident, but feel you know us a bit because you kept reading. However you came to be here, I invite you to support our family and families like ours. You can send wishes for good weather so I can share the March for Babies walk with my children (I'm not taking them in the rain!). You can offer a positive thought that I meet my fund raising goal. You can make a small donation to March of Dimes by sponsoring me - just click the link on the right.
Oh, and for those of you who read about our most recent ER adventure, Michael is feeling much better. I suspect he'll be very happy to be back home tomorrow. As I type he is thrashing around in his pack-n-play, apparently attempting to stay up all night. We left Wisconsin and are spending the night in an Indiana hotel room - an effort to shorten tomorrow's drive!