March for Babies

Although I am not a mother myself (yet), I know the joys of being an Auntie and a Godmother. Watching a little one learn more and more each day, and grow from a tiny infant, to a toddler, to a smart, self assured and fearless little boy is definitely one of God’s gifts. Hearing “Auntie Kim!!!” as soon and I come into view, and hearing those little feet run towards me and seeing the little hands fly into the air waiting for me to pick up the little guy attached gives me such a great feeling. Never gets old.

Many of my friends are having babies lately, and the more I’m around them and their new families, the more I see that children truly are little miracles. Not only is my godson Jake a force to be reckoned with, he is in all ways a little miracle.

I’ll try to keep the story short.

When my best friend Niki told me she was pregnant almost 4 years ago, it was very unexpected but also very exciting. Big changes were coming and it was fun to watch her belly grow, learn it was going to be a boy, shop for the cutest baby boy clothes, and help her pick out baby names.

However, when Niki experienced complications from preeclampsia, Jake was born at only 26 weeks. The normal gestation period is 41 weeks. Instead of being pregnant for 9 months, Niki had her baby at only 6 months, and not only was Jake’s life at risk, but so was hers. Luckily, Niki’s preeclampsia resolved after the birth of Jacob, but at 26 weeks, Jake’s lungs, eyes, ears, and brain still needed a lot more time to grow, and he weighed only 1lb 9oz.

Jacob 24 days old

I was in grad school in Delaware at this time, and as soon as I found out that Niki was going to need a C-section to hopefully save both her and the baby, I drove home to Massachusetts and went right to the hospital to be with her and Sean. No one knew if Jake would make it, and if he did, no one was sure how long he would make it for, either. I visited Jake often at the NICU with Niki and Sean, who were there to see their son every day of the over 111 days he was there. I held him for the first time almost three months after he was born, and was terrified. Tubes and apparatus everywhere. I also remember feeding him for the first time too. The tiniest bottle I’ve ever seen. The diapers were even smaller!

Jacob in Incubator

And Jake made it. He received fabulous care at the hospital, and thrived on the medications he received through research and funding from the March of Dimes. Three years later he is a happy, healthy, ACTIVE, 3 year old. He’s beaten the odds, and just looking at him you’d never know he was in such a tenuous state of being for the first 4 months of his life.

Jacob Six Months

Jacob is the reason I am part of a team of his family and friends who walk in the March for Babies every year. Knowing that so many other mothers and families have the same stories to tell is also why I am part of the team. It’s important that all babies are given a fighting chance and that less people have to go through the struggles Jacob and his family went through.

Happy Jake

Hopefully you see this less as a shameless plug, and more as me sharing an important story and talking about a cause that means a lot to many people, not just me and my extended family. And it’s nice to know that when it comes time for me to start a family, if anything should go awry, I have an organization like the March of Dimes working hard on researching technologies and medications that can help moms and babies have a healthy start.

Jake and Watermelon

Informing others about their message and doing my best to collect donations in preparation for the march is one way that I can give back and help further the March of Dimes cause. This Sunday D and myself, along with Jacob’s family and friends, will be walking 3 miles in support of the March of Dimes. So, if you’d like, please visit my page, and consider donating whatever you want to support our team’s walk on Sunday (you can still donate even if it’s after Sunday)!

Jake at Parade

Thank you! :)

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