Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On Saturday, I Will Be Marching.

This Saturday Baby D and I are Marching for Babies for The March of Dimes!
We are so excited to take part in the fundraiser and I know a lot of bloggy moms are doing the same.
My goal was to raise $200 and I raised that plus $200 more and I trying to hit a new goal of $500! I am so grateful for all the love and support I have gotten from friends and family. It warms my heart to know that people are so willing to help others during this time of economic struggle.
I can't express how important this walk is for me. Not only to show support for those that I don't know, but to show support for someone that is a friend of mine. My friend, Kerri, had a baby born prematurely and thanks to the March of Dimes and their help and continuous effort to help families and babies in need, Ava is a thriving almost 4 year old full of energy, love, laughter and most of all a heart to keep on living!

The birth story of Ava, from my friend Kerri.

I went to my 24-week check-up on July 23rd, 2007. It was supposed to be a quick visit: check my blood pressure, urine test (joy!) listen to baby’s heart, check-up on my overall health and baby’s. I knew something was not quite right when they took my normal urine test…it was far from normal from what it had previously been the other 8 times I had taken this test. The stick was all white…not a good sign, but I thought maybe it was something very minor and proceeded out to the area where the nurse was waiting to take my blood pressure. Things went off the track even further then. Nurse took my blood pressure 3 times and then took me to one of the rooms and went to go get the doctor. I wasn’t even supposed to see my doctor that day. My OB came in and she took my blood pressure two more times. She then proceeded to tell my husband and I that I would not be going home, but would instead be going across the street to the hospital and would be checked in. We weren’t exactly sure what was happening and why, but we were both scared as hell.

Turns out I had severe pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure was extremely high (190/110!) and I had a large amount of protein in my urine. Neither good for me or my baby. On the 24th, I was transferred to a hospital with a Level III NICU. The original intent was to keep me in the hospital on bed rest till my baby was 28 weeks. However, my pre-eclampsia was determined to be so severe that I had to be transferred immediately and that I would have an emergency c-section either that day or the next. I was on the verge of a stroke, so the sooner they could get the baby out, the better for both of us. They loaded me up with steroids and decided to wait till the 25th so that the steroids would have a better shot at working on my baby’s lungs.

Ava Marie was born at 10:00 a.m. on July 25th, 2007. She weighed 1 lb 4 oz. It is hard to fathom a BABY that size and that this baby was alive and screaming with all her little might when she came out into the world. To put her size in perspective, she could wear my husband’s wedding ring as a bracelet. Yes, a ring as a bracelet on her very tiny little wrist.

Ava stayed in the NICU for 101 days. We were very lucky in the regard that she never had many “issues” that seem to plague little ones in the NICU such as brain bleeds, eye problems, cerebral palsy, debilitating illness, reflux, staph infections, etc. Not to say her journey was easy, not by any means, but she was a fighter from day one. The nurses and doctors were amazed at her spunk and perseverance.

I remember the first week that I was home from the hospital. I woke up one night about 3:00 a.m. and went to go watch TV as I couldn’t fall back asleep. As I sat there watching mindless reruns, a commercial came on for the March of Dimes. Seeing that commercial made me realize I wasn’t alone and that there were services out there for families like mine. I remember immediately opening my laptop and going to the March of Dimes website. They had a plethora of information and a whole online community for NICU families. Being able to read stories from other parents in the same situation was such a blessing.

Ava will be four years old this July. Looking at this special kid, you would never know that she started her life in such a fragile state. She has amazed us with her capacity for life from day one. She is full of energy and we never have a dull moment!

I have met little Ava and she is an amazing little lady and her mama is a one of a kind with a heart full of gold. I will forever be grateful that I met Kerri through a friend. She and Ava are a constant inspiration and a true example of a fighter.

If you would like to donate to the March of Dimes, please click the badge to the right on my sidebar.
Thank you!

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