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March 30, 2009

on my knees

monday, march 30

i have dreamt of the day adali would be thriving like she is.  a happy healthy little girl who loves life as much as her parents.  now that we are here, now that i feel like i can breathe and enjoy without so much worry, i am so sad.  i can't stop the tears.  i am sad for all of the babies that weren't as fortunate as adali.  all of the parents that have struggled to make sense out of where life has taken them.  the thoughts are eating at me from the inside out.  

you see, when you are in the nicu it is impossible not to take on the fights of the babies around you.  i took on the fight of the little boy next to adali whose family was there for the first few days and then never came again.  he had a big fight and was doing it all alone.  it seemed like every day there was a new issue; failing kidneys, underdeveloped lungs, stomach issues.  he was like a thousand piece puzzle that the doctors couldn't quite figure out.  i took on the fight of the little girl across the hall who was born much the same way as adali to a young teenage couple.  she was beautiful.  i prayed that her parents would have the strength to face what was in front of them at such a young age.  i took on the heartbreaking fight of a little girl who i knew before ever meeting her in the nicu.  oddly enough jastin had treated her before we ever knew adali would be born so early.  itsfunny how life works as we ended up just a few doors down from her.  she too was born too early with extremely underdeveloped lungs.  she melted my heart every time i walked by her room on the way to adali's.  her eyes said it all.  she wanted to be better.  the nurses warned me that she wasn't well and that i shouldn't get attached but how could i not?  how could i not care for all of the babies around us.  all so precious and deserving of a special life after all they had been through.  the little girl whose eyes seemed to speak to me ended up passing just a few days before we were able to go home.  i secretly mourned her passing.  it didn't seem fair to me.  how could any baby be taken that early. i still think about her and all of the babies that started their life in the nicu.  where are they now?  are they doing as well as adali?  if not, how could i honor them?  

the only answer i have for myself and them is to do what i can to help make sure that less babies are born prematurely each year so no mother has to understand the grief i saw and felt in the nicu.  i know i promised that i would not beg for donations for the march of dimes but i have changed my mind.  my guilt has forced me on my knees.  

fundraising for the march of dimes is down 15% this year.  this means that they will not be able to support babies and their families like they have in the past.  they have had to make the difficult decision to cut $3 million in research grants - funding that was urgently needed to develop new treatments for babies born prematurely or with birth defects.  they are also in jeopardy of not meeting the goal of bringing nicu family support to 20 new hospitals this year.  this breaks my heart.

i remember growing up and my own mother walking door to door on weekends to raise money for the march of dimes.  she felt blessed to have 3 very healthy children and wanted everyone to feel that same blessing, not heartbreak.  i will be forever in debt to my mother and the hundreds of thousands of people who have raised money for the march of dimes over the years.  because of them, my daughter had a chance at life.  

thank you so much to all of those that have helped us in this fight by already donating.  to date we have raised $575.  i am proud of that but want to do better.  i know i have set a huge goal for myself ($2500), but i want to do my part in this fight and as i have said before i can't do it by myself.  i know that times are tough for all of us right now, but i would appreciate even the smallest amount you could give. whether your reason is that you have been touched by prematurity yourself or because you feel blessed that you haven't had to know it, every penny counts the same way.

so please (i ain't too proud to beg) head on over to that purple button with the cute baby to the left there and click to sponsor us as we walk to end prematurity.  or even better, if you would like to join us in the walk you can click here and then click "join this team" and walk with us on saturday april, 25 in forest park.  all pertinent information regarding the walk can be found by clicking "the" button as well.  and as an added bonus, we plan on having a party later that day for adali to be able to meet and hang out with all of the amazing people who have been such a huge part of her journey (more info to come on this later).

if you have questions on how to donate or would rather donate by cash or check you can email me at

if you don't think that the march of dimes had something to do with this baby girl (taken exactly one year ago today)...

Adali 3.30         

turning into this happy and healthy big girl...

think again!

walk with us.  i'm begging.

much love,

mama a


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