Click on this picture to pledge money to help stop premature birth.
I am passionate about 2 specific causes in my life right now... positive adoption exposure & The March of Dimes. The March of Dimes (MOD) helped us when we were confused after our sonogram, finding out that Zachary had a 2 vessel cord. MOD had a fabulous page full of factual information that helped me understand what this meant for myself and for our precious baby boy. MOD helped us again when Zachary was born early. They didn't wait until we had donated a given amount. They were ready for him because of funding made possible by people like you and I.
I have made a family commitment to MOD. I am not one to beg others for money for every little thing. But this organization has done so much for me, and I want to give back to them.
I have joined the March of Dimes, volunteering to help with the March for Babies walk here in Kansas City on May 1st. I love getting to know some of the other families that volunteer. I am amazed by the incredible stories I hear of early births, survival, happy endings, and complete families. I am saddened by the stories I hear of the unhappy endings, the babies who didn't have a chance, and the strong families who continue to help MOD because of their story. All-in-all, Zachary wasn't THAT early compared to some. He wasn't THAT small, compared to some. His post-NICU life hasn't been THAT complicated compared to some. However, we have been changed forever because of his early birth. He didn't get the chance to develop those core muscles, which have seriously impacted our lives on a daily basis. He has a weakened immune system, which has impacted us. While we are continually thankful for all of the numerous positives in regard to his health, we are still affected by his early arrival.
Our goal this year is $650. This number was chosen because we have been seen by a medical professional 65 times in his first year of life outside the NICU (you know, besides the first 42 days of living at the hospital full-time). Most infants will go 7 times in their first year for well-child checks. They may go a few times for specific illnesses. So, the average number of trips is, say 10-15 maybe (or is that high)?? We have been seen 65 times!!!
I am pledging my money to helping at least one other mother to not have to go through this. I'm hoping that one other mother doesn't have to hear "weak" when talking about her baby, "delayed", "adaptive equipment", or "possible neurological problems." I don't want another mother to go through this!
I'd like to help you understand why I have chosen this goal for our family. This high number of doctor appointments has been difficult for me. Let's walk thru this, for fun sake.
- Making a call to be seen takes time (and peace and quiet, something that is rare around here).
- For MANY of those visits I needed to have Zach alone, in other words, no extra siblings. Begging people to help me, paying babysitters, making arrangements for family or daddy to watch the other kids (which means weekend work hours, late nights for him, etc).
- One appointment located downtown=2 hours drive time, round trip.
- Children's Mercy South (the closer location)=90 minutes drive time, round trip. If only I could add all the hours I've spent in the car on the way to and from doc appts.
- Waiting room time, oh the fun times with all 3 kids in a waiting room. One trip specifically took 1.5 hours in the waiting room.
- 2 ER trips, which was tough to decide to go, or not to go, was it worth it taking all 3 kids there and exposing them to a lot of extra germs?
- Double-checking with insurance to make sure that these 65 trips were covered.
- Co-pays, which I really won't complain about AT ALL, because I LOVE our insurance, but I can at least mention co-pays in here, right?
- Waking up EARLY, so that we can get all 3 kids ready, and drive. An 8:00 appt time doesn't sound too early, until you start figuring it all out.
- Messing up nap schedules to accommodate doc visits.
- The impact of having doctors tell you certain things about your child.
- The stress of knowing there is an upcoming doc visit where you may receive news you don't want to hear.
- Trying to make 2 other kids feel loved b/c they aren't getting this much of mommy's attention.
- Not being able to help others in ways you want b/c your life revolves around doctors appointments.
- Weather. Yes, it sounds silly, but you try getting 3 kids in and out of the doc offices/hospitals in sub-zero temps w/ ice & snow on the ground--not fun!
- Knowing you shouldn't complain at all, b/c you have insurance, you have doctors available, you have access to a Children's hospital, you have a relatively HEALTHY child after all.
These are just a few of the reasons why this impacts me so much. For anyone who has ever gone to the doctor, you understand. It is stressful. Now, multiply that by 65 (no not all of these were actually in an office, thankfully some were in my house). Now multiply that by 3 extra kids, all under age 5. Fun, yes, I know!
I will write more later. I will describe more of what MOD does to help you, and me. I will go into details of our doctor appointments. I want you to feel impacted, as we have been, and "make" you want to do something to help.
We are walking on May 1st. I will earn my money--I am determined. Will you help? Will you walk with us? Will you pledge money to helping MOD help families like ours? Even $5 will help.