Thursday, March 6, 2014

March for Babies 2014

Hi, Friends!  It's that time again.  This year's March for Babies walk is coming up next month.  For those of you who aren't aware, the March of Dimes is an organization that is near and dear to our family. 

In 2009, I was pregnant with two precious girls, Lily and Isabelle.  At 19 weeks, I went to the doctor for what I thought was an overreaction to something that just didn't sit right with me.  I really thought I was probably okay, but something just told me to go and get checked out for my peace of mind.  Well, I now know that that something was God.  My doctor examined me, and I could immediately see the concern on her face.  She said I was dilated and rushed me to the hospital.  From that point, my feet didn't touch the floor for the next three days.  My hospital bed was put in Trendelenburg position (basically tilted at a pretty severe angle so my feet were above my head), and my doctors did everything they could to stop my labor.  After three days, my water broke, and Lily was born.  She was only 20 weeks gestation, weighing 12.6 ounces.  We only had a few precious moments with her, but she absolutely changed our lives and our hearts. 

15 weeks pregnant with my girls

Immediately after Lily was born, the concern was that Izzy would arrive shortly after.  I wasn't aware of this at the time, but apparently my doctor had told my parents that she had little hope my contractions would stop until Izzy was born.  By the grace of God, my contractions stopped and things started to stabilize.  Enough so that after two weeks in the hospital, I was sent home to continue my bed rest.  However, my time at home was short-lived.  After about 6 days at home, contractions started back pretty regularly, so back to the hospital I went.  My big goal was to make it to 28 weeks.  At 28 weeks, survival rates dramatically increase while the chances of birth defects decline.  I had hubs hang a calendar on the wall of my hospital room, and we would cross off one day at a time.  Twenty-eight weeks seemed so far away.  And it was. 

My doctor had explained to me that week 24 was a no-brainer, meaning the doctors were all on board to do everything they could to save the baby after birth.  At this point, every last minute of growth counts, so 24 weeks means 24 weeks, and not an hour sooner.  Anything between 22-24 weeks was considered a gray area.  Basically, with survival chances being pretty grim and the baby's overall quality of life being in question, doctors look to the parents for guidance on how to proceed.  Trust me when I tell you this is not a conversation you want to have with your doctor.  Or anyone.  Ever.  There was never a doubt in mine or Griff's mind as to how we wanted to proceed.  One doctor actually told us if it were him, he wouldn't have the doctors try to save his baby based on what he had seen.  Statistics drove his decision.  Faith drove ours.  We truly believed that God would protect our baby girl.  She was a fighter.  The fact that she had survived and continued to grow for 25 days after her twin sister was born was a complete act of God, and we knew He wasn't done with her.  And we were right. 

Izzy was born at 23 weeks 6 days gestation, weighing 1 pound 9 ounces.  She was rushed to the NICU immediately after she was born.  And shortly after, I was rushed to another room because of some complications and excessive bleeding.  Poor hubs was all alone in the delivery room.  Makes me so sad to think of that.  I was able to meet Izzy the next day, and you can imagine all the emotions that come with meeting your teeny tiny baby in the NICU for the first time and not being able to touch her.  After about two weeks, I was finally able to hold her for the first time.  She continued to fight for her life in the NICU over the next 4 months, and she came home the day after her original due date.  She is a miracle.  Truly. 

When we first got her home, we were going to appointments constantly: Neurologist, Ophthalmologist, Nutritionist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Pulmonologist, and later, Speech Therapist.  She did her time with all of these specialist and was eventually released by all of them.  She starts Kindergarten next year, and you better believe this mama will be crying like a baby.  When I really sit and think about her journey and what she has overcome, I am in awe.

Heading home after 4 months, weighing a hefty 7 pounds.

Izzy the day she was born and on her 5th birthday
The March of Dimes funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies and works to prevent them.  We are so grateful that Izzy was able to benefit from years of research and knowledge, as well as treatment plans discovered by the March of Dimes.  We have made it our families' mission to help spread the word about this wonderful organization and join their fight for healthy babies. 

We would be so honored if you would consider making a donation to our March for Babies team in memory of Lily and in celebration of Izzy.  Better yet, sign up to walk with us and join us in raising money and fighting for preemies!

Click the link below to donate and/or join our team!

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