Sunday, February 8, 2009

March for Babies

March of Dimes is not my favorite charity of all time. Sometimes their advertising annoys me. It seems to me that if all preemies turn out as well as the ones that they pick for ambassadors, why should we bother fighting prematurity? If all preemie moms are drug addicts who don't seek prenatal care, will more education about premature birth really help? If it's just a rough few months in the NICU and then life is normal, why bother?

So why do you now see a link to my March for Babies fundraising page on my blog?

Because all preemies don't turn out fine. Many of them, particularly the very early ones like Noah, end up with life long disabilities and March of Dimes wants to change that. They research treatments for things that can be debilitating for preemies like chronic lung disease, and they look for cures to many of the pregnancy complications that can cause babies to come earlier than they should. Lots of people think that if moms would just take better care of themselves, then premature birth would just disappear, but that's just not true. I wasn't a teen mother. I ate healthy foods, sought regular prenatal care, and didn't smoke or drink. And yet at 24 weeks I developed HELLP Syndrome and almost died.
But there's more. March of Dimes doesn't just try to stop premature birth, they also support families that are dealing with it. Noah started out at a wonderful local NICU where I felt loved and supported, but after two months he was transfered to a bigger regional NICU that could handle his surgical needs. I felt lost and alone. My support system was 3 hours away and I couldn't even figure out how to get to the hospital without turning around in a parking lot. Tthe family coordinator came to see me. She told me how to get to the hospital without getting lost, where to find the cafeteria, and invited me to a March of Dimes NICU Family Support event. Suddenly I wasn't alone anymore. The March of Dimes NICU Family Support program helped me get through that awful time when I was so alone.
So yes, the March of Dimes' approach sometimes really annoys me. When I see commercials on TV that tell me that if I would just get prenatal care my baby would be fat, healthy and normal I burn with anger at their insensitivity. But the fact is that both Noah and I would not have survived the NICU without them. And that it why I'm going to March for Babies.

Please donate to help me reach my goal! Click on the link in the sidebar to get to my donation page.