If you've been reading my blog for a while (and I know the four of you HAVE) then you know that this past September, my sister gave birth to her son after just twenty eight weeks of pregnancy. For you non nurse or non mama types who think of pregnancy in months, this was more than three months early. Twenty eight weeks is the line where health care professionals consider a baby to have a good sporting chance for survival, but it is NOT a guarantee and it is definitely NOT a safe time to have your teeny tiny son struggling for every breath outside the safety of your womb.
My sister did not drink during her pregnancy. She did not smoke, or snort coke. She did not get in a car accident, or fall on her belly. She did not contract some sort of virus or bacterial infection. She was having a normal, healthy pregnancy, until one day she went into labor. They tried to stop it, but were unsuccessful. She was not at some backwoods southern hospital without modern technology- she was at a state of the art care facility with all the best resources available.
No one knows why some babies are born early. It was especially devastating for my sister and my family because just six years earlier, she also delivered her daughter early. Her daughter made it closer to the thirty two week mark, but it was still (obviously) very scary for my sister and my mother and me and everyone else we knew, because this was the very first grandbaby for the family and we were absolutely TERRIFIED for her. Again, with her first pregnancy, my sister did NOTHING wrong.
The March of Dimes is an organization dedicated to discovering why babies are born too soon, and, more importantly, to helping these tiny miracles survive after their impromptu arrivals. If you can spare even a few dollars, PLEASE donate to the March of Dimes. I would never share this link with you if I did not know for a fact, beyond a doubt, that the money the March of Dimes raises goes DIRECTLY to these babies and their families. Both my niece Mia and my tiny nephew Joshua benefited DIRECTLY from donations made by people they do not even know. When you donate to the March of Dimes, you can know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your money is not funneled off to some fund to collect interest to pay the salaries of disinterested people who shoot obnoxious commercial asking you for more and more and more. It goes to neonatal intensive care units across the county, to incubators designed by the most brilliant minds in modern medicine, incubators that do all they can to save lives, but that are a pale, pathetic imitation of the safety of a mama's body. When you donate to the March of Dimes, you money goes here...
That's my nephew, hours after his birth. He weighs one pound and twelve ounces. He has a tube down his throat to breath for him. He has tubes in his belly button and his scalp to provide nutrition. He is receiving the strongest antibiotics available, antibiotics with horrible side effects, to fight off infections. He is receiving dangerous drips to regulate his blood pressure, drips reserved for the most critical patients in the ICU. Nothing in his body works, nothing preforms the way it's supposed to.
And people donated to the March of Dimes, people who had never seen him, had never felt him kick from inside my sister's belly, never looked at his ultrasound picture and wondered, from a vast list of thousands, what his name should be. People donated, and the money went to HELP JOSHUA.
This is Joshua now, after nearly six months in the world that wasn't ready for him
donations of strangers.
Readers, you know me. Even if we have never met in person, we are not strangers. These children are my flesh and blood. My children's flesh and blood. And don't forget, my sister did NOTHING wrong during her pregnancies. This can happen to ANYONE. This could just as easily be pictures of your sister's children up here. So please, if you can spare ANYTHING, follow this link. It's called the March of Dimes for a reason- every little bit helps. Skip your three dollar coffee and donate that. Skip that nine dollar movie ticket and wait for it to come out on netfilx. The March of Dimes is out there, every day, saving lives. And looking for a cure, a reason why these babies are so eager to join a world that is not equipped to nurture them yet.
Donate. Please. Whatever you donate, I will match, just leave a comment. These babies need us ladies.