March, March, March, Now We’re Marching All Around

In the immortal words of Dora, we did it!

This weekend we walked in our third Puget Sound March for Babies!  Team LC was one more strong this year as Lucy joined the crew and Seattle brought her best effort with incredible weather.  It was almost hot!

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As our team is one larger this year, we may have moved a little slower.  Especially up that last hill.  A may have decided to “forge ahead” with Cal – leaving me with Lucy strapped to my chest and Lila in the jogging stroller “marching” up the hill to the finish line.  The first year we marched little Lila was, well, little.  Last year she was a little bigger and I was pregnant.  But this year we definitely at the most baggage.  But adorable baggage. 

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 It was a great walk, a great time spent together (even if I was sick and Lucy was up almost the entire night before and we were all crank-y pants) and most importantly it was a great time to reflect on how lucky we are that Lila is a healthy, funny, wonderful preemie who loves puppies, Elmo, socks, popsicles and the Space Needle.

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It’s not too late to support our team – help us beat our goal for this year! 

Can We Trademark That?

As Lila progresses from being a toddler to being a pre-preschooler, her vocabulary has exploded.  She uses sentences and words we didn’t even realize she knew.  For instance, tonight she broke the head off of her Honey Bunny cracker and became upset when we couldn’t help her “reattach” it.  It took us about 5 minutes to figure out what she was saying because I expected “blue cat” to be more likely than “reattach.”   Her long sentences amaze us as well as she tells us stories about her day – like “My mommy bought me sunscreen so I can go outside.”  I don’t know why but I assumed potty training would come before complete sentences, so I am constantly amazed by the things she says everyday.

As all toddler/pre-preschoolers do, Lila also repeats things.  A lot.  Sometimes it is a story – like the time she tripped over Obi on the playground at school or that Daddy’s phone was broken so he had to buy a new phone (this is told every time she sees A’s phone), but other times it is just a phrase.  One such phrase as become her catch phrase.  Ask Lila almost anything and you are very likely to hear the response “That’s so silly.”  (This includes the time she tripped over Obi on the playground.)  She delivers it in a delightfully ridiculous voice and has an adorable scrunched up face to match.

While “that’s so silly” is not her most impressive sentence or word usage to date, it is probably the one we enjoy hearing the most.  It makes her seem like a toddler star on some new Disney Channel show, complete with laugh track and twin Lila’s playing the role of the adorable younger sister who delivers her signature line on cue as the other characters encounter ridiculous shenanigans each week.  That’s so silly.

 

PS – Don’t be silly and miss supporting LC’s Team in this weekend’s March for Babies!  Follow the link and help us reach our goal before we step off on Saturday.  This is our third walk with our very healthy (and silly) preemie – help us celebrate!

Stepping Out for Babies

It’s that time of year again.  When we lace up our sneakers, pump up the BOB tires and throw the leash on Cal and hit the streets to raise money and awareness for prematurity with the March of Dimes March for Babies.

Lila’s story is one most readers of the blog are familiar with.  I had a fairly normal pregnancy through 34 weeks when I suddenly developed very high blood pressure.  Two weeks of hospitalized bed rest, 19 ultrasounds, and one labor induction later and our tiny little miracle was born.  Lila’s entrance into the world was not how we expected, but it is the story that brought her to us and made us a family.  The March of Dimes walk each year gives us an opportunity to celebrate the relative lack of complications Lila had and how wonderful our family has become.  It is also a time for us to honor the “butterflies” for the families who were not as lucky as we were and who lost their premature babies.  This hit home this year as my law school classmate Jen delivered premature twins and her daughter Ava died hours after delivery.  (Happily her son Sam is doing great after almost 4 months in the NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.)

We’ve been very successful raising funds in the past years for the Puget Sound March for Babies and we’re asking for your support again this year.  Join us as we celebrate how far Lila has come since her premature birth, to help families who are faced with similar (or worse) situations and to honor those who are now butterflies among us.

Please join us in supporting LC’s team for the Puget Sound March for Babies – the most Seattle type donation you could make is to simply donate a latte to the cause.  If we all gave up one latte in support of ending premature births, imagine how many babies we could help!  Thanks, in advance, for all the help I know you will give to this great cause!

 

World Prematurity Day

November 17 is World Prematurity Day.  I don’t think it is coincidence that the day falls so close to Thanksgiving – parents of preemies often have so much to be thankful for – amazing medical advances to help keep babies inside longer, wonderful caring nurses and doctors for babies born too soon, a realization that your baby may be “normal” despite their early arrival.  With 1 in 8 babies born prematurely in the United States, not all parents get to celebrate all of that though – more than 1 million babies will die worldwide this year due to premature birth.

Looking at my own preemie now, you’d never guess at any of the troubles she had through pregnancy and birth.  There is no indication that she was born looking, as my doctor suggested, alien like with almost no body fat and glowing yellow with jaundice.  We are thankful for her health and lack of continued complications and also aware how lucky we are.  We celebrate World Prematurity Day with pride, happy to be able to see LC’s premature arrival as a “badge of honor” or battle scar and not an ongoing obstacle we must face everyday.

