Every year, we do the March of Dimes March for Babies. My youngest niece, Brianna, was born 6 weeks early. She is a happy healthy NICU graduate, which we are extremely thankful for. However, every year we meet families who were not able to take their babies home.
It is an emotional day that allows us to pay tribute to that scary time in our lives & be thankful once again that Bri is a feisty, smart 4th grader….
I’ll never forget the night we got the call that my sister had delivered the baby. She went into preterm labor on a hot July day in Las Vegas where she and her husband were living at the time.
I wanted to be with her so badly. I couldn’t wait to meet my new niece who we already knew was going to be named Brianna Lynn. So, I did the next best thing! I went shopping.
I filled a lovely box with anything and everything I could find that was pink and frilly. I filled the box with booties, hair bows, books, & preemie clothes.
Later that evening, we got the call that she’d delivered the baby. Baby Bri was in the NICU on a ventilator.
Needless to say, my mom and I were on a place to Vegas that next morning.
I was a new nurse at the time working at Children’s Hospital. I didn’t work in Mother-Baby, so hearing that the baby was on a ventilator was very scary.
Brianna advanced quickly, and was on the ventilator within a day. She needed to learn how to suck, swallow, and breathe at the same time. We spent every morning and afternoon at the hospital visiting her. We fed her bottles, snuggled her, & my sister practiced changing diapers on a tiny 4 pound baby.
Within a couple of weeks she was home and doing well. My mom and I missed being in Vegas. We got pictures and videos every day of Baby Brianna’s progress from her proud mommy and daddy.
Now, Brianna is a feisty creative 4th grader. She loves Mine Craft, Wonder Woman, & her little puppy Sadie. She’s my Starbucks buddy, and she’s always begging to go to the park to play.
Every year, we participate in the March of Dimes’ March for Babies. It is a joyous experience as we meet other babies that have gotten better, beat the odds, and gone home. But, it’s also a somber experience when we hear the stories of other families who had to say goodbye to their babies.
I took care of a patient recently whose baby was in the NICU. Her words spoke to my heart, and I thought “those are my sentiments exactly”. Through tear-filled eyes, she said,
“I am in awe of these tiny little babies. They are only a few hours to a few days old, but I already look up to them and am so proud and humbled by how they are little fighters from day one.”
Here’s some pictures of our March for Babies at Kensington Metropark…
Brianna was so excited to meet Super Girl. She said, “I watch you every night on TV!” 🙂
Aren’t balloons the universal sign of happiness? Brianna loved the clown too!
I hung a wish on the Memory Tree…
We visited the farm at Kensington before heading to Blaze Pizza for lunch. It was a beautiful spring day. I’m not sure I’ve every seen the sky that blue before!
If you would like to donate to the March of Dimes, or find your a March for Babies near you, click here.