There are so many ways to honor the more than 15 million babies who will be born too soon this year and the March of Dimes is a great place to start.   When counting your own blessings this Thanksgiving, perhaps there is a preemie in your life for whom you are thankful, or maybe you want to celebrate the healthy baby in your life who avoided the complications of a premature birth.  Either way, keep all of the tiny babies born too soon in your thoughts.  Perhaps with just a small bit of attention from all of us, organizations like March of Dimes can continue to reduce the rate of premature births and help all babies have the healthy start they deserve.

We Did It!

3.1 miles and $550 later and we completed the 2012 Puget Sound March for Babies!

 

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Our fellow walkers included fellow parents of preemies, NICU workers, members of the community and sadly parents of “angel preemies”.  One family in the Family Team tent had given birth on April 1, at 24 weeks.  Their little boy lived 17 days and passed away on April 18.  It reminded us that we not only walk to celebrate the preemie success stories like Lila and the other children walking yesterday, but because there is still so much research to be done to help reduce premature births and losses suffered by still too many families.

We beat our goal for this year – we’ll be back next year and hope to double our fundraising efforts!  Thanks again for the support.

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LC enjoying a post-walk brunch.

Getting Ready to Take Our First Steps

Less than a week from today LC’s Team takes off for our 2nd annual March for Babies.  We are so thankful and appreciative for everyone who donated to our team and helped us already surpass our goal this year! 

For those who haven’t had a chance to donate yet, or who might not be sure what March for Babies does or who March of Dimes is, here’s an adorable little video that may inspire you.  Click through to our page – we’d love to blow by our fundraising goal and really impress the Puget Sound Office with our family team’s fundraising this year.

Thanks again for the support, we can’t wait to share stories from the walk with you!

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Thank you!

LC wanted to send out an extra special thank you to everyone who helped us reach our goal for the March for Babies walk!  LC’s Team has not just reached our goal of $500, but already beat it by $25.  We are so thankful for all of our donors who have helped us reach the goal and we hope that we can continue to fundraise for this very important cause.  We have 14 days until our walk, so plenty of time to hop over to our fundraising page.  And, from LC and all of us, please accept our thanks (and kisses).

 

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Baby steps to our goal

As you may have heard, we’re walking in the Seattle March for Babies again this year!  We’re very excited to be supporting this great cause again this year and we’re trying to raise $500 for the cause.  So far, between the donations of all of the walkers on LC’s Team we’ve raised $215 – almost 50%!

A big thank you to our early contributors Jen, Hilary and Auntie Christine!  We know we can make it to $500 and we hope you will consider donating to our team.  Any amount supports the cause  – and a worthy cause it is!  Here are just a few things the March of Dimes does for babies and families:

– Support for siblings of babies in the NICU

– Support for women on bedrest for high-risk pregnancies

– Parent-to-parent support

– Recurrence prevention for families who have experienced a premature birth

– Photographic support for families

– Professional development for NICU staff

These are only a few of the many ways that the March of Dimes supports families in their community.  Please consider cashing in your change jars, skipping a latte or two, or maybe seeing the regular version of the Hunger Games this Friday instead of IMAX and donate the extra cash to the March of Dimes.  LC’s Team would love to have your support!

Marching Once Again

Looking around the blog lately, have you noticed anything new? Look a little to the right.  No, not my right, your right.  See it?  Exactly!  The March for Babies ticker with an adorable photo of me, LC and A.  This year’s Puget Sound’s March for Babies will be on May 5 and LC’s Team is  looking forward to raising money for the March of Dimes

There are many places to read about all the ways March of Dimes touched our family, not to mention how they could help prevent another premature birth for any future children we may have.  As we get closer to the March, I hope to be able to highlight some of the other families touched by the March of Dimes and who would be benefited from your support of LC’s Team in this year’s March.

Let’s start with Kieran Wittstruck, the National March of Dimes Ambassador for 2012.  Adorable Kieran was born at 31 weeks and weighed only 3lbs, 1oz.  He is a healthy 5 year old boy who lives in the Emerald City and runs his own cat spy agency called MEOWS.  (B-Cat is intrigued, she always thought she would be a good spy.) 

LC’s Team is aiming to raise $500 this year – $100 for every day LC spent in the ISCU.  We are confident that we will be able to reach this goal, but won’t be able to do it without support from someone like you.  Click over to our page, look at the adorable photo of LC, and pledge what you can to help support LC’s Team and the March of Dimes.  (If you’re in Seattle, we’d love to have you join our team and walk with us – you’d get to meet Cal too!)

Season of Giving

It is cliche to say that it is the season of giving, but you know, it kind of is. Soooo, I guess we’ll just call it like it is – the season of giving. Who to give to? There are many worthy causes and giving to a group that you like and want to support is never wrong. Especially not in this season of giving as we’ve decided to call it. But if you happen to have heard that it is the season of giving an you are looking for a place to make a generous donation, please consider the March of Dimes. I’ve spoken many times about the good work that the March of Dimes does for preemies (like LC!) and their families. They can always use your help to fund research and other aspects of their mission. Best of all, if you make a donation during the month of December (aka the season of giving) the March of Dimes Board of Trustees will match it. So if you give $25, the March of Dimes receives $50! If you give $50, they get $100. If you give. . .well just take my word for it that it works no matter how much you decide to give. Take a minute, think about it and then hopefully make a choice to participate in this season of giving and help make a preemie’s life a little bit better this holiday.